A little delayed…
I cannot believe that you would have been 7 years old last May. I still picture you as a chubby and adventurous toddler. I’m at a loss at how to wrap my head around who you would be as a 7 year old.
I think of all of the first rights of passage that you have missed at this age. First day of school, first best friend, to name a few. It makes me so sad to think of all that you have been robbed of.
Every once in awhile I see a boy your age and I pause. I try very hard to see you, who you would be. It’s hard. There was a boy at the playground your age with your name right after your birthday. But I’m sure you already knew that.
If you were still here, you’d be enjoying your summer break and gearing up to enter second grade. That seems impossible to me. You’d probably play all kinds of sports and we wouldn’t know what to do with your fearlessness. My anxiety kicks into high gear just thinking about it.
It’s tough to watch your siblings grow and mature and only have those 18 months of memories with you. My mind cannot sometimes understand why that is. These 5 and a half years have really messed with my natural perspective on time.
It’s been rough. It’s hard to think of what it would be like because so much has changed. I have changed. When you died you took a piece of me with you and that’s ok. I wouldn’t want to be the same. I couldn’t be.
Keep sending those signs buddy and keep looking out for us. We need your love and guidance every day. Love you forever.
Do things ever seem like they’re going so great, so you forget to let yourself grieve? I mean, we can’t forget to grieve, we’ve lost a piece of our selves. But do you ever not let yourself grieve?
I’ve started about 5 blog posts and written down a few more and just can’t get myself to finish them. I cannot make myself sit down and write them. It’s super frustrating. I cannot let myself go there right now. And I’m not even sure why.
Maybe I’m scared if I do, it will negate what’s going right in my life. And then I feel guilty if I’m not confronting my grief, because what kind of mom does that make me? There’s so much damn guilt in grief.
I remember being upset in the beginning of this journey for feeling happy. It just felt wrong. Happiness felt out of place in this new normal. Now I feel guilty for not allowing myself more time to confront the sadness. And there’s so much. Even after 5 years there’s so much more sadness. Especially in the month of May.
I’ve spent more of my life dealing with loss than not. And I still cannot figure this shit out. I am exhausted.
So my fellow grievers, none of this makes sense. There are no stages or steps to grief, just a person trying to survive the unthinkable any way that they can. And that’s ok.
I’m not a huge fan of calling someone grieving ‘strong’, because what choice did we have? But this post left me feeling empowered. Maybe anything is possible.
The Strongest Girls
My article on joining a grief group has been picked up by The Mighty. Check it out!
This was the day I was dreading. They say it’s every parents nightmare when they have lost a child, that people will forget.
It’s been five years and they have moved on with their lives. I don’t want to say that we have too, we are learning to grow through our grief. Every day is different.
They were there. They saw us. They were with us. They grieved alongside us. But somehow they forgot him. Somehow they forgot what this did to us as a family.
I know that this is about their character, but it still hurts. It hurts to have to explain ourselves. It hurts that they are so far removed now that they just don’t get it. It hurts that they forgot.
I will never forget him. His dimpled smile is etched in my brain. The feel of him in my arms is locked safely within my heart. For me, he will never go away.
I read this last night and it was probably the BEST description of grief that I have ever read. It is beautifully written, would love to see it as a Children’s Book with pictures.
Living With Grief
So I was scrolling through the Facebook tonight and reading about a celebrity who had a mishap and their child was hurt as a result. I was impressed said celebrity kept it real and was willing to share that accidents happen. I was scrolling through the comments because let’s face it, the content there is usually better than the story. Then I ran into this little gem.
If you can’t tell, I’m feeling a little unsettled and snarky about this comment. On one hand I get that it’s a joke and said in jest. It was not said towards me or anyone in particular. Hell, I would have said something similar six years ago. Before I knew.
It turns my stomach a bit that she’s repeating what her doctor told her. What an awful thing for anyone that practices medicine to ever say. How absolutely horrified would I be if those words were spoken to me? The implication in them is that if your child isn’t still alive, than you as the parent are to blame.
It’s not funny anymore and I’m horrified that I ever joked in such a manner. Unfortunately we joke about it because we think it can never happen to us, it’s a way of distancing ourselves from that reality that death can happen. To anyone. At anytime. Even our children.
Know better, do better. That’s all that I can do.