There has been a lull for the past week or so, a quiet space inside my head where I can rest a little. Though I never stop missing James, some days the pain recedes enough to let me function. But for the last 3 days, the darkness has begun spreading again. It starts deep in my chest and spreads outward – a slowly creeping blackness. I see it in my head – black tendrils slowly, slowly seeping out towards my fingers and toes.
I was washing the breakfast dishes this morning and looking out into the backyard at his grave. There was such cognitive dissonance. I expected to turn around and see him in his bouncy chair, watching me with his bright eyes or snoozing. But I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I knew that he was out there, in the cold and the rain. Here, in our warm, love filled kitchen, I stood, facing out into the yard. I couldn’t look behind me. And I would’ve given almost anything in that moment for him to be with us.
Yesterday, I spoke before the newly convened bereavement committee and shared our experience with the Cuddle Cot and with home burial. I basically told our story, and thus, I had to relive it. That stark feeling of unreality flowed over me again. Did he really live? Did he really die? Did we really choose to withdraw life support? Am I really telling this story – did it really happen to us?
My heart aches endlessly. I can’t sleep, and I hate going to bed. Going to bed means that I have to wake up and get through another day. Sometimes when I think about all of the days ahead of me without James, I think there is no possible way that I can stand it. Panic starts to find its way in again.
But really – what is there to panic about? James is gone. I can’t change that. I can’t go backwards in time and make different decisions. He is gone. Perhaps I panic because he is dead, and there is nothing that I can do about it. There is absolutely nothing to be done. It is truly and utterly beyond my control.
He is gone.
A friend brought back some maternity clothes that I loaned her after James was born. They are in a bag. I could see the color of a skirt that I wore through the bag, and my heart clenched down painfully. That skirt – I bought it when I was optimistic, arrogant. My pregnancy would be fine. Nothing bad would happen to me or my baby. And now, I still have that skirt, but I don’t have my baby.
I work really hard to be positive, to be grateful for the gift of my son’s life. Today though, I just want to fling my soul out into the cosmos – screaming out, “WHY?! Why him?” I want to scream until I am hoarse and my throat weeps blood. How is my sweet, beautiful son lying in the cold, dark earth while I am here to face all the days without him?
My heart and soul are so raw and bleeding. There is no salve for this pain.