Monday, May 30, 2011

Right Where I Am: Two years, nine months, and 1 day

The car stops and I pop out and open the door to the backseat where a little boy grins back at me from his carseat. 'Ready to go to a new playground?' He squeals and grins and literally bounces into my arms. 'Someone's excited about a new playground,' comments David. We walk the block toward Franklin Square park as Micah continues to squeal and point at the park coming into view. And my mind drifts....'this is all we ever wanted in the first place, just to be a family and do simple family things.' And my mind answers itself: "why did it have to be such a difficult road to get here?"
This is where I am right now. Happy raising my living child. The rainbow baby who came after. Content even.
And yet the grief is still there.
What it is to be inside my head these days is an ongoing dialogue between the light and the dark, the joy and the sadness. Invisible to almost all around me, I parent my dead son right along side the living one. I experience the world through my living child's eyes, and still wonder why my dead son didn't live to experience the world. I take joy in the simplest moments, a snuggle, a sloppy kiss, reading a book (even if its for the tenth time in a row)...and sometimes end up with tears in my eyes for the boy who never got to read the book once, who never gave me a wet sloppy kiss, who never learned to hug.
Grief doesn't overwhelm anymore. Its just a presence, an old friend who comes and goes, we can easily pick up where we left off. It doesn't prevent me from enjoying the world anymore - if anything it makes me appreciate the tiniest moments of joy all the more.
But it also underscores the impermanence of it all. I worried when I was pregnant with Micah that if he lived I would be an overly cautious parent - one who wouldn't let him out of my sight, who would be too scared to allow him to take risks. In many ways, the opposite has been true - I don't sweat the small stuff, so his cries from a bump on the head or scraped knee are ok - I know he'll survive and be just fine. But when he has a high fever or attempts to dart away from me near the street, my mind can't help but wander...what if this were it, how quickly he could be taken from me.
To my non-babylost friends these thoughts must sound so morose, so wrong in a way. But I haven't blogged in nearly a year for a reason...the grief is no longer at the forefront, these thoughts are no longer what drive my being. They are present daily but so is love and joy. What Ezra taught me is to love and mean it, to find joy and inhabit it. This is how I have come to live my days since he left.

17 comments:

still life angie said...

What Ezra taught me is to love and mean it, to find joy and inhabit it. This is how I have come to live my days since he left.

This sentiment really is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing right where you are. Love and miss you. xo

DAL said...

Indeed, grief is the friend who comes and goes. That friend really never goes away, tends to visit when you least expect it, like when you hear a particular song. Sometimes the friend comes when you most expect it, such as Father's or Mother's Day. Sometimes, frankly, we get too busy to grieve. But that occasional visit reminds us about what is important in life.

Ya Chun said...

sweet and beautiful

Hope's Mama said...

Dear friend, I'm so glad you came out of blogging retirement for this lovely and honest post.
I was going to comment on the same line Angie did. So perfectly put.
I remember a distinct feeling, about 12 months ago now, when I first took Angus to rhyme time at our local library. And I thought to myself the same as you did - this is all I ever wanted. I'm so glad I'm here now, with you, in this parenting after loss life, but I still can't believe the price we had to pay to get here.
I miss Hope. I miss Ezra. Despite it all, I'm glad to have you.
xo

Monique said...

Oh, Sarah - so true and beautiful. I don't know why it was so hard for us to get here, where we are now, but there you go. Grateful is a word I use a lot lately. Sending you much love.

erica said...

It's so good to read your words again.

What it is to be inside my head these days is an ongoing dialogue between the light and the dark, the joy and the sadness. Invisible to almost all around me, I parent my dead son right along side the living one.

Yes. You write so well about the coexistence of grief and happiness.

Sending love to you, Ezra, Micah, and David.

Sophie said...

I feel the same way Sarah. Thanks for your beautiful post. xx

Aliza said...

Your post brought me to tears Sarah.
Yes, this is all I wanted as well. the kisses and and cuddles with my living son, i cherich each one. and the deep sadness for the one who never got to be. So much we missed.

Thinking of Ezra and lev and so grateful for their little brothers.

Sara said...

Sarah, I've missed you!
This is beautiful. More love and joy to you.

Paige said...

If we had to join this club, I'm glad we found each other. Raising our seconds and remembering our firsts, together, has made this journey infinitely better. Love to Ezra and Micah and their amazing mama.

Unknown said...

Beautiful post Sarah. It feel good to read your words again. I plan to learn from all of you mama's who have had your rainbow babies. Parenting a dead child alongside a live one is not a concept too many know much about. lots of love. xo

Catherine W said...

I take joy in the simplest moments, a snuggle, a sloppy kiss, reading a book (even if its for the tenth time in a row)...and sometimes end up with tears in my eyes for the boy who never got to read the book once, who never gave me a wet sloppy kiss, who never learned to hug.

I do this all the time. I can't help myself. And yes, I also still question why one of my children did not live to experience this world. I don't think I will ever truly understand why that should be.

Beautiful post. Remembering your dear son, Ezra. xo

Fireflyforever said...

I'm so glad that you decided to participate in this project - I always loved your writing and your perspective on all of this. This was very nourishing post. I have the onging internal dialogue too and I really hadn't realised how much parenting I would still do after Emma's death.

Unknown said...

I'm glad that you joined in with everyone in writing this post. I really loved what you wrote and could def agree with you on many things.

Funsize said...

I'm still going through all these Right Where I Am entries. What a beautiful post. Like you, I'm always balancing the joy of seeing my hopes and dreams come to fruition with Cooper, but grieving that I never get to see it with Collin.

Thank you so much for posting.

xo

Givingmyselfpermission said...

Thank you, Sarah, for recently mentioning your blog to me so that I could check it out myself. You and Ezra have been on my mind a lot lately - during Yizkor services for the end of Pesach at Mishkan Shaom Friday, and twice today. This afternoon during the Mishkan Library Committee's discussion of our "One Book" (Milton Steinberg's As a Driven Leaf, the subject of parents' grief when their child(ren) has (have) died came up because it is touched on in the novel. Then, when I came home & checked my e-mail, I read a Caring Bridge journal entry by bereaved parents with whom I worked when I was a chaplain intern. Reading that brought to mind other bereaved families I know, including yours, of course.

The wisdom that you share is so beautifully expressed. To me, it is one manifestation of the way you are ensuring that Ezra Malik's memory remains a blessing in your life5 and David's. I wish you strength as you continue putting one foot in front of the other to balance on the "narrow bridge" of this world. (I love that image from Reb Nachman of Bratslov.)

Natalie G.

Banshee said...

I'm so glad you got your rainbow baby...I'm so heart broken, my sister in law lost her 1st baby, Kaitlyn, at 16 weeks...then two almost 2 years later she gets pregnant with a boy, Raiden, and she lost him at 20 weeks...she passed the way 2 days later, she was 2 months away from finally turning 21 now she is gone and we miss her...I'm so sad because she died heart broken...this July it will be a year off Raiden's and her death anniversary and we just can't seem to move on. It so hard. I wish to have seen her babies play with mine and see her happy and het family happy. I'm sorry about Ezra he is such a beautiful angel. May god bless your family.