I am not sure I mentioned lately how much I absolutely love and adore my husband. He actually has a reminder on his phone to “comfort me” at this time of year. And he does. His strong hugs are so helpful to me I am not sure he knows how much.
Yes, I know, it’s been a long time. 23 years is a very long time. I am sure there are some out there, surely those that have never lost a child, that wonder “how long” this kind of grief lasts.
Grief is a wild animal. We are all very familiar with losing grandparents or “older” relatives, we sort of expect it. I haven’t lost my parents yet, but I am sure I will be a total mess when I do. I know I will outlive them, I’ve always known it. I know that loss will be coming at some point and it won’t be easy.
Losing your children, however, seems innately “wrong”. It’s not supposed to happen. Losing a child is the most horrific thing can happen to a parent. You are not supposed to outlive your children.
The truth is I will never be over it. He’s my son and always will be. The grief, however, changes and mutates over time.
I used to dwell on it, it used to consume me. I used to purposely listen to Barry Manilow on my way to work, a 45 minute drive, and cry all the way, every single day for months. But that was then. The difference is that now I only feel low and I may cry on the anniversary of his death/birth, but that is because I miss him. There is nothing wrong in missing someone you love, is there?
It also needs to be said that there are some triggers that I can’t avoid. Triggers that just leave me breathless even now, this long time after. Because of them sometimes I think that I’ve come a long way since then but never far enough. The emotions of that day, the disbelief, confusion, pain, sadness, grief are much less raw now but are never completely gone. I am writing this blog today to let those emotions out, to express, them so I can go on about my day a little better.
My husband asked me if doing the “channelings” with Alex through the various mediums has helped me put things into perspective, and they have. They have helped me enormously. These gals were amazing. They knew things about Alex and about me that pretty much blew my mind, so I have no choice but to believe them. I have no doubts in the matter. What transpired from those channelings are that, yes, he did have EB. Yes, this was something that was supposed to happen to give me the courage, the faith and the strength to fight for Nicky. I get it. But it still hurts.
The grief of a stillbirth is unlike any other form of grief: the months of excitement and expectation, the planning, the purchase of the crib, the baby clothes, the diapers, and the drama of labour—all magnifying the devastating incomprehension of giving birth to a baby bearing no signs of life. And the sad thing is that I am far from being the only one this has happened to. Almost 3 million stillbirths happen worldwide every year, 100 a day in the United States.
The coping mechanisms of parents dealing with this unthinkable loss are as varied as the people themselves. Mine is to talk about it. Mine is to write books. It helps me and hopefully help others. Being close to community where children die all the time it’s not easy for me either. Epidermolysis Bullosa is a killer and I am not sure how long I will have Nicky for, so I am always hugging and kissing him. I can never take his life for granted. He’s my angel on earth, the sibling Alex watches over every day.
So, Happy Birthday in Heaven my precious angel! Forever Loved, Never Forgotten.
Love & Light,