It really is like a wave, like an unexpected tsunami. The way it can just come out of no where and knock you down and pull you under. Grief can still level me in a second.
It all started on Saturday with a seemingly harmless and inspiring news
story about a super cute new Target model with Down syndrome. But I
took one look at the picture and all I could think was that should be my
son. My son should not be be dead, he should be in that advertisement.
He had done a shoot with Target and the week he got sick he was
supposed to shoot an ad. That should be my son!
My son should not be the boy who lived in a hospital bed through four
months of suffering and hell on earth. My son should not be dead. I
should not look up on my mantle and see a memorial picture and an urn of
ashes every day. I should not be pulling out sets of three plates and
three bowls from the dishwasher every morning. I should not be
installing an infant car seat where another car seat should be. I
should not be reminded every.single.day that my house is so quiet
because my son is not here. My son is not here.
And I fell to pieces. I sobbed through the morning, through lunch,
through cooking dinner. Side note- chopping food with a big knife is
not a great idea when you are blinded by tears, but I do still have all
of my fingers. And Little Man came home from school yesterday and he fell
to pieces, too. He just lost it and ended up crying himself to sleep at
4:30 in the afternoon. And this morning when he woke up, he cried
himself through breakfast. Is it contagious?
This grief thing sucks. The way it can quietly sit in the background
until you don't even notice it anymore and then BAM! It just hits out
of nowhere and pummels you again and again and again. It is hard to
breathe again and not from the baby. It is hard to breathe and hard to
sleep and hard to remember and terrifying to think that I might be
forgetting little things. It's like trying to carry sand in your hands,
holding on to a billion memories of the way he walked and danced, the
sound of his laugh, the way he threw our shoes in the trash, down the
stairs, out the door. And I can't keep every grain -some just fall away
without permission. But it isn't okay to lose any of them, because
they are all I have left.
I have memories and a still very broken heart. I still want to go back.
Go back to life before death came to our door. Back to when
everything was still shiny and bright. Before my life, my dreams, my
hope became tarnished. I can't polish this away and I don't really want
to, because that takes away Jameson, too. And there is some relief
when the grief is this strong. That after a year, it can still bring me
to my knees and unhinge me so effortlessly. I don't ever want to be
okay with the fact that he is gone, because it will never be okay. It
is not okay that my son is dead.
And yet, I have to keep going, have to keep believing that life is good
and that my future is hopeful. I can't let Little Man or the Newbie think
that my best days are already over. I can't think that myself. But how
can anything ever be as good as it was with this tarnish on my life?
How do I reconcile this? I feel torn, as if I have to chose my old life
or my new life. But there really isn't a choice, because no matter how
badly I want it, the old life is never coming back. I can't undo what
has been done. I can't bring him back and make this right. I can't do
anything but muddle through the dark days and hope to God I'm not making
it worse for my family.
There are good days and bad days. There are days when I've got it all
together and days when I fall to pieces.