Momma ran into a co-worker today she hasn't seen since she was pregnant with The Pickle. A wonderful, kind young man who was simply devastated after your passing, since he has a son just a few months older than you. We actually became friends after sharing exhausted-parent infant/toddler stories as we were both navigating first-time parenthood. After you died, our milestone-sharing bond was severed. His joy upon learning 2 years ago that we were pregnant again was cautious, tempered.
And then there was today. It has been so long since we've seen each other, and he is a new dad again. A beaming smile greeted me - one without the fear of "what do I say?" We talked freely about our kids, until it came to his son...the one who is just a few months older than you. The one who just turned five. It hit me like a sledgehammer between the eyes. Five. Holy cow, it's April...you turned 4 1/2 in March so we would be in the "almost five" zone.
Something about that fact is horribly difficult, sad, and paralyzing.
I share this because I've realized that trying to manage and anticipate what grief has on the menu for the day is like thinking you can boil the ocean.
First, why would you want to? Boiling the ocean means you would miss out on the mystery of its dangers. You would kill and devastate all the beauty those dangers have to offer before you have the change to realize what seems dangerous at first is actually beneficial. Healing and restorative. Just like grief.
Second, it just isn't practical. The ocean is turbulent, vast and dictated by forces larger than this earth. You could try to boil it one cup, gallon, or any other measurement but, at the end of the day, you will be lucky if you get a nice warm bathtub. But, sometimes isn't that enough? Or even more than enough? Why try for more?
Third, the ocean has its own rhythm. At times she is calm, peaceful. But a storm can rage from seemingly nowhere and calm just as quickly. Momma relates to this in so many ways. A good day can turn dark in a flash - the mere mention of a boy who just turned five can apparently send me into a tailspin.
More than anything, the notion of thinking humans can boil the ocean is our way of trying to be in control. That's human nature, right? But there are some forces more powerful and wise than we can ever imagine. Forces that understand what the earth, heart, brain need to experience to heal, restore, thrive. At times that process is painful and wounds get re-opened. But the scar tissue that re-forms is tougher and more resilient.
Anyway, at the end of Momma's interaction with her co-worker there was a genuine request - I asked to see pictures of the kids. And, that request brought a smile. A glowing, appreciative smile.
Peanut, days like to today remind me just how much you have changed this Momma's heart and soul. I am a better person throughout because of you.
<sigh> I miss you, your strong neck hugs, and sense of connection. Those long blue-eyed gazes and butterfly kisses. I love you so very much. How much? To the moon - and back!
|Peanut's 6-month photos from March 2010. Our little Irishman.|