Can grief make you superstitious? Call me crazy, but there is a toy in the toy room that will turn on randomly. It’s a fire truck that Benjamin got for Christmas from his Grandpa. I will be downstairs in the office writing, or maybe thinking about Alex, and it will go off. There’s nothing around it. I can’t explain it. It went off 4 times in the last 5 minutes, and then just now as I was typing this sentence. I like to think that it’s Alex’s way of letting me know that he’s thinking of me too.
I do believe that Alex is in Heaven. I believe that Heaven is better than life here on earth. Why can’t I be happy for him? Does that make me a selfish mother? Is it because he’s still supposed here with us? Everything we do these days is like a constant reminder of the fact that Alex isn’t here. We took Benjamin to State Fair and spent hours walking around. We couldn’t have done that with Piggy. For the first time this year there were ‘nursing stations’ scattered around the fairgrounds. No need for them now…
We went to Discovery World downtown, it’s kind of like a big aquarium. Had Piggy been there, he would have been asleep or eating. Benjamin would have gotten bored because I was always attending to his brother. Or maybe not. Maybe they would have really gotten along well by now. Benjamin could have made Alex laugh, and maybe Benjamin would have gotten to be very protective of Alex. Maybe he would want to be the only one who could wipe Alex’s mouth when he spit up. All things I’ll never know.
Things aren’t right yet. I am on the look-out for signs or reassurance or validation that things will be okay for us, that we’ll make it through this and be better/ stronger… something. Am I looking for a sign from God or from the universe, or both? I don’t know. All I know is that I am growing impatient while waiting. I don’t like just being a spectator in my own life. I like knowing what will happen. I like being able to plan what we’ll be doing next.
Even grief isn’t on a timetable. I could be better tomorrow, or I could feel like crap for five years. I hate not knowing, and having so little control around all the stuff going on around me.
When you’re pregnant, there is a finite timetable with milestones and an end date. As your baby grows, there are certain things you expect: sitting up, crawling, walking, talking… all benchmarks you can watch for as your baby gets older. We don’t have that anymore. Our lives have taken an abrupt turn, and there was an event we never could have expected.
It’s not even fun to shop anymore. As soon as I knew I was having Alex, and that he was going to be a boy, I was off! I could find my two boys matching outfits, I could buy outfits for the holidays, I could even get them shirts that would match Daddy. Now it’s sad. I look at all the tiny outfits for sale and lament that I don’t have a baby to wear them.
I used to be able to shop with zero guilt for Benjamin because I knew everything I bought him would get double use. There was even an incentive to get him the really nice stuff, because I knew it would last. Now there’s no guarantee we’ll use it again. As I pack up the clothes he outgrows, it’s possible that those outfits will never again see the light of day. At least in this family.
I’m not saying Benjamin isn’t enough. I never take the time we have with him for granted, and I cherish all the joy he has brought to our lives. It’s just that Benjamin went from our only child to our oldest child and we have a gap in lives now.
This gap, this emptiness is everywhere. It’s in the double stroller that’s half empty, it’s in the nursery now vacant. It’s in the updated insurance cards I got in the mail with only 1 dependant. I don’t know what fills this gap. If it’s another child, three children, 4 dogs or a cow… Maybe the gap slowly seals itself with time. I don’t know. So I continue to impatiently wait.
For those who haven’t yet seen pictures of my Piggy: