Darkness

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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.

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6 thoughts on “Darkness

  1. I know it probably doesn’t make the pain any less, but thank you for continuing to share your story and James’ story. Know that we are still here listening, hearing you, caring about you, James and his life.

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  2. Thank you. Thank you for being real. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for loving and for sharing your sweet James with us. I too have been feeling the blackness seeping in. We just passed the 4 month mark since our little warrior Lachlan passed. Once again a reminder of the day my life changed forever and how I will never be the same. Hugs to you.

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    1. And thank you for reading. I am so sorry that Lachlan died. There are no words that can salve the pain, but we are not alone. I don’t know if that’s just cold comfort or true comfort.

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  3. Thinking of you and praying for you. My heart aches deeply as well. I have the same struggles and same questions. It’s so hard to wrap my head around it. So hard to believe my precious boy is gone. Tomorrow will be seven months since he left us. I miss him more and more each day. Some days are incredibly difficult. I am thankful some allow me to breathe and function like you said. It is the nature of grief. Continue to share your heart. It helps you and others. Sending hugs and lots of love.

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