The countdown to his birthday. Today is 10 days out. Does that sound absolutely insane to you too? Or is it just me?
Whenever people count down to things, ten is when it starts getting intense. (Think: New Years/space shuttle liftoffs/etc).
The roller coaster of grief - you know the one I'm trapped on with no way off - has been really speeding up. Lots of new twists and turns, ups and downs.
Just like every other month, I can feel his birthday coming. My brain starts scanning for ways out of it, my heart starts looking for Samuel again and my soul starts undoing the treads that have been holding it together.
The "whys" and "should haves" pop up out of thin air once again to be left unanswered.
It feels like something really big is about to happen. Not good, not bad...Big. Eventful. Momentous.
But what will it be? Nothing can change. He can't come back. He isn't coming back. If anyone on this earth knows that fact, it's me. He's gone.
So why do I feel such anxiety? What do I think is going to happen?
Maybe it's because so many people reference a year in relation to healing from grief. "Give them a year" and all that. Maybe it's because I can already tell that some people are trying to pull us back into a world we no longer feel apart of. Maybe it's because, somewhere inside me, I think I should only get a year too.
Maybe it's because I know that I have no choice. I can't die, I can't run, I can't pretend it didn't happen; there is no exit to this. I have to figure out how to live without him.
How do I move forward? How do I start over without really starting over? It's like the most nightmarish version of the game "Sorry" ever. Right back to start with nothing to show for all my work and time. If we want to raise children, I have to start over from the begining. But instead of it being a fun and exciting thing, it will be a stressful and anxiety filled time of remembering trauma and begging a God I no longer understand to please, just let us keep this one.
I think sometimes people don't really understand just how horrible his labor was. Just how traumatizing it was for me. Just how agonizing it was.
To go back and do it again...I'm not sure I can try.
The other day, I read back through his birth story. I cried for me. For the first time, I stepped outside of it and looked from the outside. How on earth did this woman live through all that? A never-ending labor and then surgery and then her baby taken away before she could even hold him? This poor woman!!
Oh, wait, it was me.
I read through it and I can feel the memories of it all. I can feel the desperation after a few days. I can feel the agony. This is never going to end, ever. I can feel that. All the hospital visits, all the needles, all the " you're not actually in labor" comments while I breathed through a "non-contraction". All the, "he's just going to die anyways so we're not going to intervene" comments, and yet, still, a c-section. And, after the long hard road of months and months of "is he alive today" moments and "nothing has changed" and "we just know God is going to heal him" comments, I did it all and didn't even get to be with him. That's the one thing people who carry to term with a fatal diagnosis get: to spend time. For some unknown reason, I didn't get that either.
I don't even know what he smells like. Do you know what that does to a person?
So here we are, ten days out. Ten days from what should have been, ten days out from what was. Ten days out from the start of missing out on his first year as a toddler. Steps, words, learning, growing, smiles, cuddles, tantrums, etc, etc, etc. Ten days from the day people will assume we're done. Ten days out from everything and nothing all at once.
How on earth has it been a year?
I sure do miss this guy.