Yesterday marked 11 months since Sacha’s death. That feels so strange and unreal to me. I don’t want it to be a year. I’m not ready for Sacha’s birthday – which should be marked by first steps, first words, first cake. As with so many times during the past year, I wish time would stand still and let me catch up.

This week I’ve primarily been feeling numb and burned-out, which has more to do with triggers and flashbacks that I’ve experienced lately than with the anniversary itself. Making matters worse, I overheard some extraordinarily insensitive comments last week about children with disabilities, from someone who should have known better. That was a knock-out punch, too painful to even process. So, I’ve just shut down a bit.

I have a lot of ideas for posts: about the damaging effects of viewing an uncomplicated birth as an “accomplishment” rather than a blessing, about the various causes of and treatments for persistent post-surgical and postpartum pain (as a lot of people have found my blog with search terms related to those issues). I’ve had many new readers go through my entire blog over the past week, which was exciting and made me want to keep writing. But I can’t muster the emotional energy to write a “good” post right now. Maybe in a few days or weeks.

When I’m feeling this way, people often recommend watching funny movies. But even comedies can leave me confused and in pain, because there is usually an aspect of family life involved that, in my mind, ends up highlighting how atypical my experience is. I relate much better to movies that involve tragedy, but those can be exhausting too.

There have been many bright spots of comfort, especially kind words and remembrances from friends.

Yesterday, a patient in clinic unexpectedly offered condolences at the end of his visit. He had Googled my name and found Sacha’s obituary. Completely unprompted, he said “I saw that your son died last year. I am so sorry. I can’t even imagine how difficult that must be to go through.” Those few, kind words were like a soothing balm.