Thursday, December 10, 2009

december again

It's December again. Yesterday was the ninth. It has been eleven months.

I am unclear how this year has slipped away from me, how it can possibly have been eleven months since we let you go. It seems just yesterday I was cradling you in my belly by the fireplace as the snow fell outside, wondering if you were a boy or girl, counting down the days until we found out. Could have been yesterday I got the call and the world seemed to stop and I became someone entirely different.

And at the same time it seems impossible that any of it ever happened at all.

Lately I've been feeling really overwhelmed with emotion about you. That is the only way I can explain it. It isn't sadness, at least not completely. There is a softness in my heart, a gratitude, an overwhelming sense of....well, love, I guess. That sort of all-consuming, everything-at-once sort of feeling.

We have officially entered the time of year that I have simultaneously been anticipating and dreading. I am faced with that now familiar juxtaposition of missing you while also preparing for and celebrating your brother. He will be here any day now, and so will all the dates that hold significance in your story. It's hard to know how to feel. If I am sad, is that a betrayal to your brother? If I am happy, does that mean I am forgetting?

Should I forget?

Things have been different lately. There is light where there wasn't before. I am not quite as angry, as guilty, as grief-stricken. There is a buzz of excitement in the air as the world around me anticipates the arrival of your brother. Things are changing. Eleven months has made it easier to breathe, to dig and contemplate and sometimes find some semblance of gratitude for the experience we shared. But it has not made me forget.

In the middle of a nesting frenzy in which I barely stopped to breathe, I pulled out your memory box, held it in my lap, and just cried. As exciting and hopeful as these days are, there is still room to miss you. Even if only for a moment.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I have lots to say, but have been having trouble expressing my thoughts lately. I can't count the amount of times I have had words begging to be written, only to be ignored and then forgotten. With all the focus on the new baby and the impending birth, it has been hard to find the energy to visit the darker thoughts, even when I probably should. Sometimes it is so much easier not to open that proverbial box.

So that's where I am. Forgetting, but not forgetting. Missing you, but also finding peace with that, somehow.

I don't know what else to say.


AnnaMarie said...

Perhaps not forgetting but spending more thinking of something else, and a brother for Layla is a beautiful thing. And you HAVE to think about him and care for him and love him now because he is coming! Layla will always be there when you have quiet moments to spend with her memory.

I don't know if this will help you or if I can explain it yet, but I'm working on feeling happiness and such WHILE still feeling grief. I don't think the grief ever fully goes away so we have to learn to have happy lives anyway. I think (hope) the two conflicting emotions can exist together.

Much love to you during this season as you prepare to remember Layla on her birthday while preparing to give birth to your little boy.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is the 3rd Christmas I'm spending without my son, and your post really resonated with me. Although I've not been successful in having a pregnancy since, there's still the same emotions you express. It brought tears to my eyes because I understand you and feel for you, and i know those feelings, because I have them too. Peace be with you this Christmas as you prepare for your new baby and celebrate Layla with love.


Abigail W. said...

There will always be room in your heart for both your children (and any others that come along). Layla knows that her brother needs you now--she's in a place where sibling rivalry just isn't relevant.

Don't worry if your words seem inadequate--I'm pretty sure damn near all words are inadequate.

Call or write any time <3

Becky said...

I just read all of your letters and am so sorry. I know you have heard that so many times. I am fearing all of the firsts I have to experience since my son died also. I pray that you will be strong for yourself, Layla, and your son