Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moving On

That post title does not mean I am moving on after Chase. I am stuck in time with him. That one thing is motionless, while everything else around it keeps moving, he is frozen in time and I miss him every day with every bone in my body. I should be a whole year into his life soon...watching him learn to walk and listening to his first words and watching his big sisters and big brother entertain him and care for him. I never stop thinking about those things. And then I look at his picture and I am taken back. To those 4 days of excitement, fear, hope, sadness and confusion and it feels as though time has stood still.

I don't see this changing, though eventually, I'm told, it will. But what has moved on is life as we know it. I have moved on with life. I laugh with my children, with my husband. I learn things about myself. I love like there is no tomorrow. I feel things ever so acutely. I empathize with people, things, situations. I am sometimes amazed at how I am able to move past things that, before Chase died, I would have dwelled on, fretted about, stewed over....for weeks. I don't do that anymore. My adult relationships have changed. That's because my needs have changed. Things that I say, feel or do are not justified always. I can't explain "why" when it comes to my feelings. When they get hurt, I make sure it won't happen again. And if that means moving on and not looking back, then that is what I do. I protect myself much better than I ever did before. Or maybe I have a little extra help from up above, I don't know. I don't need anyone to understand me. There is no reason for that because there is no way they ever will. And as a result, I have no desire to explain myself. I go on because I have to. This, I have learned.

I miss my sweet boy. Every moment of every day, I miss him.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Not in the mood

We took the kids to Albuquerque this weekend to watch Walking with Dinosaurs. We went to the Children's Museum and thought we might catch the zoo, too, but the weather had other plans for us. Instead, before heading home we stopped at the mall to take care of some exchanges we needed to make and one of them was in GapKids.

I didn't need to go in BabyGap, we were strictly in the kids' side but the checkout counter is the divider between the two stores. There were so many cute things that kept catching my eye and I always wonder what I would be stealing from the budget to buy Chase from these kinds of stores. I wanted to be sad that I didn't shop in babyGap anymore because my kids are too big for it. I wanted to be sad that I didn't shop there because Reese refuses to "dress up" in jeans and anything with buttons. But I don't get that privilege. I hate that I don't shop in that store because I can't bear the site of the things I should be showing off my baby boy in. I hate that I don't have a reason to shop there because my son is gone. Standing in that store, looking at those things is torture to me. And what is worse, I did this to myself, I snatched a super soft, tiny stuffed blue elephant at the counter as the clerk was checking me out and asked her if I could buy that, too. As luck would have it, it had no price tag. Of course she couldn't look on the other tags of the same brand of animals to see that it was $5.50. She had to look at every book behind the counter to find the right "number" for it. And when she couldn't find it, she had to call her manager to look through the same books only then to go to the "back" to see if they had any more back there with the tag on it. We stood there for probably 20 minutes waiting but I had to have this elephant. I wasn't exactly sure why. I used to always buy these little stuffed animals from Gap when the kids were babies. They were just the right size for them to hold as babies and for some reason lovely to chew/suck on. Gross, I know, but this elephant reminded me of that. It reminded me of my babies that have grown up. It also reminded me of my baby that would never grow up. I had to have it and standing there waiting for the stupid clerk to find the right number was like twisting the knife that has been stuck in my heart for 11 months and a day now. Especially when she looked at Karly and asked who it was for. I guess she didn't hear her when Karly asked me if it was for Chase and if we were going to send it up to him in heaven on a balloon. And then, as the timing was impeccable, the "funeral home guy" calls to tell me the proof for the monument is in. Lovely. While I'm busy wasting time with a @*$&# clerk buying a stupid $5 toy for my son whose headstone is waiting for my approval to be carved. Tears welled up in my eyes but I couldn't leave without my baby's soft toy.

Just weeks away from Chase's birthday. I can't even explain how sad this is. That time is going so fast and that our littlest Pearson is not here to share it with us.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lost in Time

I don't know how I'm doing lately. I feel weird. I have felt different the past week or two and I don't know why. I can't say that I feel good, but I do feel that this roller coaster ride is about to dip. Soon. I haven't shed many tears lately. That is odd. I feel like they are close, but they are not falling right now. I don't feel any peace. I don't feel normal. As usual, I feel like the facade I am displaying is very believable. But it's completely fake. I don't know if I feel numb. I don't think about Chase any less. I think of him all day long, when I fall asleep at night, when I wake up in the morning and a thousand times in between. I still miss him...but some days it feels so unreal. Like, did it really happen? It feels like yesterday, but yet so long ago. It's so hard to explain.

I don't know why I feel this way. It is unsettling. I doubt so many things about myself....am I good mother? A good wife? A good homemaker? A good ANYthing? I can take compliments, but I don't believe them. Not at all. I have no confidence in me right now, or who I am. I don't even know that person. Sometimes it feels like the old me almost, but I know that person died with Chase, so it can't be. I'm confused. I'm lost..... Hoping the dip in this ride comes and goes quickly....just waiting.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Judging Grief

What I am about to say is not intended to touch everyone. It is not going to be understood by most. And by all means, I am not trying to change or fix anyone. I am purely and genuinely going to vent.

I don't understand the way people react to someone's grief. I have read about, been told it would happen and seen people react to me in very peculiar ways. Specifically, people have left my side and no longer fill the role of a friend.

I know someone who's son, years ago, was killed just days before his college graduation. My heart went out to her. She was not a close friend, but a friend indeed and I didn't know what to do for her. She was surrounded by so many who loved her and had so much support, or so it looked from the outside. I felt so bad for her and wanted badly to reach out to her. I had been told that a couple months after a tragedy is when people generally find themselves alone as their family goes back home and everyone goes on with their lives. So I wrote in my day planner on the day 2 months from her tragedy to send her a card and I did so. I saw her a few months later and asked her how she was doing and was surprised how much she shared with me. At the time, I did not know how to handle her grief. Now I do. Now I know and understand how much she wanted to talk about her son to me, a distant friend. But one thing I didn't do, was judge her.

Before Chase died, I could have never imagined the pain she went through and how it would guide her every day. How that pain would override every thought, every emotion, every feeling, every thing she did in her life. So I never judged her actions, her choices, her weight loss, her weight gain, her change in appearance, her behavior. After the loss she had endured, any of those things were destined to be affected or change and change again and my heart continued to ache for her. This was the outsider's point of view of grief that I had.

Now, having lost my own child, and having endured the pain of this and learning to live with it every day of my life, I don't understand why I am judged. "Chase died and then she just quit talking to me." In my head, I can just hear these comments. "She got mad at me because I'm still friends with her doctor's friend's sister's husband's cousin's neighbor's uncle. How insane is that? Like they had anything to do with it."

I can't explain my feelings. I can't tell you why I feel the way I do or why I do the things I do or why I say some of the things I say. I'm hurting. Inside. Always. And the anger side of grief will sometimes guide me to do things that I could not ever expect you to understand. Unless your child had died, too. Think of it this way, and then try to justify the way you feel. Try to explain it to someone why you can't stand to be around someone who is 6 degrees of separation away from the person who is responsible for your son's death. Sounds crazy, I know.

The "funeral home guy" told me that his very close friends lost a teenage son and because of the whole funeral and burial thing, his grieving friends quit talking to he and his wife. He acknowledged that they probably equated the death of their son to them but he didn't know why they quit talking to them--they had been such close friends. My reaction to that was, "Don't judge them". No, you didn't cause the death of their son, but you remind them so vividly of those particular moments following their tragedy that I don't blame them. I don't know why we act this way, but I completely understand. It's unfortunate and, sadly, I can totally relate. I, personally, wanted to jump in a hole--to hide from everyone, everything. All the while feeling like I was living in a glass house. Maybe it was my own insecurities, my shattered faith, my pain, but I didn't want to see anyone I knew....except for my closest friends.

To date, however, nearly all of those closest friends are gone. Most have left my side. Some made choices. Choices I could not accept. For reasons I cannot explain. So I remain misunderstood, misjudged. As if it matters. Because I am much better off than I was, all things considered. There are new friends in place. Some closer old friends. And I am starting over, the new me. I'm not going to say improved, but I will call myself real. I see things with people so much more clearly than I ever had. My family, though the most important thing in my life before Chase died, is the center of my universe. And I love them with every breath I take.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dry Eyes

I had gone probably 4 or 5 days without shedding a tear and it was not because Chase was on my mind any less. And it wasn't like tears were not appropriate in the kind of week I had. But despite their being just below the surface, even welling up in my eyes, I was unable to cry...to let go and let the tears fall. It was really odd to me but I think I was dealing with things that I was simply too exhausted to cry about this week. We picked out our stone for Chase, but it was I who met with the funeral home guy (what's his job title?). He came over twice and, being a small town, he is very easy to talk to. In fact, I think in this town, in his line of work, he makes it a point to "talk" to his customers if that is something they so desire. There are times when I do think I need to talk to someone, but it's so hit or miss when I want this that it has never been worth my while to check into it. But it did help, a little bit, to talk to this man and share with him some of the difficulties I was having with my grief. It's also about "sharing my story" in this small town so that people know what happened, what happened to me and what precisely we are dealing with besides the loss of our child. But I never cried. I got cold and shivered like I always do when I talk about it, but I had no tears to share with this man.
I had some deep conversations with Emma about Chase this week. The kids go to a counselor and I talked to her about how that was going and we decided that it was time to end this. She feels much more comfortable talking to us about Chase than the counselor because the counselor doesn't know what she's going through. I understand. I feel her pain. I see her pain. I hurt because she hurts. But I shed no tears.
Patric has been working extremely hard and been away from us alot for the last week. All I want is to be alone with him. I want to be able to talk without distraction and since I stay home and our business is out of the home in his opinion, we have all the time in the world any couple would want together. But he is my everything. Besides the kids, who are my best buddies in the world, he is who I confide in, socialize with, share ideas with, dream with, grieve with and love with. And when we are not on the same page, things just don't feel right. I raise all these questions in my head and my imagination runs wild. Out of hand, as he would say. I had just ensured "the funeral home guy" that we were cemented to each other...stronger than we ever have been together. And then we have an argument and suddenly I don't know what page he is on, what chapter he is in or if he's even reading the same book. Fortunately, though, we are cemented. We are united. And we can talk (eventually). And then just like that, we're back on the same page again. We're on the same team. The one that has had some rough games, but the one that wins. Somehow. Because we have what it takes. And for that I am thankful. I need him to get through this. I need him to keep living this life we live with all the pain and sadness and the love and happiness, that is still to be had. I have changed, just as he has, and I no longer have the outlets I used to have to share my pain. It only makes sense that when you change, you have to start over with everything else, too. The five of us are different. And only we know who we are now. My adult relationships have changed....I have begun starting over that aspect of my life, as well. What I seek from adults is far less than what I used to. I have started new relationships, to replace the old. Or just left emptiness where there used to be something I needed. What I need is in front of me, in my reach. We lean on each other and we get through those hard days. And then we cry together, when the tears start falling again.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Nate!

You are loved and missed by many little man. Sending hugs to you and your precious family here on earth.
I wish we hadn't met this way, Trisha, but you are a dear sweet friend to me. Here for you now and always.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I learned something new today

...about my youngest son. I was making these foot molds out of his foot imprint (trying to negate the negative....wish I could do that with life) because that's all I have. After working for a good 20 minutes with the molding compound, I was able to make 2 little feet out of it without too much difficulty. I have no knowledge of clay or this kind of stuff so I was kind of winging it. So I baked the molds for a little while and then set them to cool on the counter. A little while later I picked them up to see how well they dried and that's when I noticed it.

I have these deformed pinky toes on both my feet. It's something my lovely mother passed down to me and her lovely mother passed down to her. I have been self-concsious of these pinky toes of mine my entire life. So much so, I guess, that with each baby I birthed, this was one of the first things I did after counting all fingers and toes...I examined their pinky toes to make sure they didn't get mine!

I never did that with Chase. Too many things on my mind. Nevermind the state of shock I was in his entire life with us. But I never looked at his piggies and wondered if he got "mine". We took off his socks and rubbed his feet but I was pretty much busy worrying about other things than his vanity for his own pinky toes when he grew older.

Today, when I examined the mold I made of his left foot imprint, I noticed almost too clearly, that it looks like he had my pinky toe on his left foot. As far as I can tell anyway. I wished I would have taken more photos of him before the blood products and medications had changed him. I wished I had pictures of every little crease and dimple on him I wish I knew him as well as I do my other children. But when you only have 3 days to love and touch and talk and sing to him, you don't really think about those kinds of things. You don't think to capture every moment and photograph every ounce of his tiny little body so that you will forever have that tucked away in your keepsake boxes. Because you are busy thinking about when you will get to bring him home. You are busy worrying about his kidneys and his liver and his heart and his brain to even get to appreciate the fact that he actually has your toes.

I miss you little man. You can thank me for your little piggies when I get up there but I am so happy you have a part of me with you. And since they remind me of you, I will love my ugly toes forever and ever.