I hit (and survived) a milestone yesterday. I visited my school.
I’ve been surprised how much anxiety I’ve been having around this. I left school in June, happy and pregnant, and I’m not supposed to go back like this. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I’ve been afraid to see the halls that I walked as my belly grew, the classroom where I was standing when I got the call reporting my beta results, the washrooms where I ran to throw up every day for eight weeks. The coworkers who don’t know what to say.
I lived. I went after dismissal because I’m not ready to see my kids (and all of their questions). I said hello to a bunch of people. I chatted with my principal. I saw my new classroom, set up in my absence. I met the new teacher that I’ll be working with this year. I got reports on my students. It was fine.
But the silence…the silence is unnerving. I haven’t heard from anyone at school, at all. I asked the principal to make sure that everyone knew what had happened so that I wouldn’t have to explain it to anyone, and he did. I didn’t have to explain. But aside from people I know outside of school, there’s also this bizarre silence around what happened. People don’t know what to say, and I guess, neither do I. Instead people say, “It’s good to see you,” and I say, “Thanks!” and we shift from foot to foot. I smile and nod while I wonder if it’s inappropriate to blurt out “my baby died.” Which I know that they know. We talk about other things, and I wonder if this urge to tell people my son’s name will pass. I wonder if this will pass.