Well friends, it was four months ago today that we lost our sweet boy. In some ways it seems like only an instant has passed, and in other ways it seems like an eternity. One question I'm often asked is, "how are you doing?" I can't fault people for asking - it's something I'd be asking too, if the roles were reversed. It's a hard question to answer, because the answer changes mulitple times a day - sometimes multiple times an hour. The weight of grief never leaves me, however I am able to compartmentalize it from time to time if I'm distracted by a movie or a tv show or a game or what have you. In general though, I just feel... well... heavy.
It's an odd feeling, and one I've never experienced prior to November. When I move, I feel more weighted. When I exercise, it is more difficult. I can physically feel pain in joints where before there was none. Granted I have also had a small weight gain during the past four months, but I am no where near my highest adult weight, and yet at times feel as though I've surpassed it by leaps and bounds. You may have heard people use the expression that their "heart is heavy," and perhaps it's the same kind of thing, except that it has expanded to encompass my entire being.
On top of the weight, there are emotions. They come and go, generally whenever they feel like it. A few people have told me that I don't have to be strong in front of them. Somehow suggesting that I am in control of these random emotional breakdowns I have. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Triggers don't seem to give much advanced warning. Last week was especially rough for me, starting with the day I had to throw away our pumpkins. Visiting the pumpkin patch was something grandma, great-grandma, and I did with Henry every year, and I believe was the last outing the four of us had together. I had saved the pumpkins, thinking we'd carve them on October 30th. That was the morning Henry fell ill though, so the carving never happened. I didn't think much of it at the time - I figured he'd be just as happy to carve them a few days later when he was feeling better. Little did I know.
The pumpkins sat on this bench on our back porch, right where he set them, from October through the last week of February. Yes, that angel you see in the picture was there the whole time. One of many strange coincidences I've found in the past few months. So, with the weather warming a bit, the pumpkins softening, and garbage day approaching, it was time. I didn't want to do it, but I did... and then I cried. I cried long and I cried hard for about a week straight over these pumpkins, over the loss of my boy, over the senseless loss of another child in town, over milestones we'll never get to reach, over questions about the future, over the generosity of friends and family and friends we've never met. It all brought me to my knees.
As most things tend to do, it passed, and after several days I was back to my old self (which is actually my new self, all things considered). The whole experience is sad, but that is to be expected in times like these. I don't think there is any way to avoid it, and I'm not sure I want to avoid it, because I think those low times help me to cope with the loss, and to continue to look to the future.
On a lighter note, if you're a regular visitor to my blog and aren't stuck in google reader or some othe third party port, you should have noticed a major change to the way things look around here! I've spent a few days revamping my family blog. A new name (which my facebook friends should recognize from my many notes on facebook in the past four months), a new look, and a new feel overall. I'm still not entirely sure where I'm going to go with this blog, but I'm considering end of day posts on a regular basis on all sorts of topics.
Think Doogie Howser...