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.