How long?

Some days, many days, I wake up feeling like the bomb just went off yesterday. That it hasn’t been 10.5 months. That the shaking inside will never stop. That the pain will never ease. I know time has passed because I see other children growing. My own, other babies born around the same time, babies conceived or born since he died. But…he’s still not here. He’s not coming back. It’s incomprehensible. Irreconcilable. Unbearable. I think I cannot possibly survive another day, another moment. How many more years until this is over? How much longer do I have to endure this? I know this sounds horrible but it’s so real. He should be crawling, pulling up, babbling. He’s still in his little white gown, with my silver cross in one hand and daddy’s silver guitar pick in the other. In the ground.

Yes, I see signs. All the time. And they offer some comfort. But not the heart-satisfying comfort that comes from holding your warm, pudgy, living, breathing child and kissing their impossibly soft cheek. Yes, I get through the days. I think I can’t, but I do. And I suppose I’m supposed to take some sort of pride in that, be encouraged by my own survival of another day. But I’m not even close to being at my best. I’m not fully present. Not able to give all that I have to whatever task is at hand: mothering, working, wifing, friending, even honoring Gavin.

Does a breakthrough come? Does it become more than surviving the bombs that are constantly triggered and celebrating small everyday victories? Yes, I got up. I went to work. I looked at babies. I smiled at someone. I made eye contact. I held a conversation. I got through the day. Hopefully, something good happened in there, and hopefully I was able to contribute to that good. Because there is still so much love in me to give. Big grief, because big love.

Meanwhile, a few pictures of the butterfly garden that Ross planted for me with plants I picked out. We have seen many butterflies and bees visiting. A dragonfly hangs out in the driveway, and I swear it’s the same one that stayed close last summer. A hummingbird visits Gavin’s feeder. We came home from our trip to find two baby bunnies in the backyard. There’s always a robin or a cardinal in the yard, fireflies light up our landscaping in the evening, and this year we’ve added lizards to our menagerie of small living creatures found just outside our back door.

And the flowers. I didn’t want to plant them this year. I almost couldn’t. But I did. And their blooms and growth really do bring at least a moment of peace and lightness to my heart every time I see them. I hold on to each full breath I can catch, and pray the next one won’t be too far behind it. Moment by moment. And somehow I’ve made it to 10.5 months.

Hold my heart close, sweet boy. It sorely needs you.

6 thoughts on “How long?”

  1. Kirsten, This is beautiful. Keep writing… not for us, but for you. Your words touch hearts. I may not understand all of your pain, but I am praying for you and rooting you on. ❤

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  2. Love you, Kirsten. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I know they are so tender and personal. Hugs to you and Gavin tonight and always.

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  3. You have always been so real and honest in your words. Keep sharing. You are surrounded by love and prayers, dear Kirsten. We love you.

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