I think a lot of people look at me and think, "She's doing great! She has gotten over the tragic loss of her son. Good for her." That couldn't be further from the truth.
Yes, I've moved forward with life.
Yes, I've had 2 more beautiful children.
Yes, I smile and laugh and joke.
But inside....the hurt is still there. Very much so.
I was driving to church Sunday and listening to the Christian music station. It took me 3 years to really listen to music again; especially music that I knew could surprise me and send me into a breakdown....like contemporary Christian music. Sunday, though, I felt strong. I was ready to hear any song that would be difficult to hear. I could handle it. Then the following song came over the radio:
I'm gonna wrap my arms around my Daddy's neck
And tell him that I've missed him
Cue the breakdown.
I continued to listen to the song, which is Mercy Me's "When I Finally Make it Home." Tears streaming down my face at the picture and sounds of Heaven. All I could see was Ayden and my dad...I imagined what they are seeing...what they are hearing....the voices of the angels. I was awestruck and so, so sad. But not so much sad for our loss....sad for myself. I want to be there so, so badly. I heard a preacher once say, "If you're not homesick for Heaven, you need to get your heart right." As each day passes without Ayden and without my dad...this world becomes more and more foreign to me. For a while, after losing Ayden, I wondered why I felt so disconnected. Then, I realized it was because a piece of me was no longer in this world. It was beyond....it was "home." I just wasn't there yet.
So, 3 years, 5 months, and 15 days later....the grief still hits. This week, for some reason, has been a week of a "wave." The waves of grief don't come as often as they used to, but they still come. I expect them, and I even welcome them. Grieving has become second nature to me. Sure, the unrelenting pain has lessened. I have been able to continue with my life. However, after 3 years...it still isn't easy. It never will be. This week, I have been distant. I have conversations, but I'm not "all there." My mind drifts and lingers on memories. Tears flood my eyes as I remember his smile, his laugh, his snuggles, his sweet sighs in the middle of the night, his big hands, and his gentle demeanor. 3 years later I still tell God that I don't understand. I still say, "I wish...." and "If only..." In 30 years, I expect to still do the same.
It has been 1 year, 2 months, and 20 days since my dad passed away. I have not processed this loss well. With Ayden, I took a semester off of work. I was home alone...a lot. I was able to face grief head-on and really FEEL the loss. I went through each step of grief and really had a chance to process it all in a healthy way....and in my own way. When my dad passed, it was another unexpected loss. My life was incredibly busy...and would soon be busier with a new baby. I had not time to let it sink in...let it process. I still struggle a lot with my dad's passing. You would think that being through the loss of a child, I could handle this pretty easily...already knowing the steps. I've learned that you grieve differently for each loss you experience. Losing a child can't compare to losing a parent. The two are completely different and require different approaches. Thankfully, our church is hosting a GriefShare class. I plan to attend so I can finally have a chance to process this. I have been terribly broken over the past 3 years. I hope I can find some healing through this class.
Time doesn't ease the pain. It doesn't erase the event or the memory of it all. Time only passes, and in my case...I encourage time to pass as quickly as it wants. As time passes, I'm closer to the end and my ultimate goal. I only pray that as time passes, I do my best to raise my children in such a way that they are with me in the end so we can all be together in glory.