I’ve been gone a long time. Caleb’s Alive In Me Foundation had a Superhero Back to School Family Fun Night on August 29th. It was so much work and I had no brain space for blogging. I had plenty of thoughts, but no way were they going to travel out my fingertips into anything readable. Then, it was back to school…for all five of them this time.
I’ve been a mess. There’s no two ways about it. There is no script for this. My living baby is in kindergarten. I can’t believe that’s something I type. I have a living baby and a dead one. That makes me want to scream.
There are days where no amount of will power within me can bring me to do what my brain is telling me I should. I get up before the herd, typically between 6:00 and 6:30AM. Considering that I’m not getting to sleep until 2-3AM, I’m calling this a very big win. I make them breakfast, pack their lunches, do hair, remind them to brush their teeth, get A to jr. high on time and then the other 4, along with 2 friends, off to elementary. I kept busy everyday last week as I prepped for the fundraiser. Saturday went well and everything ran smoothly. We had a blast and the kindness and support shown by those who attended was so very much appreciated. We really are trying to stay in the light.
Here’s where it gets tricky. The hubs got a job transfer/promotion to another location, two hours away. There wasn’t time to move before school started and, seeing how we’ve been here ten years and been through the fiery pits of hell, we didn’t want to move the kids a few weeks into school. So, he’s there during the week and I’m here with the kiddos until at least Christmas break.
I got them off this last Monday, with no fundraiser to distract me, came home, cried, functioned a bit, slept, slept some more, functioned a bit more, and then pulled it together for school dismissal.
Repeat for Tuesday.
Today was full of appointments and early dismissal. I fell asleep twice this afternoon, but got it all done and have kept them happy and fed. In short, I feel like a mess. Like I’m regressing. It’s driving me nuts.
See, the thing is, I miss my lovie more than I have words to say or feels to feel. And my house is so empty and so quiet. I’m perfectly, physically capable of doing the pre-move purge after 10 years here (it sooo needs to happen), but I’m so mentally and emotionally drained I get stuck in stupid cycles. It frustrates me. If I try too hard to push things aside so I can function, I get smacked with thoughts and memories that often leave me feeling guilty that I went an entire morning without really thinking of his absence. A puddle of tears and burning heaven hole later and I just want to curl up for the rest of the day. If I give way to my grief, I’m left feeling guilty that I’m doing a disservice to the hubs and herd by not accomplishing as much as I’m physically able to do. Then, there’s trying to sleep and the nightmares are back. The stuff that horror movies are made of. The kind that you wake up and, for a moment, you still see the dream until your conscious takes over.
I know I’ll work through this, just like before. Grief is a game of chutes and ladders. Random spins happen throughout the day and I just never know what kind of square I’ll land on.
These daily and nightly struggles are the scars we carry after the death of a child. I know it’s scary to others. I know these scars can be off putting, uncomfortable, awkward, and you don’t know what to say or do. Whether we want to admit it or not, we will likely all know someone who experiences the death of a child. Heaven forbid it be first-hand. Wound care after this is not something that can be done on our own. Everyone has that spot that’s hard to reach, the place we can’t put scar cream on ourselves. Please, don’t be afraid to reach out and be the hand who soothes the scars of another. We aren’t contagious. We need support, love, kindness, understanding, assertiveness, commitment, dedication, presence, and we’ll give it all right back. Please, don’t leave the aching person in your life to lick their own wounds. Because, at the end of the day, we all have that spot that we can’t reach ourselves.