Monday, December 1, 2008

The Road No Parent Should Have to Travel - Day 16

Today marks the end of day 16 in my "grieving my dead child" journey.

We returned home from visiting DH's family for Thanksgiving this afternoon. I enjoyed our time away, but I couldn't wait to get home. We'll be heading back in two weeks to spend Christmas up there. We initially didn't plan anything for Thanksgiving. We figured we'd just go out to eat. It wasn't until the last minute did we decide to head to VA for the holiday. DH thought it would be a good change of scenery and help keep me distracted or busy. It was actually nice. I just wasn't sure how his family was going to react once we arrived. What they would say. But I guess there's not much anyone can say. Days following his birth family asked what our plans were, in terms of a memorial service. We were never comfortable with a religious service since we're nontheists. Mentions of a church service just didn't jive well with us. DH told some of his relatives we had no plans and left it at that.

Anywho, when it came time to actually getting together with relatives it was somewhat awkward. I wanted them to say something and not act like nothing happened, but then I knew in the back of my head that they likely didn't know what to say or do. No one said a thing until late Thanksgiving Day when DH's Nana came to visit. I know she took it really hard. I was relaxing on the couch and she came and sat by me with a stack of newspapers and homemade cards. She told me she had to do something. She put in a lovely remembrance in Sunday's newspaper. One of DH's uncles made some "In Memory" cards to give to family. That was so nice of them to do. It broke my heart when she started to tear up when she brought up buying Christmas ornaments for the kids. With a very soft and shaky tone while trying to hold back tears she said she got Duncan's ornament before the 13th. I couldn't hold back the tears. I could sense the hurt she was feeling. She thought she upset me by giving me his ornament. In no way was I upset. I was thinking so many things that moment. Having spent the whole day distracted by Thanksgiving festivities and relatives to have someone show that they were thinking of us was comforting.

During the whole trip I carried with me a baby blanket a friend made for me (thank you, Lora). Having something solid to hold on to has brought me much comfort. I'm sure some of the relatives were wondering what was up with the baby blanket I was toting around. I needed something to hold on to. Since my milk dried up reality really hit me. I have no baby to hold, nurse or care for. Those afterbirth hormones really do a number. These past 16 days have ranged from times I feel coherent to times I'm just numb. I have come to accept that what once was no longer is. The hopes, dreams, excitement, expectations, anticipations I had are no longer there. I'm reminded of that when I open my dresser drawer and see a purple box with a satin ribbon with keepsakes in it. When I think back to walking out of the hospital not with a baby but that purple box. I came home with a box. There was never supposed to be a "coming home" anyway. He was supposed to be born at home in a warm, loving, serene and peaceful environment. He was supposed to be welcomed by my arms, held tightly to my chest while I basked in the wonderful experience and joy that bringing a new life into the world brings. But that is not my reality; it is not my world. It was the reality I was expecting to experience before realizing my son was gone on November 13th.

I'm determined to face this unfortunate "journey" head on. I need to. I don't want to be numb to the process. I don't want to fade away into some shadow world. I need to not shy away from dealing with grief. It is there and won't go away. It needs to be faced head on.


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