The Grief I Didn't Expect
I felt it coming on, but tried to brush it off as just disappointment, brief and fleeting. It didn't work though, even as I captured my feelings and thoughts and moods in writing. I thought and told myself and even said aloud, that by getting it on paper, if floats away. It doesn't. It's no longer brief heart ache, worry, anxiety about the many what ifs. The collection of those jolts of pain have collapsed into a wave of deep longing. Yes, I am grieving.
Funny enough, I didn't even know myself until recently. I was visiting with a very old friend, a bit older than myself and she said she was worried about me and when she paused to carefully choose her words, I spoke them for her. Was I depressed? She nodded. No, I am grieving.
I didn't think so and don't think so now, tonight in the quiet cool room, perfectly comfortable with the whirring ceiling fan and a view of the darkening sky. My children are in their rooms, reading quietly after a day full of the salt and sun. I feel content though overall, a lingering sadness. It must be grief. Grief is like that, you can be fine one minute, happy and strong in your resolve to choose joy and then wham, the damn breaks and the torrent of tears scares the villagers, my husband, my children, physicians, therapists, dear friends, BCBS reps. No, no one is safe. It's just like missing someone that you loved and now they are gone. The moments of sadness are intense and then they lift like Pelicans after a deep dive. I am still grieving.
I am grieving. I am grieving the fourth child that I dreamed would be a part of our family. I always thought it would be a boy and I envisioned a son named Amos who was tough as nails, the pet of the family, the ultimate dictator, a sturdy boy with thick blond hair and clad in tacky sports clothes like his oldest brother. I imagined a two year old insistent on the Nike shorts and Under Armor t-shirts, as there would be no arguing with the words, "just like Pomas!" That little fellow didn't exist. He has been born but never come to fruition. I am grieving.
Our Amos is enrapturing. He has a delightful smile that shows up in his candescent blue eyes, as much as his mouth. His hair is as white as spun gold and his forehead high and tan in the summer sun, his ears are low set like his dad's and the space between his eyes is a bit wide, exactly like his older brother's. I don't think of him looking "syndromy", but perhaps he does. He's not ruggedly durable but petite and with limbs that are light and airy and he is happy to wear bubbles and John Johns as long as his mother dresses him. I put him in shorts and shirts more often now as he is approaching three this Fall and his lack of speech bring enough attention, that I don't need to add more by having his peers categorize him as a baby. He is full of cuddles and prefers the comfort of my arms, happy and content with his blankie. Am I grieving?
No one tells me he will catch up anymore. Gone are the stories that used to come and sting me about the two year olds that one day just piped up and that was that, the silence was over. I half miss the annoyance of those stories now though as my friends and I sit and the silence seems louder as there are no more reassurances to fill in the gaps. Funny how things change. I'm grieving and can't figure out a way to say that aloud to people, especially the people I love most in this world, my family and friends. It's just too raw right now for me to broach the subject aloud so instead I will write and sometimes I may seem pensive, quiet even and it's okay to fill in the silence or to just be with me. I am grieving.
Our bubble has burst, the bubble of safety with Amos hardly exists outside of our house anymore and I have got to accept that being okay. Instead, I struggle and weep and concede defeat. Don't be sorry to ask though. It's important that I recognize the grief I feel and it is really hard, but better to acknowledge than ignore, better to feel than pretend, better to love than lament, better to choose joy than sorrow, better to grieve than wilt. I am grieving but someday I will mourn.