Friday, September 4, 2009

Living in the Present

For the past year, I've been able to recall memories of what I was doing the previous year. A couple of days ago, I realized it was all a blur. From September to November, my life was nothing but one dark nightmare. Tommy had just been buried and my marriage was unraveling. I was (rightly so) a complete mess. Trying to hold on to the one thing I thought at the time I had left, I was falling into a deep depression trying to save my marriage.

I remember nightmares that I had as I slept alone in our quiet house with nothing there but memories and time. I watched tv, I packed, I washed a lot of clothes. Sometimes I washed things over and over just to be doing something. Rob had moved out and I was at the darkest time of my life.

I am NOT sharing this because I want pity or for anyone to hate or blame Rob. We all grieve differently. This is about perspective. I don't remember things on a daily basis. Really it's just a big blur of bits and pieces. It was two long months of losing my sanity. Literally.

It took me a very long time to climb out of that darkness. I had thought for so long that I could not get out of it by myself and could not go on with my life without Rob, but in the end, I had to be the one to pull myself out of the despair. There's nothing harder than finding out nobody can save you but yourself. No matter who you reach to, the hands are just out of reach.

Rob and I did find each other again and our marriage is better than it has ever been. In the light of day, we realized that our grief had overcome us in two very different ways. Mine just happened to internalize itself while he ran from his grief. While I was reaching out to cling to the one link I had left to Tommy, he wanted to get as far away from me as possible because I was the one reminder of Tommy in his eyes. Grief is a strange thing.

Looking back a year ago hurts me very much. For the first time in my journey of losing my son, I am now living in the present. Looking at each day ahead of me instead of looking back with longing and saddness.

My days are no longer filled with sadness and nightmares. I sleep soundly and even have wonderful pleasant dreams. Sometimes they are even of Tommy. I no longer feel the quietness of a house full of memories surrounding me. Instead, I am surrounded with peacefulness. A year ago, I never knew quiet could be so loud. I found there is a difference between quietness and peacefulness.

I have an annoying cat that meows constantly. I have my handsome husband playing a video game three feet from me and I can hear the soft sounds of the radio in the boy's room. I won't have a nightmare tonight and tomorrow I will probably have a headache from the sounds of the boys crashing through the front door after school. And a year from now, I won't remember any of it unless I happen to look back at this blog. It's good to finally be living in the present. I will cherish my memories of Tommy and our lives with him, but I no longer have a tapping on my shoulder making me remember what I was doing with him every single day of his life the year before.

I still catch myself staring at his picture and wiping away a stray tear. I will never forget him. But I no longer have to need to cling to my past. It took me a whole year to figure out that Tommy is in my future too, that I would not forget him and I don't have to make myself relive each day of his life. His life and my life are forever intertwined. As long as I live my life and cherish his memory, he lives.


saywhatyouwill said...

rene that is a beautiful post.

Sheilacakes said...

I love you. I am glad that you are doing so well.

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects
Double Inlet Left Ventricle with Transpostion of the Great Arteries