I was just speaking with my mother in law about grief. She was say she feels like she's back. I know what she means. When I first lost Tommy, it felt like I was in another world, parallel to the one we are in now. It was like everyone just carried on as if MY SON wasn't gone. It's not how you feel when you get back from a trip. It's not how you feel when you haven't seen someone for a while. It's like living in a personal war zone for as long as your body can tolerate.
Daily life is getting back to normal a little at a time. Rob is outside doing work on our shed, grandma took the kids for the day to a Derby event. I have to work tonight with errands to run beforehand. Life seems like the typical American family for us. We seem so picture perfect and content from the outside. But look closely....
You'll see a child's face on the wall that isn't here. You'll see ceramic angels all over the house. There's a pallor that feels just a little bit sad when you least expect it. My 5 year old tells strangers out of the blue that his brother died. It's shocking to see such a typical family that looks so normal on the outside to be dealing with such hurt on the inside.
Next week, Rob and his uncle are finally making the trip to Charleston to get our things out of storage. It is the final step to make our move back to KY complete. When we left, I was in such a state of grief. I took some much needed advice and boxed everything of Tommy's up and put it in storage with the rest of our things. Soon, I will be opening those boxes and asking myself if I'm ready to let them go or do they go back in the box? I think it will be a sad time, but not a profoundly sad time. I don't know. Now that I am dwelling on it and trying to prepare myself, I wonder how I will feel.
I am healing a little at a time. Working and talking about Tommy is theraputic to me. Blogging is a blessing! Following the ups and downs of other medically fragile kids keeps me going too. I cheer at their triumphs and cry at their stumbles. When another child dies, all I can think is "there are so many!" How did I not know there were this many parents not rocking their babies?
I have a kid-free afternoon. I miss them already, but in order to "get back", we have to do what is normal. Normal is spending the day with grandma so mom gets a break. Normal is enjoying a beautiful day without guilt. Normal is missing my son and knowing he's still here. My little angel.