The roller coaster continues… or the climb up the mountain becomes more rocky – whichever metaphor you prefer. It takes a lot of mental energy to function these days and this week has been exhausting, to say the least. When I’m the most tired, I’m the most down. I feel like I have to put so much effort and energy into day to day tasks. In those moments of extreme fatigue, the sadness creeps in and catches up with me.
Yesterday was a mixed bag. The school day was fine but as it got to the afternoon I started feeling anxious. I had my last Maya – related doctor’s appointment. I was looking forward to seeing my OB because she has a way of reassuring us, but I was bummed because I felt like the door to Maya’s case was closing. We’ve gotten all the answers there are to get and reviewed the labor and delivery with everyone involved and then some. She went over the autopsy report with us in more detail. Basically, Maya was perfect. Everything abnormal on the report was likely due to her being resuscitated for so long. I was hoping that talking to the neonatalogist, all the doctors, and receiving the autopsy report would bring us a sense of closure. Instead, as the door to Maya’s case closes, we are left with no closure and more questions that will never be answered. It’s so upsetting, frustrating, and painful.
Today was day 3 of school for the kids. I was feeling good this morning and thought it would be another successful school day where I could function and keep it together – I feel that is what is expected of me at this point. After lunch, the fatigue caught up with me. The kids were presenting posters about themselves and I couldn’t stop yawning. All of a sudden, a thought crept into my head: “Maya will never get to do this. Maya will never develop a favorite movie. Maya will never have a first day of school.” It hurt. It physically stung my soul. I could have lost it. Luckily, I kept it together but the rest of the day was a wash in terms of productivity on my part. Thankfully, there is no school tomorrow.
I’m so nervous about next week. As much as I dislike the first week of school, it has been somewhat low key in terms of actual teaching. Tuesday, I will teach my first science class and then repeat it 4 times. I’m not nervous about the teaching part – that I can do. I’m nervous about having enough energy to get through it. I didn’t think of how difficult it would be to be “on” for three 50 minute classes in a row as 25 eager eleven year olds stare at me. When I started to try and plan for next week, my head was very foggy. I couldn’t think straight and I started to feel very anxious. “What if I really can’t do this?”, I thought. It’s a roller coaster, for sure.
The unpredictability of grief is very difficult. I am never sure what will set me off and what won’t. What sets me off one day may not the next. In hindsight, I would say the first week of school was overall good. I really like my students and I’m happy to not be feeling the anger and bitterness I was experiencing last week. Next week will bring about a new onslaught of challenges as I really get into teaching and conduct my first science lab (we’re making slime). I know I can muster up the energy to continue to live on, and, when I have my moments, I will take a deep breath, think of my Maya, and proceed as best I can.