Sunday, November 24, 2013

Funeral anniversary

Yet another year long marker. Amazing how you can do EVERYTHING right and have everything go so absolutely wrong. Losing my perfect boy was and will remain so absolutely wrong.

I started watching a video with him in it, and there was his big beautiful smile, those eyes that were filled with silliness and curiousness, and his voice, and his laugh, and that eerie video taken THAT morning where he is wrapped in light and glowing and I want reach in and pull him out and hold him and save him. 

This year of grief has been a time of incubation of growing into this new place of being. This existence as a raw and vulnerable person. I've never had such a guarded heart. I'm excepting that the year ahead of me is going to be as hard as the year behind me, in similar ways, in different ways, in learning how to be me, in how to be mom, in learning how to shift out of survival mode and into the land of the living.

I tell new loss moms that I run into, you can't do this wrong. I keep reminding myself. I can't do this wrong. I'm afraid this feels like "moving on" but I still feel so close and connected to Bram. He doesn't feel like the little boy who left this earth though, he feels bigger, he feels like he's almost 4. I like feeling like he's actually growing up, like he should be. I just wish I could actually see it/ 

Monday, November 18, 2013

365 days

Technically today is 1 full year without Bram. A year ago yesterday, in the morning, I still had Bram. Today is the 1 year anniversary of having to wake up without him, of having to learn to live without him.

Yesterday overwhelmed. I am touched at the continued outpouring of love and support. Hubs tells me all the time I have the best friends in the world, and I really do.

I woke up to this

My yard filled with balloons for Bram. you can see up front there are 4 pictures of him, and below that there are 5 balloons saying "Bram Xavier you will never be forgtotten" it gave me joy and it touched my soul. I can't believe that people love my family this much.

Then I went to make breakfast and a knock on the door, more friends, coming to clean, and let us do whatever we wanted. We went to a park, and lit Bram's candle. My mom was with us, the boys, the hubs. We talked about where we were in those moments the year before, and how painful it was to remember, our oldest, T, sobbed. He wailed. And the baby, A, cried too. K, had the hardest time, he doesn't like to feel the pain, he doesn't like to talk about it but we held him and loved him and helped him be ok with the big feelings he had.

We came home, spoiled, and cuddled as a family, watched man of steel because Bram would have loved to. A friend delivered dinner, and we just hunkered down.

I check face book and I have 100's of notifications, and my blog has 130,000 views! And people are talking about Bram, they are lifting us up, they are spreading his ability to love fearlessly, they are hugging their babies, and they are being attentive drivers! So many people changed their profile pictures to Bram.

I wish thank you was enough, I'm really blown away and appreciate everyone who has just gone above and beyond, I had no expectations of what getting to this place would be like, what yesterday would be like, yet I'm here. I've made it through the first year of moments, I know I have decades of moments ahead, but I have a phenomenal support system, I have beautiful people in my life because of Bram. I am grateful. Thank you for making it this far with me. Thank you. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Afraid to sleep, ready to wake

Can't sleep.

I've been in this delusion that we'd get to today and when I woke up it would be that day again. That this had all been a nightmare.

I can't sleep because I know when I wake reality will crash down on me and it won't be that day, it'll be today. A year later.

Not ready...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What I've learned...

What I've learned this past year is there is no wrong way to go through your grief process. Losing a child is the most devastating thing a parent can go through, it doesn't matter how long they've been that child's parent, it doesn't matter how a parent loses a child, there is nothing as painful. And it's ok to not be ok! Grief is not weakness, the process of mourning is not weakness, the trauma that you endure following your child's death is not weakness. As a beautiful friend said to me your grief reaches the depth of your love, grief is your loved turned inside out.

I learned that not all those who come to support you are there for the right reasons, I also learned that it's ok to let go of those people. You deserve to be free of those who break you down instead of build you up even if they are family. I learned that some people aren't able to handle to weight of childloss and it's ok to let go of them too.

I learned that most people actually want to help. I learned that most people have no idea how to help and just want you to tell them what to do. Even if it's ridiculous, don't be afraid to ask. Though any loss parent can tell you the one thing they want more than anything is their child back. I learned it's ok to be helped and held by your community. I've learned it's sometimes the ones who remain silent are those who are so devastated for you they don't know what to say. I've learned that there is an invisible string that connects those who love you and support, even if they can't find the words their heart reaches for yours when you are hurting.

I learned that numbness is self preservation. I learned that running on autopilot can keep your head above the darkness long enough that you can gulp enough air to survive the next grief wave. I learned that grief waves can come out of no where, they can knock you down and drag you about all over again.

I learned that often the negative perceptions and expectations I had were me being too hard on myself. I learned that it's necessary to be kind and gentle to myself. I learned it's ok to say know. I learned that  it's not always necessary to push my own limits all the time, sometimes coasting is the perfect thing. I learned that body work was more healing for me than therapy. I learned that  it's ok to use medicine to get over the hurdles. I learned that what I see as weakness others see as strength. I learned that I've got a long road to ok-ness ahead of me.

I learned that my love is bigger than life or death as it reaches my son beyond the parameters of living. I learned that my husband is my rock. I learned that my community loves me and accepts me as imperfectly as I am. I learned that God is everywhere in all things encouraging me every step.  I learned that losing a child doesn't ruin your marriage.

I learned that even babies grieve. I learned that my boys are changed forever. I learned that my boys are beyond capable of empathy and awareness. I learned that my boys still have a long road ahead of them and they still find the strength to step forward.

I learned that I have no idea how I've made it a year. I've learned that all the moment of the last year feel like they happened in a flash. I've learned that even though this is a path that is walked alone there is still a community who understands the walk. I learned that no one will hurt like I hurt because no one else was/is Bram's mom. I learned that this will never get easier, that this pain has not gotten better or lighter, that this is a terminal pain. I learned that I will avoid sharing this with another loss mom because it is a terrifying reality.

I learned that I am safe because my community protects and supports me. I learned that I am brave because Bram taught me how. I learned that I am loved because Bram loved me and he loved his life, he lived every moment. I learned that Bram matters and that he will never be forgotten.

I learned that my life isn't without him, he's still here, and that we might just be ok, and we might actually be ok with being ok.

I can't believe...

We are days away, 5 days to be exact. I can't believe it.
I can't believe it's been 360 days since you took a breath, since you smiled, since you laughed.
I can't believe it's been 360 since I've hugged you, kissed you, tickled you, read to you, or played this little piggy.
I can't believe all the people in my life who continue to share you with the world, who continue to make the world safer.
I can't believe the people in my life who have gone out of their way to send love in anyway.
I can't believe the things I've learned
I can't believe the support.
I can't believe the year of magical thinking is coming to a close.
I can't believe it hurts just as much, if not more.
I can't believe I don't get a do over.
I can't believe that my you should be 3.5.
I can't believe you're dead and we have to keep on going.

I can't believe the world will ever be as beautiful as it was with you in it.