Wednesday, 27 October 2010

We all wear masks

I have mentioned the Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope website a few times now. This month they ask women who have experienced a loss through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss to post on their blogs answers to the following question: As Halloween approaches and you start thinking about costumes, are there (figurative) "masks" you sometimes put on?
Image: graur codrin /

I think everybody where's a mask on occasions even if they haven't been through the loss of a baby. Of course I am talking figuratively and not an actual mask, think of your reply to the question  "how are you?" and not the masks warn in the film Eyes Wide Shut! From now on in this post when I say mask I mean the figurative mask.  

Think you have never warn a mask? Have you never been at a job interview and warn a mask which shows you are the best person for the job (even though you secretly think there just might be someone out their who could do it better)? Have you never been on a date and warn a mask that shows you really are the best girlfriend or boyfriend anyone could want?

When I think about it everybody wears masks to try and be what they perceive others want them to be. And to enable themselves to fit into this world and function effectively.  My most frequently warn mask is the one which allows me to show the world everything is fine, I am just as if I never got pregnant and lost my baby. It is one which is hard but brittle and thin. It shatters really easily. However as time goes on it is getting thicker and more durable. It takes a lot more to make me cry now.

Of course this suggests that I am living a kind of fake life pretending everything is fine when it is not. But that is not true. Whilst my mask is more effective now I also need it a lot less. I am genuinely happy a lot of the time. There is an awful lot to be happy about. Almost for months after we lost Orson I can truthfully reply "okay" to the question "how are you?" a lot of the time.

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