Monday, November 16, 2009

Falling into it....

Its 11:07pm. In a little more then 6 hours, my boys will be two years old.

My boys. Not just Landon, but Everett too. But outwardly, we'll be celebrating the birth of Landon, and those who don't know us, or even those who don't realize the depth and the significance of the day, will celebrate Landon alone.

I knew that the hurt was coming. I expected it. And now its here, and I'm falling into it. I decided a long time ago to not fight the hurt, or the grief. It only hurts more, builds up and explodes into something uncontrollable and messy. So, I'm giving into it and letting it be whatever its going to be.

I've been playing the boys birth over and over in my head and its so bizarre to vividly remembering giving birth to two babies, and then looking around at the kids playing in my living room, and just one of those boys is here in my home, playing with his big sister and enjoying his childhood. Of course its amazing that Landon is here with us, considering the fact that they are identical twins, it is miraculous that Landon was born with a completely perfect heart, and we'll celebrate that tomorrow, when we celebrate his birthday. But somehow I'll have to schedule in some time to silently mourn Everett, and his misfortune.

Poor unfortunate boy. One little cell that divided wrong changed the blueprints of his heart and like a row of domino's falling, it all went awry from there. From perfect to tragically flawed in the time it takes for a cell to divide. Poor baby. The Dr's at Sick Kids told us that his defect was probably formed by 9 weeks, by the time we first viewed them on an ultrasound screen, the damage was already done, and no one knew. We couldn't see it, no one knew how badly it was broken. Its hard to not imagine what life would be like if we could have seen it, if we had some advance warning that he was going to be born with a broken heart. Would we have been able to create a better situation for him to be born into? Would we have been able to treat it better and faster? Would we have been able to give him a fighting chance? Its verly likely that we could have, but we won't ever know it now.

I honestly don't know what to do with myself during this three week phase when my grief is amplified to a nearly unbearable intensity. I can't fall apart, I have to mother my other kids and I have to work. I can't stay in bed all day and eat myself into sweet oblivion, I have to be healthy and productive for my kids, and for me. But my mind hops from thought to thought, it flashes pictures of Everett in my head like a movie and sad songs play through my mind over and over. I can't focus, I get antsy at the sight of pregnant women and babies and the mention of the word twins. When someone mentions Landon's birthday, and they don't know any better, I scream in my head that Everett has a birthday too. I want to fall apart in my husbands arms at the end of the day like I always have when missing Everett gets too hard for me to bear, and I can't do that either. So I don't know what I'll do with myself.

Distractions can only go so far. Eventually night comes and my thoughts are free to run wild. I'll think things like "two years ago I was in the hospital with the boys, both were doing so well", and "two years ago right this second, Everett was on a helicopter on his way to Toronto", and like this, "two years ago right now, the Dr's unhooked all of his life support, and handed to us to hold, already gone, and our lives crumbled."

Its a rough anniversary to get through, spanning not one day, but three painful weeks of struggle and defeat, and the most agonizing loss anyone can experience. Saying goodbye to a baby before you ever even brought them home. Saying goodbye to your baby period. And we'll relive it year, after year, after year, until we're reunited by our own deaths.

I've got a fun day planned with Landon, I'll celebrate him, and I'll mean it, with all my heart, because he is a blessing and he pulled me through some very hard times. Having him to love has been a blessing beyond words, but I haven't found the balance yet, I haven't figured out how to celebrate and grieve at the same time. I don't know how to be joyous over their births, and mourn Everett's death, with grace, without making the day unhappy for Landon. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it with birthday's to come, but until then, I'll continue to face these next few weeks with great anxiety and apprehension. I wish it could be easier.

I'm tempted to go by Everett's grave tomorrow. It seems like the thing to do, but in all honesty, I don't want to. I don't like it there. I don't feel better there. It doesn't help me feel closer to him. All it does is make me hurt. It makes me cry. It makes me remember the day we placed him there, and it makes me want to turn and run the other way. I can't stand being so close to his body, knowing its just there beneath my feet, and knowing I'll never see him or hold him again. I can't tolerate knowing he's there and out of reach, and because I think of him like my living, breathing baby, the thought of him beneath my feet is horrific and more then my aching heart can handle. It may seem strange to some, but I couldn't bear the thought of cremation and I can't bear being at his grave, the truth is that I can't bear that he is dead.

I can't believe he is dead...

If you had seen him, heard him, held him, touched, him, you wouldn't believe it either.

Tomorrow is his second birthday. He never even celebrated a 1 month birthday. Tomorrow we'll celebrate the birth of our twins, without ever having known the joy of parenting twins. We'll look into Landon's gorgeous, beaming, energetic, healthy little face and see Everett there, because they were very much identical. I can see it in the pictures above, Landon and Everett would be spitting images and confuse anyone who didn't really know them well enough to tell them apart by anything other then their looks.

Life's too bittersweet sometimes.

Rough days ahead...


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