What a weekend...seems we've embarked on a new chapter of our journey as parents with Jev. We had our first friend birthday party & then of course we had Jev's 2nd birthday party. It was a rocky & emotional weekend for me, the kind that I hate most, the kind where I have to stuff my emotions down & pretend that I'm great.
At the friend's bday party, his grandmother approached me exclaimed "so you're expecting?!" Since this isn't my first encounter with this kind of foot in mouth comment, I replied without having to think or miss a beat, simply "no". She was so embarrassed she just kept going on about how sorry she was, how she was told "everyone" was pregnant, so finally I had to stop her & just simply said "well I guess everyone but me". A final apology and I had to walk away. Sigh - if it hadn't been the first few minutes of the party I might have tried to find a way to leave - but for my earth angel I stuffed it down.
At Jev's party it was a flurry of activity with things running pretty smoothly - a day so jam packed that it seemed over just as quickly as it began. There were marked moments for me where I noticed the absence of my youngest son's cries, gurgles, touch. In those moments I paused & then stuffed it all down & went on. I was fortunate enough to have a friend I have met through my bereavement group come with her earth angel & she took a moment to really check in with me & for a moment I was able to be honest. My biggest regret was not lighting James' candle. I wish I could say I forgot but I was too concerned about keeping it safe - with 8 toddlers running through the house I had visions of it being knocked over, a child being burned -the candle being ruined, so I chose to light his candle in my heart instead. Now the waves of guilt won't stop.
To top all this off, yesterday our pet bird, booger, died. I found him of course, I was stunned, I couldn't move when I found him but I was numb. I went on the rest of the night like a robot, thinking in the grand scheme of things no loss is as significant as James' loss. But I was kidding myself, the waves of grief poured over me after Jev went to bed, for our pet, for our James for all the milestones we've missed, for the insensitivity of the those who can't know any better. The stuffing just poured out & it feels like there's still more there.
I said a few weeks back that "you have to have a personal relationship with your grief". In the moment I thought wow how very insightful but strange. As I have thought more about it - I realize that initially I didn't know my grief & that made me feel like I was going crazy, confused, immobilized. Now, I do have a personal relationship with it, when it comes, often uninvited & without warning I recognize it & despite often hating it, I know I need it. When I stuff it, it becomes toxic until I have no choice but to let it out - all over the place.
Good night sweet bird, we will miss you. James -missing you deeply sweet boy & hoping you will stay near as we celebrate Jev's birthday - for real - on Thursday.