Today is 5 months since Aidan died.
Recently I was thinking back to those first few days after Wednesday, April 21st 2010. My husband and I went to visit the high-risk pregnancy psychiatrist in the week immediately following. I had already seen this woman once during my pregnancy after we found out things were likely not going to be okay. She was nice, she listened...but I haven't been back to see her since. This blog has been better therapy than anything I could say in 45 minutes or less in an office appointment once or twice a month, and I honestly haven't really felt the need.
But, one thing the psychiatrist said at that appointment has been rattling around in my brain the last few days. As I sat in her office, next to my husband, holding the box of tissues on my lap and cried about how hard things were going to be over the next while, she responded with "well, it might not always be that way. The way things are now is not how things may be next year". At the time, this statement really helped me. I've felt pain and loss and grief before (though perhaps not to the same extent), and I know from those experiences that she was right. The pain of loss does lessen over time. I did smile again after those losses. New and wonderful things did happen. Life went on...and I was okay.
I clung to that statement in the first few days and weeks after Aidan's death. Life will get better. It will. It will not always be this way. Good things will happen. They always do. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep going. Deep breaths.
Now that I am 5 months out, I realize that she was only half right.
Things will move on. Things will change. Life can be good again.
But he will always be dead.
She didn't, of course, mean that statement in a literal sense. Of course she meant that our lives wouldn't always be so broken. We both knew Aidan wasn't coming back. But I clung to her statement because it promised hope. Not for Aidan, of course, but for the future. I was reaching for anything at the time that would keep me focused, keep me from drowning. Her statement soothed me.
I did not yet understand the reality of having to cope with his death. Every. Day. Forever. I did not yet understand that while yes, things do get 'easier' and life does 'move on', I still have figure out how to live without him. Always. I did not yet know what it would be like to get up each day and live, surrounded by his 'not coming back-ness'. Did not understand how his death would seep into everything I do. That it would become just one more fact about me, about my marriage, about my family. Did not yet realize that every day would be just one more day since the last time I held him. One more day without him. That life can, and will, go on, and he will still be dead. Elizabeth McCracken said it best when she wrote "death goes on too".
Even when I laugh. Work out. Watch movies. Eat. Pee. Take out the garbage. Stand in line. Work. Make love. Stare at the sky.
He does not.
How long did it take for you to wrap your head around the 'not coming back-ness'? Are you still working on it?