It has been way too long since Momma has posted a letter. Five whole days. You know I talk to you every day, and I can see and hear you and Pickle having funny little conversations constantly. But, still...these letters mean so much because the time I spend writing them is special time carved out to think about you, to talk with you, to focus on what we would be doing if you were still here, to focus on how the grief is settling in at the moment. These letters have also proved to be terribly important to Momma for reflection. Going back and reading entries from March 2011 vs. March 2012 vs. today helps Momma understand the nature of this very confusing, and never-ending road.
A lot has been going on in Momma's head over the last week. It started with a sweater cape. This particular cape was ordered in December of 2010, when you were still alive and we were preparing an exciting Christmas and future with you. I still remember ordering the cape, full of joy and optimism, because I was also creating and ordering our "Happy 2011" cards that afternoon. The cape was on backorder, to be delivered sometime in January. And then it slipped out of my mind. The holidays flew by, suddenly we were into 2011 and then January 26 happened. And, two weeks later, as the true impact and isolation of our grief was revealing itself, a package arrived. Clearly not a grief or sympathy gift. It was that stupid, silly, goddamn sweater cape. How dare it fling itself in my face, taunting me, reminding me of all we had and lost.
Despite the irrational anger I felt towards the sweater, Momma found herself wearing it everywhere. Our first dinner out with family. My first day attempting to return to work. First lunch with friends. It became a symbol of all the "firsts." And then, it hung in Momma's closet, pushed to the back, out of sight and mind.
Last week Momma brought it out, shook it off and wore it. No special reason. No first. Just because. And I discovered something. There is a new happiness surrounding it, centered around remembrance of the joy I felt the day it was purchased. No longer taunting me, it now has a special connection to my time on earth with my Peanut.
Which leads to the next mind-bending event. Decorating for the holidays. For some reason Momma didn't see this one coming, but probably should have. We didn't - couldn't - decorate or celebrate last year. We were simply too sad. But this year we decided it's time to dive back in, for your little brother, for our families. It feels good to have the stockings hung, including yours. And to have the Christmas tree glowing with while lights. But hanging the ornaments - all except yours which will go on your Peanut Tree - was heart-breaking. Why? Because the last time they were hung was Christmas 2010, over a weekend Momma got to spend with you, just the two of us, while Dadda was out of town. We went to see Santa, had friends over to visit, and we decorated the tree all weekend. The tree delighted you, and Momma explained the different ornaments, much to your delight. It was, quite simply, one of the best weekends of my life.
It's hard, Peanut, when the wonderful memories also evoke such strong emotions of loss and sadness. I want to remember, to celebrate those moments, but I'm not as good at grieving as I was a year ago. It's scarier to face now. Not the familiar bedfellow it was for so many months, it now feels more like a looming stranger in a dark alley. It's always waiting around the corner...Momma just hasn't faced it head-on in a while.
Maybe that's a part of why five days have passed since my last letter. This is the time when I address my fears and grief without cushioning or avoidance. It's when I'm honest with you and my heart.
Peanut, as your brother grows older the memories of you are re-awakening. He has adopted so many of your mannerisms, without ever meeting you on earth. It is a little scary, constantly delightful, painful and wonderful. I expect the next several months are going to be one heck of a roller-coaster ride. But, I know you will be here with us.
Missing you with all my heart. I heard, "Over the Rainbow" today and released myself to a flood of tears for you...but there was still a small smile. Why? Because I know someday I will see you over the rainbow. Until then, I love you to the moon - and back!
|Peanut and Santa - December 2010|