How fitting is it as I struggle to come up with my first post that there is a project called "Where I am today" in this little part of the web world. A wonderful idea by Angie at Still Life with Circles. I'd give you the link but haven't figured out how to do that. So type it in your address box and I'm sure you can find it.
So, where am I in my grief today? To answer that, I have to really answer where am I in my life today? Because it's interwoven. Some days I'm much better at compartmentalizing my grief, but lately I have come to realize that it cannot be separate. For who I am today is very much related to that fated day. There's a domino effect. And for today, I think I have to say that I'm just a wee bit pissed off.
Don't get me wrong, my days are certainly better than those first few months after Blake died. They were awful and excruciating and painful. But it made sense. How could I be expected to eat, shower or get dressed on a daily basis? It was "normal" to be a big heap on the floor screaming and sobbing and choking for air. Leaving a basket full of groceries in the middle of the store because I got overwhelmed when I heard a baby cry, that was okay. Crying as I passed the baby aisle in Target, okay too.
Today, I can do those things without exerting so much energy. But I believe I'm in the minority when I answer nope to the question, "Knowing the outcome, would you do it again?" The usual answer is along the lines of yes, having him for a short time is better than not at all and he taught me so much and I've become a better person, blah, blah, blah. Well, I guess I'm shallow because I don't see anything positive about my son's death. And I've learned nothing that I've cared to learn. I have knowledge now that personally I'd rather not have.
Yeah, sure, I have more compassion. But only when it comes to dying. I'm definitely less tolerant of people and I wasn't that tolerant before. Which makes for a very lonely existence.
I couldn't look in the mirror for a long time. I didn't recognize myself. In photographs within the first year, I could see that haunted look in my eyes. There were three family weddings within the first six months after Blake died. My sister's was three months after his death and I was the maid of honor. Just a couple of months ago, at a family gathering they were talking about her wedding. Her wedding was fabulous. She had a lovely affair and it was a great party for everyone involved. Except me. For me, it was excruciating. I felt as though there was a knife in my chest the entire day. As they talked, I said "It was lovely. It's a shame. I really wish I could have enjoyed it." And then I got the look and a few mumbles. And that's what I'm talking about! The scarlet letter. The elephant in the room. However you want to label it, but you know what I mean. My dear cousin tried to lighten the mood (cuz you know ... that has to be done, don't you) and said she wished she could have enjoyed it, too. And everyone chuckled. Which is hysterical because she was referring to the fact that she was 8 MONTHS PREGNANT! (And yes, he will be celebrating his living fourth birthday next month.)
Even without her humorous statement (and yes, that's sarcasm dripping) just that one scenario shows how wide the gap is. How vast the differences are in perception, experience and attitude between them and me, the dead baby mom. I don't look back on her wedding day fondly. I'm sure all 200 guests do. I look back and remember just how awful it was. How much energy it took. I'm crying now as I remember. I was the only bridesmaid who got her hair done by her own stylist instead of the one my sister hired. I was the only one who did her own makeup. I was the only one who got dressed at home instead of at the hotel. I was the only one who could barely breathe throughout the day. And right now, I'm pissed! I'm pissed that that was taken away from me.
I'm pissed that when playing a trivia game with friends last week that I knew "the Day of the Dead" is the name of the celebration in Mexico at the beginning of November. I only knew the answer because of the online support group I belong to. I would gladly lose my turn to not have that knowledge.
I'm pissed that I still falter when answering how many kids do I have. I'm pissed that it has to be such a tricky question.
For my three kids here on earth, I am grateful. I do cherish them. I'm still surprised K and S are here. But there's that wide gap again. Which is so evident when dealing with other mothers. My worries and fears concerning my children are way different than theirs.
I'm just pissed that he isn't here. That I wasn't given the chance to know him. To feed him and cuddle him and to see what kind of man he'd turn out to be. I just miss him! And my heart is still broken.
I thought it would get better as time passed. In some ways it has. It certainly is easier to function. But in other ways, I think it gets harder. In ways that are more invisible and less easier to put my finger on. I'm not sure how to fix this. Or if it can be fixed.
Today, four years and three months later .... I'm sad. I'm fragile. I'm fearful. I'm bitter. And I don't like it. It hasn't always been like this. Only in the last few months have I been feeling like this. I'm not sure what factors have a hand in this. Certainly, my mother's sudden death a year ago. Now I'm an orphan as well as a bereaved mom. The birth of my son, S, six months ago. The sleep deprivation. Me being a stay at home mom for the first time.
I know, this too shall pass. But for right now, at this moment, this is where I am in my grief. In my life.
Missing Blake always,