So, where am I?
Damn good question, I feel like I've been asking myself that a lot the past few weeks.
In the full existential sense of the question. Where am I? Where has the "me" that I used to recognize gone?
I am wordless, most days. I don't blog nearly as much as I did in the early days. I feel like everything would be redundant right now. I miss Otis. I can't believe he's dead. And yet, I can. I do. This knowledge does feel somehow more integrated than it used to, that's for sure.
I don't cry every day. I cry maybe once a week. And even then, it's usually not big, sobbing, wailing cries. Sometimes I miss those. These cries sneak up on me, out of nowhere, and bubble out. A song on the radio, a pass by his dresser and a glimpse of his photo...they can still get me. They show up, they pass. Life goes on. Or it doesn't.
I was talking with my therapist the other day, and mentioning how my grief seems to have shifted. In the "early days" (note: I still very much feel I am in the early days, but I'm talking early-early days, maybe the first four months...) I felt like I was in a horror movie. Running from a masked killer, who was chasing me down. I was breathless, terrorized, frantic. Afraid to stop running for fear my grief would consume me, swallow me whole...
Now though, it feels less frantic. My grief pops up and it's like, "oh, hello. there you are. was wondering when you were going to show up again." Without fully even grasping the imagery, I shared with my therapist that my grief now sort of feels like a baby that I carry with me... Baby starts to cry, I pick the baby up, hold it, love on it, acknowledge it, cry with it sometimes....It's something that lives with me, that is always there, sometimes it needs to be loud and bossy and other times it's just *there.* I don't run from it anymore.
My boy brings me joy in ways I never would have imagined. I appreciate the delicate opening of a flower in a different way. I blow almost every dandelion that I come across, making wishes and sending the seeds out to my boy, while at the same time thanking him for showing up at that moment. The fragility of my heart makes me gasp and cry way more often than it did pre-September 12, 2010; but I don't recoil from that truth, I appreciate it.
But that's a little more, I don't know, global perspective, big broad brush stroke perspective, than the nitty gritty ugly details. What about right now? Right at this moment...I still feel very lost. Angry. I can't be around others' babies, I don't want to hear about children and families. I get indignant a lot, and find myself to be a lot more self-righteous than I'd like to be. I am not good with social commitments. I am working again, masquerading as a "normal person" a lot of the time, but there's so much under the surface still. I worry about friends, family, loved ones and pets dying pretty much all the time. I wake up several times a night to make sure my dogs are still breathing. I can't watch small children eating because I see them choking. My husband got some kinda scary bloodwork results back yesterday and within seconds I had planned his entire funeral. Fear and anxiety have made themselves part of my everyday patchwork in new and vivid ways. I am spacy and take a lot of comfort in brainless TV or movies. I've only read a few non-babyloss-related books since Otis died and even then my attention span wanes considerably. I just don't care about a lot. This is sometimes good - some things roll off my back in ways they wouldn't have 9 months ago. But my friendships are suffering, and I am not always comfortable just "not caring." I hear people complain about something and often it's like this endless refrain in my head, "Oh yeah? My baby died." And then I feel guilty. And sad. Meh.
I am also pregnant again. Almost 20 weeks now. Theoretically "halfway," though I don't trust that this pregnancy will go to term and I also don't know what exactly I am "halfway" to. Death? Perhaps. Birth? Seems unfathomable. I love this baby already so much, but so differently than I remember loving Otis during my pregnancy with him. There are moments of joy and hope, don't get me wrong, but there have also been so many moments of terror, of anxiety, of desperate loneliness and longing. I can't imagine parenting a living child. I don't know how I will. I worry that this child will always live in Otis's shadow. That I could never love this child anywhere near the amount that I love Otis. Please don't try to convince me otherwise, logic and reason just don't apply here.
If there's one thing I can trust these days, it's that life is fluid and changes, unpredictably, all the time. Sometimes the surprises bring a light into my eyes and a smile into my heart. Other times, the surprises cause the floor to fall out and leave me panicked and shaky. My hands hurt from "white knuckling" sometimes; gripping onto this imaginary something so hard as if it could somehow control my life, control the future. Other times I walk through the world and realize I have never seen colors so bright, smelled flowers so fragrant, felt love so true, and I know I have my son to thank.
Thank you, Otis.
I love you so much. I miss you so much. As high as the sky, as deep as the ocean, forever and ever and ever.