Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's almost too much to bear.....

Laying on my desk right now, is a composite of nine pictures I printed off last night. Nine little black and white pictures, three of each of my kids. And in the bottom left corner there's a picture of Everett, with his eyes open, watching the camera.

And its almost too much to bear.

The closest thing we'll ever have to looking into his eyes.

And he's perfect and precious and looks just like Landon, but the reality of him has become so faded.

I can barely remember what it was like to be physically near him, to have that proximity, and to look into his actual eyes and not just a photograph.

Its almost more then I can bear.

I witnessed last night how the sight of these very same pictures shut Elvis down from he inside out. He asked for them, new pictures of the kids for his new work binder. All three kids, because Elvis would never leave Everett out, and as they emerged from the printer, I could see his heart break. Maybe it was those eyes, looking right into his. Maybe he felt that pain of remembering what it was like to do that for real, and then he felt the pain of reality, that all we have are pictures and memories that cloud by the day.

And it was almost more then he could bear. He imploded, silently, and put himself to bed quicker and earlier then he normally would. His heart hurt, I could see his sadness in the slump of his shoulders and the glaze over his eyes.

It's mind blowing sometimes, how you can be perfectly functional for days or even weeks at a time, and then suddenly you stumble and get all tangled in your grief all over again. And I just can't believe he's dead. I can't believe one of my babies died. My beautiful identical twin babies, separated by death just 20 days after their birth and three weeks before they were even due to enter this world. Beautiful, loved, wanted, miraculous baby, gone. We didn't have time to enjoy him properly. He never came home. We barely got to hold him. I never got to try and nurse him. Or dress him. I can't even recall if I changed his diaper. And now he's gone.

And its almost too much to bear.


Friday, January 15, 2010

He's not there.............

Since the day we buried Everett, his grave site has been a place of great conflict for me. The moment he was settled in his body's final resting place, and it was certain to all of us that we had truly said goodbye, and that it wasn't some horrible nightmare we could wake from, I wanted to leave it. Its like magnetic attraction in reverse, that grave site repels me. It's the last place on earth I want to be.

Some days, like today, when I'm in my car with time to spare, I think to myself "maybe I'll stop in", but then I catch myself and ask why? Why stop in? What good would it do? Would it make me feel any better? No. Its just what people do when they lose loved ones, and they feel a need to visit them someplace, any place, to make that loss feel a little less concrete. But I guess my heart doesn't work that way. I feel no comfort at all standing at the place we buried my 20 day old son. It feels horrible to stand at his head stone and know that his body rests just six feet below my feet, but I can't see him or hold him ever again.

His grave site isn't him.

Today it is granite and snow and trinkets poking through, its cold and its lonely and its not him.

He's not there. He's not waiting there for me to come to him.

He's not there.

He's in Heaven, of that we can be assured, and he's not worried about us at all.

He doesn't feel more loved by me, or us, depending on how many times we visit his body. He's not keeping score at all. I can send my love up to him a million times a day and yet I suspect he's totally unconcerned by it at all, because he's in Heaven, and he's got the most amazing love around him at all times. I'm willing to bet that his focus is Jesus and not me anyway, until I can join him there, and that I have his permission to love him and grieve him in any way I like, whatever keeps me going until I can see him again.

So I drive by his grave and cast a sideways glance out the window as I pass him, I scan quickly for any changes, any new trinkets I can see from the road, and I keep going. I don't pull in the gate, I don't park by his row, I don't get out and trudge through two feet of snow to his beautiful granite head stone, and I DO NOT fall to my knees and fall to pieces. I don't shed tears to a stone and have conversation with a body that stopped hearing me over two years ago. I don't do it because its not natural for me, and I don't do it because he's not there and he doesn't need me to.

But here's what I do. I pray to God to pass my love onto him, though I don't think Everett needs me to, I need to. And I think about him every time I pass his picture in the hallway, or look at his brother, or see a new baby. I miss him every morning and every night and every minute in between. I blog about him, talk about him, and pray about him whenever the need strikes me. And I think about what it will take to see him again, and I think about how I'm going to make it happen. I puzzle over what our Heavenly reunion will be like and I sometimes cry from frustration because I'm confused about what to expect. But at the end of the day I sleep peaceably because though I don't know what out reunion will be like, I know it will be and that's good enough for me.