Things are going well for our family. Benjamin is now “4 and three-quarters” as he proudly tells anyone who will ask. Molly is just over 14 months and shrieking loudly 24/7. Things are good. The kids get along and we are reminded everyday of what a blessing children are.
Things are fine, which is why I get so confused by the clouds of sadness that randomly appear in an otherwise sunny life. I’ll be going to the grocery store, or driving into work, and I sense the darkness spreading overhead. Out of nowhere, the grayness creeps in and I can feel my heart get a little heavier. I try to shrug off the weepiness that is looming, and I try to understand where it came from.
Enough time has passed that I can look at these times with a more discerning, clinical eye. I can rationalize the event and try to identify triggers that set off the sad thoughts. Maybe it’s hearing the name Alex when I don’t expect it. Maybe it’s the time of year, or sometimes it’s just the memories of being pregnant with him… those were such special times.
Sometimes, I don’t have any answers or explanations. I am left with this heaviness in my heart, a feeling of emptiness in my arms… I know I have rationally accepted the loss, but I still wonder when the reality of missing him will go away.
Unexplained sadness. So much joy in my life, yet these pockets of unexplained sadness. Times when I revel in my two children on earth, but sigh deeply at the thought of my Alex that’s missing.
I guess it’s okay. To still be sad, to not know when I’m going to be sad, to not have an explanation for how long I’ll be sad… I just I thought I would have more of this stuff pulled together by now. I would have all these conflicting emotions compartmentalized and color coded, laminated and filed away.
I long for a time when I have fresh memories of Alex that aren’t clouded with sadness. A time when I can share stories of how special he was without the inevitable gloom that accompanies any of those happy tales. I want to carry him with me in a way that I do my other kids. I want him to be present in family pictures, sitting in the backseat of the car, singing songs on family trips.
I want something impossible. I understand that. I guess that until my hopes become reality, my heart and my mind will be at odds. I am hoping for something that can never be, and it makes my heart sad every time I realize that. I need a new perspective, a new vision for our family and a new hope for our lives.
I keep working on it. Appreciating what I have. Not fixating on what I don’t. I keep trying, and some days are better than others. There is more joy than sadness, but amidst both of those things, there are tears. But there is Hope.