Logic

Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I tend to be a very rational thinker, almost to a fault sometimes that it can interfere or explain away raw emotion.  My therapist tells me to get out of my head and into my heart.  I approach problems very logically, which is why I am usually able to come at them without emotion.  Puzzles intrigue and excite me, because they are so based in logic, and all of the pieces fit.  It’s fun to me to figure out how to make it all work.

If I were to look at my life logically, it wouldn’t make much sense based on the norm.  I don’t know very many other people that have lost two immediate family members before the age of 34.  Maybe the percentage is larger and I just don’t know, but when I sit here and think of it, I can’t think of anyone else that I am close with.  This is what really bugged me after Bennett died.  I felt that it didn’t make sense (although it rarely does when someone young dies), because I had already suffered the loss of my mother so young.  How could this be happening again to me?  How was it even possible?

It’s rattled my way of thinking.  None of it makes sense.  Why was I back here again?  There’s nothing logical about my situation.  There’s no way to explain why my mom or Bennett had to die.  It’s mind blowing to me, the puzzle pieces don’t seem to fit or are for an entirely different puzzle altogether.  There’s just no explanation.

Because I enjoy figuring things out, I’m always questioning how things work.  When I was little my mom got me a book titled, ‘Why things are’ because I think she was tired of explaining everything and wanted me to try to form some of my own conclusions.  I enjoy researching different perspectives on issues to try to see the gray in the black and white.

Back in December, Parker and I got tickets to see Maureen Hancock, spirit medium.  I’ve always been open to the idea of a medium, yet skeptical at the same time.  There’s truly nothing logical about the whole idea of people that can communicate with the spirits, so it’s a hard concept for me to even begin to wrap my mind around.  She opened the show with a story eerily similar to ours about a family that had an 18 month old boy in Spain that was hit by the car in their driveway.  Maureen was engaging and funny and for about the first half of the show I was thinking, OK, a lot of what she was saying could be guess work or just really good observational skills.  Then she began asking specific people (no assigned seating) about specific names and I thought to myself, wow, pretty impressive.  By the end of the night I didn’t know what to think.  It went against every rational thought I had to be able to acknowledge what was happening in front of us.  She had a group of toddlers and babies come through and she did ask specifically if there was a little boy that was hit by a car.  I did raise my hand and she looked at me, but then became distracted and moved on.  Now, our names were on the tickets, so I figured that if anything was said I would doubt it.

Tonight, Tara and I went to see Maureen again in Worcester.  We bought the tickets in Tara’s name and googled to see who would come up just in case Maureen happened to contact one of her relatives.  Our story was much too public and if my name was anywhere, it was too easy for her to call me out.   I was much more relaxed this time and honestly felt that there were people in the room that probably needed the validation from their loved ones much more than I did.  I had had plenty of signs from Benny and I felt very lucky to have that.  I know that he’s with me, I’ve never doubted that.  It’s more that I doubted that someone could actually talk to him.

The night was a hilarious and emotional ride.  Skeptic or not, people left feeling good about what was going on.  Maureen had really made some crazy connections with names, dates, etc. that were truly unbelievable.  It just made you happy to know that she was putting others at ease.  The show was running late and I had honestly given up, kinda figured oh well.  She brought one mother up on stage who’s son had died when she turned to our side of the room and asked for a mother who’s son had also died.  My hand went up and she sent me to stand alongside two other grieving mothers.  It was intense and of course Maureen got distracted by someone else and didn’t make it back to us for what seemed like forever.  She walked back up to us standing up there and asked what was significant about July.  We all kind of looked at each other, not really acknowledging it when I piped in said that June/July was my due date.  Maureen instantly focused on me and asked if I was having a boy-or-a boy.  I started laughing and validated that in fact I was having a boy.  She guessed July 3rd (I hope not!!).  She said that Benny passed quickly, unexpectedly.  She said she felt that when I was walking up that there was a baby presence.  She asked if there were pictures of him with a mohawk, she felt like he sported a mohawk, to which I laughed again and told her that he in fact had a mohawk from birth to probably around 4 months.  She said that he died quickly and unexpectedly, to which I agreed.  She asked me if he sent signs as hearts to which I said no.  She then moved on to the other two moms and began talking to them.

She asked one of the moms if she wrote, to which she said no, and I said that I did, that I blogged.  She looked at me, stopped for a moment and walked back over.  She asked if there were questions surrounding Benny’s death to which I said yes and no because of course I will always question myself.  She told me to stop worrying about it happening again with the new baby and stop worrying that something will happen.  She said that Benny wanted me to know that he understood it was an accident, that I shouldn’t feel guilty.  She asked off mic if he had been killed by impact to which I nodded.  She said that he knew it wasn’t my fault and I needed to let it go.  She said that Benny was with me always and he was an old soul.  She impressed by how he was able to verbalize so well for a toddler.  I can’t even begin to describe the emotions of these moments and how validating they were for me.  There’s no way that she or anyone will ever know how much I blame myself, even though logically (there’s that word again) I know that there was little I could do.

She started to address us mothers again and asked who had initials EL, who was named Evelyn.  Before I could say anything, a woman in the front row said it was her mom and we had moved on.  I instantly though of Evie, but was still so raw from the aforementioned conversation that I quickly dismissed it.  We all hugged Maureen and took our seats.  When I sat down Tara looked at me and said, ‘EL, Evelyn Louise, the hearts, Benny’s looking out for Evie!’  We’re waiting right now to find out if Evie is having heart surgery in the coming months.  We just made sense of the one thing that Maureen said that didn’t click.

Tara and I got to talk to Maureen briefly after the show and she said to me that I looked familiar and I told her how we were at the show back in December and how Benny had come through briefly, but that was it.  Maureen asked how he passed and before I could finish she burst out with ‘I knew it!’  She said that there was a little boy in her driveway this morning that said he would see her mom tonight.  Maureen thought it was the little boy from Spain, and he had told her no, he was someone else and he wanted to see his mom.

Logic, it’s a funny thing.  It certainly doesn’t fit here at all.  I don’t know what I feel right now besides very peaceful.  There was no way that Maureen could have known any of that information with the amount of details that she had.  There’s no way at all.  Believe it, or not, it was healing for me.  So maybe screw logic and reason.  This is what makes sense:  Nothing at all.

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Year Two Reflections – Work

After the accident, I was fortunate to have a very compassionate and understanding boss and co-workers.  They truly did everything in their power to help us out.  They showed up ‘en mass’ and brought us food, brought Darcy a ridiculous amount of presents and just supported us in so many ways.  They donated vacation time so that I could continue to get paid while we figured out my disability and what my options are.  My boss became my friend, never pressuring me to return and always willing to talk to me as a friend first and then as my boss.  They continue to be a presence in our lives.  I honestly don’t know what we would have done without these people.

About a month ago, I finally left work.  I’ve been having nightmares about it for months.  It was plaguing me.  With not driving so far, there was no way that I could even imagine commuting to Boston every day again.  It killed me.  I was one of those people that really loved her job. I loved the feeling of control.  Now I’m stuck between feeling proud of walking away and sad.  Another decision I wanted no part of.

I’m no longer the bread winner.  In some ways that’s a nice feeling because the pressure is off and it means that Parker is really able to make a living at something that he loves and is passionate about.  I’m so proud of all that he has done and how he has really stepped up.  He has taken on more of a role of ‘the boss’ and has less time to really focus on his own work, because he is constantly helping his employees.  He’s surprisingly enjoying himself and maybe it was time.  I’ve always been involved in the business, but with him so busy, it has taken on a new role.  I’m happy to help out accounting, marketing, HR, etc. that he needs.  It has also brought back to me a sense of control over something.  In the last few months I’ve gotten into a new groove of working from home daily and trying to keep up with the administrative tasks involved in the business.  It works for us because Parker and I actually enjoy working together and make a really good team.  It probably also helps that I work from home and we both have our own separate responsibilities.

We went on a ski trip with my co-workers about a few weeks ago.  This is a yearly trip that my company pulls together and is great little family vacation for us.  We went last year and it was tough, but I was still in such a fog.  I think this year was harder because I no longer am part of the company.  It’s weird to sit there and not be able to talk about projects or clients, to not even know some of the new staff.  I had a very uncomfortable start to the day.  I realized that this is now the ‘after me.’  The person that no longer works for DPM.  When I’m working with Parker, I’m completely content, but then throw back in with my co-workers and I’m sad, I miss it.  It’s another reminder of all that we have lost.  Another part that I have lost of myself.  Damn you Year Two!

My Thoughts on Year Two

I spent a lot of late nights last year looking for ‘others,’ other moms and dads that were in the same crappy situation as myself.  I wanted to understand what we were in for, I wanted to understand how they handled it, I think that i just wanted to understand something.

I very quickly noticed a pattern in those that were further along, year two was harder.  I started going to grief meetings and I was being told the same thing, watch out for year two.  I couldn’t fathom it.  How could it possibly be worse than those first few seconds after Benny was hit?  How could it be worse than when we had to tell Darcy that her brother was dead?  How could it be worse than it was holding him for the last time???

November 8th, 2014 came and went.  We got away to the Cape, I couldn’t be in this house, where it happened.  Against all odds, we had a very nice family vacation.  We went to the beach and wrote Bennett’s name in the sand as the kids ran around, not fully comprehending what the adults were feeling.  We visited the cemetery briefly as it was biting cold that morning and windy on top of the hill where he now lies.  Several amazing people sent us beautiful tokens for Benny in the mail.

That weekend I felt contentment.  The anxiety of the date came in advance and we dealt with it, but November 8th, 2014 wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I’m sure that the little guy in my belly is a huge part of that, the ability to look forward and hold onto some hope for my future family.

The other side of November 8th, 2014 has been different.  It’s as if a line has been drawn in the sand and it’s now ‘time to move on.’  I couldn’t feel more different from that, but it’s the feeling that I get from others.  All of a sudden I was expected to make decisions again and start moving forward.

People stopped talking about Benny, they had moved on.  It was a subtle cue that I was to do the same.  Yes, we still have an amazing support system, it had just gotten much smaller.  People stopped asking how we were.  The expectation was that we had moved forward, especially because of the new baby.  For me, it felt like he foreshadowed Benny’s death, that now everything was OK, because we were having another boy.  I don’t think anyone meant it to come off that way, it just has.

One of my close friends said it the best when she said to me that we had time off to grieve, we had therapists to talk to.  They had to go back to work the next day, bring their kids to school and daycare, make dinner and lunches.  They didn’t get the time to grieve that we did.  They didn’t get the chance to wrap their heads around any of it, so they moved on, because that’s what they had to do to survive.

I can understand it, I truly can.  I just don’t want to.  I want the world to stop turning for everyone else, because it did for us.  If that’s selfish of me, so be it.  I still cannot give a free pass to those that have disappeared or expected us to move on.  A year is not long enough to grieve a child, period.

After a year of shock and numbness, you awaken to see that everyone expects you pick up and move on.  They want you back the way you were, which will never truly happen.  You all of a sudden have to make some large, life changing decisions that you have been avoiding over the past year.  The biggest decision, is who are you going to be now, how will this child’s death affect your life?  How on Earth are you supposed to move forward?  And how do you do it when you feel like the world is judging you for still grieving the child that you’ve lost?

Yeah, maybe year two is harder.