It continues to blow my mind at how quickly and how hard grief can slap you in the face, cause you to become paralyzed in the reality of how terrible this all really is. How the force of your own cries can leave you gasping for a breath of air. And it happens just.like.that.
Because you have to carry on each day. You have to survive in society. You have to put on a smile at work. Even when the smiles are real, they are never the same as they were before this was your life. Ever. I’m convinced that your mind, your body, your soul can only bare so much disparity before they all shut down-leaving you in a fog of ‘normalcy’ for a little while. Perhaps a few hours, a few days and even my most recent victory, a few weeks. These are the times of “sunshine in the rain” that grieving parents have to hold onto, embrace and not feel guilty about. Because the truth is, just around the corner-at any given moment-no notice required-the reality comes rushing back and you get slapped in the face, hard. The tears come pouring out and the ache in your chest-otherwise known as a broken heart-are all too familiar again and the clouds come back, the thunder comes roaring overhead and the sunshine is gone. But it will come again, when it’s too much to bare. And my hope is that it doesn’t take as long each and every time for the clouds to clear.
You know what else is mind blowing? When that slap in the face arrives, it feels like day one all over again. The depth of this pain doesn’t ease up. When it’s your time to feel, it’s really your time to feel. All.over.again. Images flash through your mind with no conscience effort. Sometimes it’s his feet. Sometimes it’s the thought of lotioning up my large belly. Sometimes it’s that moment. The moment in which my world literally came crashing down. I can see the look in my midwife’s face. She didn’t have to say anything. I knew. I can hear the silence in the room after I gave birth. Only the deafening sounds of our sobs. Sometimes it’s the image of watching the ink write the letters of my name as I sign his death certificate, his cremation paperwork-all while he is still in my belly. I can still feel the weight of the pen in my hand. Images come flooding.
And just when I think we haven’t gotten anywhere, that we haven’t healed at all, I think again. I think that my husband is no longer spending all of his waking hours in the garage, building things. Anything. I think about how I’ve stopped the google search for answers. For anything. We are laughing again and it feels good. We haven’t stopped crying but at least we are laughing. That alone is such a victory.
And all the while, we’ve never stopped holding hands. We’ve never stopped clinging to one another. We’ve never stopped embracing the love we have for each other. We are doing this. Somehow, we are doing this. And I don’t really know how, it’s just sort of happening. But we are letting it happen. We are letting ourselves heal-even though we know that healing will be a life long journey
There’s is no finish line to grief. Not when it’s your child. The important thing is that we continue to run, to keep our pace in the marathon and never give up, even when giving up seems so tempting.
Maybe that’s how we are doing this. Maybe that’s how it’s happening.
By keeping our pace in a never ending race.