In many ways, the grief feels a bit fresher these days than it did when the loss was newer. In those early days, there might have been a bit of shock, the newness and quickness of everything that happened acting as an anesthetic that protected me from the fuller weight of grief. But now I see babies, and my eyes sting with tears. I walk into his room, and I remember what -- in my mind -- was supposed to be.
He was supposed to be here.
And I mourn the loss of a million different little things.
This was his blanket the day he was sent off for emergency surgery, and we weren't sure he would ever come back.
This is the monkey he clung to so fiercely after his surgery.
These are the diapers we were supposed to use when he came home.
This is the chair I was supposed to rock him in.
These are the images of some of my favorite memories of him, and consequently the ones that make me cry the most.
I don't avoid these things. I look at these pictures and go into his room on purpose, confronting the evidence of the hope we had on his behalf. As long as there was life in him, we fought for it. As long as there was the smallest shred of hope, we clung to it. But in the end, it became clear that he was not meant to stay with us long. This is a difficult truth to contend with. I still fight it -- and I never win. In the end, I have to continue to learn to let go, both of him and of the desires that arose in our own hearts because of him.
My God, this world is a hard place to live sometimes.