Friday, September 28, 2012

Absence of a lifetime

When a baby dies, or a young child, the loss is different I think.  Instead of looking back at a person's lifetime, you find yourself grieving a lifetime of their absence.

Those of you who are parents may know what I speak of.  The moment you found out you were expecting a child, did your mind wander to clips of what their future life would look like?  Mine did.  I'm not the mom who plans everything out for my kids, that's just not my style.  But I did have a few things that I couldn't help myself from envisioning.  And now those visions are crushed.

"It's a boy!"  When Dr. Mansour told Josh and I this, this is what I thought.
         First --  Awesome!  3 boys and 1 girl.  The Blessed Chaos just got crazier.
         Second -- My food bill is going to be out of control.
         Third -- Imagine if they all love basketball like Josh does?  They will all be huge like their father and likely comprise 3/5 starting players on their high school basketball team.  The Gray Boys...what a wonderful thing.

And now Ethan is dead, and we are back to just 2/5 starting players being a Gray.  I can see myself right now, in 13/14 years shedding a tear or two (or many) at their basketball game.  Just sitting in the bleachers, knowing that that was the day I had envisioned years ago, before it all went wrong.

Of course I miss bringing Ethan home as a baby.  I had to give away all of my baby stuff, I don't get to rock him in the middle of the night, I don't get to nurse him, to put those silly month-to-month stickers on him for the watch-me-grow pictures.

I am heartbroken that I don't get the crazy toddler stuff - would he have been a climber?  what would his first word have been?  I don't get to know these things.  I am his mom, how can I not get to see these things?

No first day of Kindergarten pictures on the front step of the home.  No awkward middle school years.  No high school prom, graduation, college decisions, career path, engagement, wedding, kids.  None of it at all.  It was all stolen away from me the moment his brain started to bleed.

I grieve my son at each stage, a lifetime that was never allowed to happen.  I'm not just grieving my baby boy you see.  I'm grieving my toddler, my Kindergartner, my teenager, my young adult.  To those in society who think I should be "getting over it" or "moving on" by now, just 4 months out -- I don't think so.  Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't think I will ever be "over it" and I sure as hell don't want to fully "move on" from Ethan.

1 comment:

  1. yup. I know just what you mean.

    If you haven't already, check out The Compassionate Friends. I have found the group to be very helpful in my grief journey