Friday, August 07, 2009

Grief Chronicles, Volume 2

I am ready to let go of some more stuff. Posting some of this last week helped. I mulled over each point until I needed to get it out somehow. I wrote it down, and then posting it was like releasing it out into the universe and being done with it in a sense. Or, being more comfortable with it is probably a better way to say it. Thanks for being my free therapists. Here are some more that I am ready to share.

1. Thoughts of “what would have been.”

Hard one to talk about. Every so often, I am reminded of the small moments of what I will miss watching Noah grow up. Today, Chris and I were out walking at Garden of the Gods, and I saw a little boy in a floppy hat running, trying to keep up with his dad as they hiked together. Or eating pancakes for breakfast on a Saturday morning, and envisioning little Noah stuffing a too big bite of pancake in his mouth. Or grocery shopping, and seeing him clipped onto my cart in a car seat, interacting with him and being silly as we complete a weekly task together. Moments that will never happen. I didn’t realize how much I would miss. Moments big and small. Mostly the everyday stuff of being a family. I see him in my mind both as the baby that we enjoyed for those 4 days, and as a small boy, able to do things with us. These hurt quite a bit. It is the death of a dream as well as a child. For nine months and 4 days, we dreamed of this boy and all we wanted to share with him and teach him. I am grateful that I know what he looks like and what his personality was more or less like. My daydreams of this stuff have that definition. It is both painful and a comfort.

2. The need to keep him close.

My mother-in-law or Chris or someone suggested in the days following Noah’s death that we get some nice frames for pictures of him to have around. They were at the funeral, and now they are up in my house. It is funny…we moved into our house in February. It was a foreclosure property and was trashed when we bought it. We have made tremendous progress in cleaning it up. It has felt like home in a sense. It is our house after all and has our favorite paint colors and furniture and what not. It felt infinitely more like home once we had Noah’s pictures up. It brought a sense of comfort that wasn’t quite there before. Hard to explain. We have a small album on our coffee table of many of the pictures of those four days. We also have framed pictures up on our nightstands and scattered throughout the rest of the house. I just need to look at him as much as possible. Maybe to remind myself that he really was here. He really did happen. My favorite at the moment is one that they took at the hospital with his eyes open. He is looking right at the camera. He slept so much, we rarely saw his eyes, so this one is special. I also wear a bracelet that has spots for pictures in it that are filled with some of my favorites of Noah. Ask me to show it to you next time you see me. When I am having a really hard day and am feeling particularly cynical about my life, I look at his little face on that bracelet and it reminds me that I need to try harder. Noah deserves to have a good mother whether he is here or not.

3. The best place to catch me crying is in my car.

I seem to feel the loss the hardest in my car. It is time when I am alone usually with my own thoughts. I always have to have music on when I drive. I like the noise. I can’t, however, stand listening to peppy or happy music right now. That leaves the sad stuff. My own thoughts + sad music = me crying my eyeballs out as I run errands around town. Today, I was out and there was the pretty route I could drive home or the fast way to drive home. I REALLY wanted to take the pretty route, but I couldn’t handle more time alone with myself. Ugh…

4. Having a new understanding of mortality.

It is so unfair that my 4 day old infant couldn’t live longer. None of us are meant to stay here on earth forever. We are all born with an expiration date. Everyone, in a sense, knows that. It doesn’t hit us that it really is true until you actually do lose someone important, especially in an unfair way. Losing Noah wasn’t like losing a 90 year old grandparent who had already lived a full life. Understanding that anyone can go at any time, and no one is immune from this is seeping through us. The people closest to me can and will leave me. When or if we have more children, I will now get to be the mom who wakes her kids up in the middle of the night to see if they are still alive. I don’t see how we can not be paranoid about this.

5. Carpe Diem

I know two things for certain. 1) Life is precious, and 2) you never know what curveballs life will throw at you. So, if there is a friend or family member that you have been meaning to connect with, do it. If there is something you have been meaning to do with your life but you haven’t gotten around to it, do it. Get married. Have babies. Spend time with the people you love. When something major happens that causes you to reflect on your life, these are the things you regret – what you didn’t do. I have no regrets about Noah. I am so grateful that he came into our lives, even though it was brief. I love him more than I could ever possibly tell you. I was a hands on mom that spent as much time with him as I possibly could. I know there are others that regret not calling and coming over after he was born, and I hate that. Maybe there was a reason for it – that his short time was meant to be spent with Chris and I. I can say that if we are blessed with having more children in the future, I will be calling you all to come over and see them because I know that I do wish more people had met Noah. He was something to know. He was pretty amazing, and wish more could have seen that. I know that is part of my mission in life now - to tell his story and shout it from the mountain tops if I have to to let the world know about my incredible son.


Anonymous B.J. Evans said...

Well shoot, Sarah, now I'm crying at work again. I guess if the car is your place, then my desk is mine. When I first read the e-mail about Noah dying, I was sitting at a table next to the volleyball court in Chicago and, as I was reading, a volleyball hit by one of the Italian players grazed my forehead. I started crying and everyone thought I was hurt... but really I was crying for you and Noah.

I know that when I had something really bad happen to me a few years ago, I got a note from my aunt that said "I am so angry that this happened to you," and it was one of the nicest things anybody had said to me. It made me feel less alone in my anger at God and the world.

So I will say to you, I am truly angry that this happened to you and that you have to go through all this. It is not fair and it is not right. And you are not alone in your anger and grief. - B.J.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... are so very articulate about your grief and how you feel. You have put tears in my eyes because you have said so many wonderful things that are part of your healing process.

I hope that you decide to have more children if it is possible. You will be an excellent mother.

10:16 AM  
Blogger jilli said...

I know that I would not have needed to meet Noah to know what an amazing boy he was because you are unbelievably extraordinary. And I desperately hope that you know it and feel it often. I am awed by your strength and courage to share your rawest thoughts and feelings.

I truly appreciate your blog and I will continue to be with you on this journey of healing. To echo B.J., you are not alone, and I only wish that you could feel the burden of your grief lifting from all of the love that surrounds you.

11:28 PM  

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