Leaves are falling, there's a chill in the air, and fall is in full swing.
Halloween is coming, and soon we'll be counting down to Christmas. This has always been one of my favorite times of year, where fall ushers in a season of celebration and joy, from Thanksgiving through to Christmas, the weeks are packed with fun. But, nearly four years ago, a change ocurred, which dramatically altered the season.
Now its a thanksgiving season.
It's a trick-or-treating season.
It's a kids birthday party season.
and it's a grieving season.
It was November 17th 2007 when I delivered my much anticipated twin baby boys, this marked the seasons start. It ends on December 11th 2011, the day we burried one of them. Each and every year, our hearts react the to coming of the season, where similar events and situations spark memories and emotions and bring them to the surface in an incredibly vivid and tender, even painful way. This is not meant to imply that we don't grieve all year round, but this grieving season is when it all hits home.
It goes like this.
November 17th, we celebrate the birth of our amazing twin sons, we remember the awe and the joy and their delictate perfection.
November 29th, this is the anniversary of the day Everett had his first open heart surgery.
December 5th, the anniversary of his second open heart surgery.
December 7th, we remember the day our world shattered and fell to the ground, the day Everett died.
December 11th, we remember his funeral, the day we held him in our arms last, the very last day our eyes could look upon him, and for many of our family and friends, the only day their eyes would ever look up on him.
And every day since has been a day of remembering, falling apart, building up, looking for comfort, looking for a reason, grieving, and starting over.
Sitting here, nearly four years after the birth of my boys, I can tell you that, at this minute, I'm okay. I've been rebuilt and healed enough at this point that most days are okay. I miss Everett always, there's a tiny place in my heart that calls out for him always, and there are tiny stings of grief each day. But if you saw me, you'd think I'm pretty well healed. But grief is a funny creature, and it comes and goes, like the tide ebbs and flows, like the seasons, it always comes back around again. November is almost upon us and I'm already trying to mentally prepare myself to handle being simultaneously happy and bereft. Because I'll celebrate the birth of three of my children this month, and I'll also be welcoming a new baby niece, and I'll be mourning Everett, and recalling the details of his birth and his death at the same time.
I'll light birthday candles for Landon and watch him blow them out, and I'll be grieving all the birthdays Everett will never have.
I'll wrap up Avery and Landon's birthday gifts and cry over the fact that I'll never get to pick out that something special I just knew Everett would love.
I'll watch others celebreate my living kids and my heart will hurt because I'll look into their eyes and wont see a hint of sadness or grief there, and I'll know they aren't thinking of Everett at all. To them, life without him, it's normal, and I'll grieve harder knowing I'm doing it mostly alone. I know they loved him, I know they wanted him to live, but they don't feel it like we do, they don't get it, nor should they.
While I'm waiting for the first snow to fall and awaken that child like wonder in me, I'm waiting for the first pangs of sadness to arrive and awaken the memories that sit just beneath the surface. I'm waiting to feel it again, to really feel those emotions once more, and in them, feel closer then ever to Everett.
My tears bring me closer.
My pain brings me closer.
My breaking heart brings me closer.
So close to how I felt back then, when it was happening, so close I can almost see him, almost feel him.
And that is the joy in the grieving season.