These days I've been doing ok...that is until I'm very not ok. I walk along minding my own business, even feeling vaguely content...and then grief snatches me into a side alley and knocks me around a bit...leaving me bruised, battered, lacking in self-confidence. I move along, limping a little, looking over my shoulder, never quite sure when the grief monster will be back.
Today, 7 months since Ezra died, is definitely one of those days. Up until last night I was feeling ok about this anniversary, taking it in stride, realizing that its just a day, just like all the other days for the past 7 months, a day I miss my son. And then I tried to do our taxes (I don't know, TurboTax, DID I have a child in the past year?) and either screwed them up royally or we owe more money than we have (at which point I concluded this is clearly a job for an accountant this year and gave up). And then like a boulder gathering speed as it roles down the mountain, the downward spiral had begun...
It's been 7 months since our lives turned to shit, since it began to feel like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Most days I do a pretty good job at reminding myself that all the other crap that life has thrown us in the past 7 months is not in any way connected to Ezra dying. The bad crap would have probably happened anyway, but we would have had more energy to tackle it if Ezra were in our arms, instead of buried in the ground. On the bad days it feels like one big universal conspiracy (even if this isn't really what I believe), and today is one of those days. By tomorrow I'll have it back in perspective again, be ready to take on the world, I'll chip away at the minor annoyances and face the bigger hurdles with optimism...afterall, I now know we can survive anything. But for today I'll wallow.
And yet we still laugh. Today on the way to brunch David and I were talking and one of us used the word "unhappiness"...which for some reason simultaneously and spontaneously launched a musical rendering of our own original song "Unhappiness", sung to the tune of the well known Charlie Brown melody 'Happiness'. Unhappiness is, your baby dying, doing your taxes, losing your job... We erupted into giggles. We have an unbelievable ability to keep each other laughing, even in the worst of times.
It's days like this where my mind wanders to the path not taken, what it would be like if we had a 7 month old in our home instead of in our hearts. We certainly wouldn't have gone out to brunch this morning, at least not to the hipster place we went, there just didn't seem to be babies there. What foods would Ezra be trying? Would I be scraping peas off the floor? Would I be back at work? How would I manage being away from Ezra during the day? A littany of painful questions...for which there are no answers. I don't let myself go down this path too frequently, the gate is closed tight, as tightly as the nursery door in our house, yet I can see vaguely what it might have looked like. I really don't want to know the details.
Yesterday I had the joy of meeting Lucy's mama Angie in real life, helping fulfill my fantasy of a social life involving only babylost parents. Oh how I wish we had met another way, that the tie that binds us was not two very loved and very missed lost babies. Angie carries with her the same energy and creativity that you might expect if you read her blog. I just wish our conversations were consumed with nap schedules and eating habits, not deep sorrow and traumatic memories.
In 4 more weeks Ezra will have been dead for longer than he was alive, I will have known the deepest sorrow imaginable for longer than I knew the deepest joy possible. I keep trying to take myself back to that time, to remember what it felt like, to know only joy, only possibility, only hope. And I gently remind myself that I wouldn't trade having felt that joy for anything, despite the despair that's followed. Trite but true...Alfred Lord Tennyson said it best:
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;'
Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
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