Today we started a bit of Christmas shopping. All over the toy store my eyes would fall on gifts that would have been just perfect for Eli. Yet they don't go in the cart. Then there it was. Eli's favorite gift from his birthday and Christmas last year, his roller coaster. The tears stung my eyes immediately.
By the time we were in the car my chest literally hurt, the panic and pain over taking me. The tears burned my eyes so badly I could hardly see.
We have thanksgiving next week. Then Eli's birthday on Dec 1st, followed by Christmas and a whole new year. I'm not ready for any of this. I want to curl up in a ball and sleep until the holidays are past. I don't want a tree, I don't want to decorate, I don't want to shop and wrap gifts. I don't want to celebrate.
I know that we have 4 living children and they so love the holidays. We will do it. We will participate. We will get into the full swing of it. We will do it for them.
But oh how hard it is. The pain is beyond magnified these last few weeks seeing the holidays creeping into our lives. It hurts so bad at times, it's hard to breath.
I find myself avoiding anything that makes me think of Eli. I don't play any of my favorite songs, because they were played at the visitation or his funeral. I rarely look at pictures because seeing his beautiful face is brutally painful. I don't touch his things, heck sometimes I do everything I can to not look at them, as all they do is remind me that he's not here using them. I try not to look at clothes when we are at stores, as I always loved picking out his adorable little outfits. I avoid toys and kids books. It pains me to look at holiday decorations, as all I can think about is him not being here for the holidays.
Tomorrow we take family pictures. How do you take family pictures when part of your family is missing? I don't know.
The guilt is overwhelming at times as well. If I do enjoy something, or get momentarily excited looking at a decoration, or the thought of taking pictures and displaying them of the 6 of us, or so many other things... It all seems wrong. I know that we have to go on and be a family, the 6 of us, but it's not that easy. It's simply not.
I don't know how much harder it's going to get but I do know that the pain of child loss is all consuming, brutal, painful, intense, breath robbing, numbing, guilt ridden at times, lonely, and hard. Oh so hard.