We are down to moment by moment. What can we do to hold it together for that moment in time?
It's been hard.
It snowed yesterday. I clearly remember this past January. We had a big snow storm after my brain surgery. I remember watching my tiny man watching out the window as it snowed. He watched his siblings play and got so frustrated that he wanted to go out too. Finally his nurse bundled him up in so many layers and out he went. Eli got to be outside in the snow. Who would have known that would be his first and last time to ever stand and walk in snow. He was so excited and smiled his big beautiful smile.
There was only 1 other time he was ever in snow. When he was 1 yr old and was so sick. We were hospitalized and it was the first time the doctors began talking to us about quality of life. We pushed so hard and finally they agreed. We put layers of clothes on Eli, bundled him up with so many blankets, but on a face mask, and laid him in the red hospital wagon. Of we went. He spent 3 whole minutes outside looking at the snow and even touching a small handful.
It again snowed on our private family visitation day with Eli at the funeral home. We got to spend hrs together as a family, talking to him, taking turns alone working on the sticker book that he never got to do, and relishing the final times to ever touch our baby. It snowed that day. It snowed on the van, the snow covered the tulips in front of the funeral home. It had to be our tiny man.
So here we are days before Christmas with snow. The kids wanted to go out so out we went. Bob and the kids ran and had snowball fights, made snow angels and laughed and played. I took pictures and drew Eli's name in the snow.
My heart was breaking. Everything reminds me of him. Everything reminds me of the emptiness now. Everything reminds me that this will never end, that this will be the rest of our lives. I grieve for it all.
After everyone warmed up the kids were needing to keep moving. So that we did. Down to the pool we went.
These final days have brought about a stillness over our house, an anxiety in the kids, the missing piece is so apparent.
I have been constantly amazed at the strength of our kids and at how very clearly they grieve. It is different then how we grieve as adults, but boy do they grieve. They feel the emptiness. They feel the loss.
The days building up to Christmas this year haven't been the same. There are a few things they have insisted on to make the holidays feel like normal, mainly a Christmas tree, but other than that there hasn't been the Christmas push. I long for it be over, even though I know it won't truly be over. Never again will it be the same. I grieve for what the older 4 have lost. They haven't just lost their brother. Their hope has been crushed. They have learned how quickly life can change. How cruel the world can truly be. They have lost the childish belief in all things good. They know it simply isn't so. I grieve for the innocence of my children.
I grieve. I grieve for it all. I grieve for what was. I grieve for what never will be.
It is overwhelming, all consuming, exhausting. I'm exhausted. I'm broken. I am not strong.
I had many a long talk with one of my best friends this week and she said the words I've needed to hear for so long. She told me that she sees me, she sees that I'm broken, that it's ok. She said she sees me, and I truly believed that she meant it. It meant the world to me. Such simple words, but knowing that she truly SAW me right were I was, broken and grieving and lost.
So here we sit. Moment by moment. Playing games, watching movies, playing in the snow, swimming, baking, drawing, and anything else we can scrape together to keep us moving forward, to keep us busy, to pass the time. For we know in a few short days there will be no denying that it's Christmas day and our baby is GONE.