3:12 A.M., what a perfect time to write a blog post. I can’t sleep tonight. Not after what just happened.
I would be lying to you if I said that Thanksgiving was easy for me. It wasn’t. In fact, it was quite difficult. What people don’t seem to understand, is by a mere glance into the surface of my pain it may look like I am stuck in grief, struggling to cope and in need of help. But as simply as I can put this, I just miss my son. Some days I feel like I am fighting the biggest battle of my life, but I would be naive to assume that. There will be more struggles and battles, because that is just how life is.
I was torn on Thanksgiving. This was the first year where my yearly routine was different. We started in the morning getting ready and went live on Facebook with a give-a-way contest I created on Avery’s Garden. I explained a part of my sadness in the video and spoke about my cardinal that visited me as I was getting ready. That is what started everything, like a trigger, it excelled my emotions and shortly after I was sobbing. It wasn’t my actions of shooting the video, and it wasn’t my words that flowed in my “Thanksgrieving Day” post, it was simply the fact that I missed my son. We headed to my husband’s side first, which was different for us. We normally have a different routine, which may have also caused a shift in my day. It was just all new to me. Not bad, but different. I tried to stay as focused on the group as much as possible, but my mind kept wanting to take me back to Avery. I don’t do that on purpose, and it is not a voluntary act that I decide when and how grief is going to come out. It just does. And if there is anything I have learned from the other angel mom’s in my life, it is to let it out when he comes knocking.
Maybe a part of me is dwelling on what could have been. Isn’t that normal though? For the heart to paint a picture of what should have been the perfect Thanksgiving. While I was pregnant I envisioned Thanksgiving Day and proudly announcing the reason I was thankful was for my baby. Instead I was empty handed.
So, when it was time to leave my husband’s side of the family, I left alone so he could continue his visiting before coming by my parents. It was in that moment, as I walked the paved walkway from his parent’s door to my car alone that grief came and slammed into me like a freight train. I was opening my car door and shoving myself in as the tears were streaming down my face. I can’t explain the mixture of emotions in that moment other than I was sad and just in a desperate need of a warm embrace and to hear something, anything, that was going to take the pain away.
Arriving to my parent’s home I contemplated going inside or just driving around until I didn’t look like a mess. I felt embarrassed that I was so upset. Embarrassed that I couldn’t hide it better.
Sometimes I think of myself as a magician, a master of disguise, but I’m not fooling anyone.
I had also brought over something special that I wanted to put out once I got to my parent’s house. It was a sign that I made with the quote:
“Holidays in Heaven, what do they do? They all come to Earth to spend it with you. So save them a space, just one empty chair. You might not see them, but they will be there”.
I also had a small rustic chair from our wedding and a candle I wanted to burn. I never had the courage to bring it inside. Mostly because I was scared. I was scared at how my family would react. I was scared it would turn the mood into an intervention in some way, directing the attention to me, and I didn’t want that. So, the bag sat in my car and is still sitting in my back seat to this moment.
Walking in and seeing my family talking and having fun made me feel very much like an outsider. I know my family loves me, and I would never deny that, but in that moment I did not belong. I was in my own storm of emotions and was fighting a battle that I was losing. My body was aching, and I had made myself physically sick with all the feelings that had welled up on the inside. I wasn’t “doing it to myself” as I would later be told. I was trying to survive and doing the best I possible could for that moment in time.
Grief won. I gave in. I was exhausted from the fight.
I was able to talk to two angel moms to bring some of my experiences to light. I was given some great advice and here are one beautiful mom’s words:
…”Don’t let others think your wrong in the way you grieve. Loss is universal, but grieving is individual. There is not a right or wrong way. Whatever is right in your heart is the best way”…
I had a long talk with my husband. I expressed a lot of feelings to him and I believe in my heart it is only a matter of time for the healing to begin again. There are just many factors to this journey, none of which are ever by choice, and the healing will come in spurts. Sometimes I will be dragged down into a deep sorrow, but it is how I rise that will show the beauty in this journey.
Last night I lit some candles next to my sleeping angel statue. As the light glistened on his face I felt peace. I felt connected once again. All the candles were blown out last night as we went to bed.
3:12 A.M. I woke up to use the bathroom and there was a soft glow in the living room. I walked in to find the candle burning again. I can’t explain it, and am not going to bother trying. I am just going to place my hand over my heart and say “By sweet flickering candlelight, I know that you are here”.