One Month

It’s been a month now. A month since Emerson was alive on this Earth. It feels like a lifetime. Like an honest to God eternity since Emerson was here. And at the same time I am trying to step on the brake of life: how can time keep moving forward without Emerson? I felt (and feel) like this about my sister Anna and her death too. Pieces of my heart are missing and I still have to go on.

Over the last month I have learned a lot about myself.

The first is that I am not strong for this. There are so many different kinds of strength, but the strength a body needs to get through this grief… I just don’t have it. Not right now. Not how I should. I am so broken. In the last month, all I’ve done is lay on the couch or my bed. I simultaneously have manic energy and no ability to complete daily tasks. I can’t comprehend doing the laundry: why. How can something so mundane exist in this pain? And so I don’t do the laundry. It’s the same with all the chores. Nothing gets done because I do it; Matt is carrying that load. In most ways, it is the same with the kids: I get up in time to take them to daycare and this is usually after Matt has woken me up two or three times. It is too much to have them home the full day and even on the weekends we try to be around other people. My day is filled with nothing and then I pick up the boys after daycare. I try then. From about 4:30 until 8:00, I try really hard to be engaged and to be present for them. It is so difficult for me. As long as we don’t stop, I can usually make it the full time. If it’s sunny and we can stay outside, I can usually make it until bed time. Dinner has been taken care of by many family and friends but now that’s done and my kids will need to eat somehow. Life keeps calling to me and I just lay in bed. It was like this after Anna died too. I have memories from that first year after her death, but not a lot and many of them are life from my couch.

This leads me to the second thing I have learned: I need help. I need to help my family get through this grief and I need to help myself through this grief. Matt needs me too. Because if I am not doing the daily living, someone has to and so far Matt has carried me. So I went to the doctor and started with some medications. We’ll see how those go. I am also planning on some grief therapy. I have the name of two therapist, but haven’t called yet to make a referral. I know I need to but it is part of the first problem. How can I need to do something as mundane as intake for therapy right now? I hope to do this tomorrow. But who knows what barriers I will run into, or make up, tomorrow.

The third thing I have learned about myself is that I am not quite on speaking terms with God. Don’t get me wrong, I still have faith but I do not have understanding or knowledge. Today, my faith is based upon the knowledge that I will get to see Emerson again. I don’t find comfort in the scripture of sorrow and suffering. Suffering for the sake of salvation feels like a whole lot of bullshit right now. Job was by far a better man than I. I struggle to understand what an afterlife will be like. Who will Emerson be? How we will interact? I still believe in God. I still believe that Jesus is our salvation. I just cannot find comfort in the suffering right now. I am just holding onto hope that I will make it to the other side of grief and find love again. I pray for wisdom. I pray for God to hold Emerson in His hands and to hold my family in His hands.

It’s been such a long month. I go back to work on Monday, because, contrary to what I’ve been told, I do need to start making an effort. It’s been hard for me to talk about Emerson to people outside my family. It’s been heartbreaking to take the family out and not have Emerson with us. Strangers only see us as a family of 4 and they don’t know about my son, Emerson. Sorkin is having such a hard time. He misses Emerson as much as us and wants him to come home. We all want Emerson to come home. It’s so hard to tell him over and over and over that Emerson is not coming home, the we don’t get to see Emerson again, that Emerson died, and Emerson is now in Heaven. How can a 2 (almost 3) year old understand when his mother cannot? Death is not easy.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know when this pain normalizes. It’s not normal…any of this. We’re working on creating rituals to keep Emerson with us. We talk to him a lot. We visit his grave. We sing his songs. We are keeping the monthly routine of putting quarters in his piggy bank along with his brothers (Emerson used to love to do this).  It’s not enough. Nothing ever will be enough. But it’s all we have. Emerson moved on and we’re left behind. Tomorrow is going to come if I am ready or not.

Emerson, we miss you so much. Your spirit filled our house and it is so quiet now without you. Your brothers miss you and so do mom and dad. We love you Bubba.

 Trueblood Family with Emerson March 28th 2016-162 copy

 

 

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How is it possible to live without Emerson?

There is an interesting phenomenon around parenthood. Before your child is born, you cannot imagine how your life will be changed. You try. You plan. You prepare. You buy toys and set up a crib. You pick a name and clothes. Yet you have no idea what your life will be like and how a whole new person will fit in it.

Then your child is born. It is amazing. Your whole world shifts and you cannot imagine your life without this person. That other you, the you before them, becomes a distant memory of another lifetime. And this happens quickly within days, hours, minutes even.

The same thing happens with successive children. You wonder how this new person will fit into your life and how it will affect your relationships with existing children. Yet when the new baby comes, it is perfect and natural. Life without that person is impossible to imagine.

In fact, I often remark to my husband, can you even imagine what our life would be without our kids? And we try but everything we imagine is flat and empty without our boys. I could not imagine my life without my children.

Yet here I am. Living my life without Emerson. I still find it impossible to imagine the rest of my life without Emerson. How is this possible? How is a person that I love more than myself gone forever? How do I make it to tomorrow?

Emerson. My first-born.

The pain is so hard to describe. I think my Aunt said it best when she told me that it is like a piece of yourself dies when you lose a child. I think that’s as close as I can get to describing it. It a very bizarre feeling to try to explain. My arms have felt empty since Emerson died; even with two other boys that I’ve held and loved.

I’ve been trying to figure out what it means for me now that Emerson is gone. I have been trying to figure out who I am without him. Emerson is a big part of myself. He shaped me as a mother.

I find that I still have more questions than answers. I’m not sure at this point that I will ever have the answers and I’m not sure that the answers will ever be good enough. I’m going to keep taking it moment by moment, and I am always going to feel like a piece of myself is missing.

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On the Eve of Emerson’s Funeral

When my sister Anna passed away on June 12th 2014, I found myself sharing images and thoughts of her frequently on Facebook and other social media sites. I could not share her enough. It was healing to share memories of Anna.

So I find it interesting that at the passing of my son, Emerson, that I have disappeared from social media. Emerson passed away Monday 3/28 2016 around 6:30pm. His passing has caused me to collapse into myself. I have pulled everything in tight. I have struggled to follow-up with people reaching out even as I long for their support and love. Grief is unpredictable.

On the eve of his wake, I find that I need to break the engulfing silence of my grief. Over the last week, my husband and I have made a lot of heartbreaking, difficult decisions: we arranged my son’s funeral. Cemeteries.  Caskets. Flowers. Music. Readings. Pictures. Obituary. So many choices.

The pain I feel in losing my son is so raw and so immense that I don’t know what to do with it. I am in a cosmos of grief; it washes over me every moment–covering me in its enormity. My only life savers are my 2 remaining sons. They are my salvation.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in memories over the last week. I am trying to pull together every little piece of Emerson. Anything at all to remember every second of his life. My husband and I found a few unwashed articles of clothes and put them in a gallon baggie; we want to save his smell for as long as possible. We took out his bin of memories. It was too small. We printed pictures. There were not enough. We watched videos, they were all too short. There can never be enough memorabilia.

Tomorrow is Emerson’s wake; the day after, his funeral. I get to see my son’s body two more times before I never see it again. I will never get to stroke his hair again. Never get to kiss him. Never get to hold his hand. There are a lifetime of nevers ahead.

5 years ago, March 2011, I found out we were pregnant with Emerson. I did not know then what I know now. I didn’t know about the pain, the hurt, and the challenges. I also didn’t know about the love, the joy, and the treasure of being a mom- of being his mom. Emerson is the easiest person to love. He lit up our life. I am so grateful that God gave me Emerson. I wish He had given me Emerson forever. I wish the natural order of life won; that my husband and I died before him. But it did not. I do not regret my decision to have my son. I could never regret that. He has made me into a woman far better than I used to be. He has shaped my motherhood. He has defined my values. Emerson is my sunshine. forever.

I feel as though I’ve aged two lifetimes since that day in March when I first learned I was pregnant. I am not the same woman who I used to be. I hope, as the days progress, I can continue to share my love of Emerson. I hope that he continues to pour his strength into me and opens me up as he was open.

Emerson, I cannot express how much I love you nor how much pain this separation causes me. I miss you more than I can explain. I will always hold you in my heart and I will wait for you in my dreams Peanut Pie.

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