December 3, 2008

Turning the Page...

Dear Friends,

I've been wanting to write this post for some time now...but, as I mentioned previously, the words have not come as easily as they once did. I feel as though my writing has become stagnant over these last several weeks with my constant reflections on heartache and despair.

It's almost as though I'm manic! I bounce between feeling great to feeling down right awful. I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself laughing hysterically over something silly or funny only to find myself crying pitifully in the next instant. It's frustrating!! There have been many days where I've truly felt like I've lost my mind! I'm constantly trying to convince myself that what I am feeling is normal and healthy.

At any rate, I guess I needed a break. I've needed to figure out how to function and be a part of a world that continues to move forward without me. I go through the motions each day...brush my teeth, make my my life...but my actions are mechanical. And emotionally, I've checked out. I wish time would stop only for little while and allow to me grieve over the loss of my son. Then, I would be okay... I wouldn't feel like I've been left behind. I get so panicked when I think about all the "catching up" I need to do. life sucks right now. These are lonely times for me. Hours tick by seemingly at the blink of an eye. There are days when I don't move...I don't do anything. And then I feel guilty because I've wasted the day. It's a vicious circle that I constantly move in... so many different emotions I experience on any given day. And I am tired.

But you've heard all this before...I keep saying the same things over and over again. And I suppose, I feel like there is nothing more to my story that I could offer you...nothing positive that you could take away from my experience. It's partly the reason why my posts have been slow in coming. I hate sounding like a broken record. I'm get it. That should be the end of it right? I wish it was that simple.

Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who has big shoulders that I can cry on! He's been great! He makes me laugh. He tells me I'm pretty...even when I know I look like hell. He has an unlimited supply of hugs and seems to always know when I need one. He's been a blessing to me. My heart just swells with love when I see him tinkering in Christian's garden. You have to understand, Ryan is a "man's man"...he's the proverbial bull in a China shop! But in Christian's garden, he is so careful. His gestures are so tender and little hugs for his he tends to the plants which have become rooted in this special place...It's a joy to see. I watch him from the living room window...not wanting to intrude on these quiet times he shares with his son. I know Ryan needs his time too.

The good news is that last month, we finally started seeing a grief counselor. I've learned so much in such a short period of time. Our doctor has given tools to help us deal with the grief process. No medication...just lots of positive dialog. At first, I was apprehensive about going to see her. I thought, for sure, she would tell me I'm crazy or, at the very least, depressed. But that wasn't the case at all. In fact, I'm learning that everything I've been going through is normal and healthy. Grieving is a 3 year process. I never knew that! I've been unrealistic about my own expectations... and I'm learning to be patient with myself.

Most importantly, seeing a grief counselor has helped my marriage tremendously. The doctor has a way of pulling out information...or better yet...interpreting information that Ryan and I both share so we can better understand where each other is coming from. It's a bumpy road... but we are managing. Good days...bad's all part of the journey toward healing.

My son's beautiful life has been temporarily overshadowed by this grieving process. I knew it would be hard to deal with his death...but I never imagined this life that I'm living now. I don't know what I expected...I guess, I thought I would be more prepared because I knew Christian was going to die. I underestimated how much he would impact my life. I was so naive! But I am getting better. And, one day, my posts will only be happy recollections of the amazing time I shared with my son. I'll get there...I promise!

I still have more to share...but I think I'm going to give it a rest for tonight. You have lots of rambling to digest in one sitting... but I'm hoping that, at least, I don't sound like a broken record anymore. Baby steps... I've said it before... You've been so patient with me. I love you all! Thank you...thank you...thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for your continued prayers!



December 1, 2008

Tis the Season...

Dear Friends,

I'm sorry I'm a day late on my promised post. Yesterday, Ryan and I spent the day decorating our home for the Christmas holidays. This has always been one of our favorite times of the year with the both of us eagerly awaiting the holiday season! Each year, Ryan and I make a big production of putting on our Santa caps, turning up the Christmas music, and unpacking boxes of decorations, ornaments and lights. It's a day of "holiday preparations" complete with eggnog and home baked cookies. I think this year we probably over indulged in the sweets, we both went to bed with stomach aches!

As soon as Ryan got home from the fire station yesterday morning, we headed off to find the perfect Christmas tree! And, although, our trek only took us as far as the Home Depot parking lot, we carefully picked through the selection of fresh cut trees to find the perfect one. Ryan was such a good sport...patiently indulging my requests to pick up and twirl seemingly dozens of trees so that we could be sure of selecting one with no bald spots! My poor husband is usually covered in sap and pine needles by the time we are confident that we have the right tree! It's a big event for us every year and loads of fun! It's funny to watch people stare at us as we break out in spontaneous "Charlie Brown" dancing (you know what I'm talking about) to the Christmas music blaring over the speaker system... We love Christmas!

Even our dogs, Maccloud and Roxie, eagerly anticipate the coming holiday! As soon as I hang their stockings on the fireplace mantel, they maintain a steady vigil...constantly sniffing and nudging each stocking for treats and toys. We always get a chuckle when Ryan and I come home after being gone for a while...only to find Christmas presents removed from under the tree and laying around the living room. Although, the presents are never opened, curiosity and excitement seem to get the best of our dogs at times... Just like children I've always said!

At any rate, like every year in the past, this year was a buzz with activity... I blanketed table tops with garland and candles... Ryan hung lights...and we decorated our little tree...fussing over every little detail.

I wasn't sure how I would handle the events of the day. Most certainly, I thought I would fore go any kind of celebration this year, especially since Christian died only a short time ago. But, it is because of my son that Ryan and I have maintained the traditions we've so thoughtfully crafted over the years. Christian would have loved Christmas time!

There were several moments throughout the day when my thoughts wandered to my son...Tears filled my eyes as I thought about how he would have loved all the twinkling lights on the tree. By now, my son would have been able to focus a little more clearly and would, probably, have wondered what all the activity was about.. I can picture his little head wobbly and unsteady as he gazed up at his mom and dad... These pictures are so clear in my mind... It's hard to believe... still...that he is gone.

Ryan says that as long as we have vivid memories of Christian...he will always live on in our hearts...and he will always have a presence in our lives. I know he is in heaven and I know he is well, but the selfish part of me wishes that I could hold him again...even if only for a moment. I hardly let myself wish for these things anymore because the emptiness I feel is so overwhelming. The sting of loss so great is still fresh on my heart...and I will never forget my son. When he died, part of me died too. But, at least I have my memories...

This year, our Christmas tree over looks Christian's garden. Instead of my son snuggled in my arms this season, I must find comfort in knowing that he is in a better place. I'll admit, it's not always easy to do. On most days, I struggle with my emotions...always ready to give into the despair that has gripped my heart. Of course, my son and his precious memory always rescues me from my sad thoughts. I cling to the knowledge that I will see my son again one day...I just never thought my life would turn out this way. I miss him so much. I know my son is watching over us... and laughing over our silly antics of the day. And I'm glad for that.