It’s been over 4 months. We are still breathing, we are smiling and we are laughing. Most of all we are hopeful. But this month, things have been dark, really dark.
My thoughts have included everything from ‘what’s my purpose’ to ‘why me’, to ‘ill do anything to hold him one more time’ and I mean anything. This month is my due date.
The moment we found out our due date, we started to plan. Our due date lands a few days before the first game of the football season. I expected to spend football season exhausted, in love and fussing over a chubby little baby.
August 29th is going to be hard. Not entirely sure what I will be doing on that day but I have taken the day off of work in preparation that I may just lose all control of emotions. I have been relatively positive in my plight to share our journey. But I don’t feel like being positive about this day.
I’ve heard everything from: you should volunteer on that day; drink wine with me; it’s just a date, you got this; you have been so strong, you can do this. But no, honestly. I can’t. I know I am already walking into with a negative mindset but this is the hardest milestone in this grief process.
Memories Help Milestones
When I unexpectedly lost Papa last year, that was the hardest thing I had gone through. But with each big milestone after, (birthday, first holiday, death anniversary) I found myself at peace. And I think a big reason why these milestones weren’t as hard as I expected was because I had 32 years of wonderful memories I could retreat to.
With James, I had 18 short weeks of memories that included mostly of me talking to my fat stomach. Memories of hugging the toilet and realizing that I will never be able to eat another damn sweet potato again. And oh my god, I am literally gagging typing that word out.
The first time we heard his heart beat. The first gift a friend sent us, a Texas onesie. The time my husband snuck a flask into the zoo and proudly announced to anyone that would listen ‘my wife is pregnant’! Building our baby registry and picking out unisex items because we refused to find out the sex until delivery. Just wish I knew we would only have to wait 2 more weeks to find out that we had son.
This big scary, impending due date only has a handful of memories to get me through. Not 32 years worth of photos, laughs and anecdotes. Instead I will be gripping on to the 5 photos of my tiny son, the few memories and a little choo choo train with his ashes.
I am scared. My heart literally aches. I’m angry and jealous. I look at Facebook posts of women with perfect baby bumps beaming and boasting “#32 weeks” and I can’t help mutter under my breath,”lucky bitch.”
My due date represents what could have been. What was going to be. My big life change. The best day of our life. The day the world stopped for us. My greatest accomplishment.
Grief Comes In Waves
The thing with waves, you never know when they will come, where they come from or how big the wave might be. Anything can trigger this wave: a song, a commercial, a walk through Target or a due date.
And when that wave arrives, you drown. You can’t breathe. It’s dark. You are alone. The wave takes you under, pulls you so far down that you began to panic. I’ve learned the harder I fight this wave the more violent it becomes. So I let it pull me down, I let my lungs fill up with pain. I shut my eyes and let it take me. Eventually the wave will let up and I’ll breathe again.
And just when you think you will never come up for air, the wave ebbs back and returns to it’s mystery water cave. And after sobbing on the floor for a solid hour, your dog licks your face, your husband picks you up. The warmth begins to creep back in and your face, numb and swollen, gains color again.
You go back to cooking dinner and talking about your day. And for the rest of the evening you are fragile; movements are a little slower, words are more meaningful and softer, you are more aware of your heart. And as if your ears suddenly can hear again, mindless talk becomes comforting.
You live until the next wave and I choose not brace for impact. I know I will come out of that wave, but it’s the moments that I am inside that wave that are absolutely excruciating and I am afraid of that pain.
I am expecting a tidal wave on August 29th.