It isn't a natural thing, to birth a child, then live his life without him.
It isn't normal to pack away your hopes and dreams for your child, along with this few, but precious belongings, because his life was far too short, and painfully lived.
It isn't okay that he died.
And it isn't okay that a lot of other things unraveled in the aftermath.
But it it exactly what it is.
And it's been over four years now since I delivered Everett and Landon, and only weeks later said goodbye to Everett and brough Landon home. But that event was just the begining, it was the stone thrown in the pond, the ripples continue on and on. Losing Everett set us on a path we could not have ever imagined, not in our wildest dreams, every single aspect of our lives changed with is life and with his death. And while it's been painful at times, and confusing, I know that it's all been for a purpose, and dare I say, it's been for our good.
Now, there are people on the outside of this experience, maybe they watched it happen, maybe they felt one or two of the ripples in their own pond, but it didn't happen to them and they don't really understand how it is. How could they? It happened to me and most days I don't understand one single thing thats happening in my life. But anyway, these people, they like to think they know how grief should look like and what we should be doing with our lives and our broken hearts in the aftermath of losing an incredibly beloved child. They don't have a clue.
They see the external aspects of our lives now. They see us carrying on. We had to carry on, what choice was there? We had to raise our children and live our lives and I think given what we went through, we took those broken pieces and did our best with them, and what we made wasn't half bad. But what they don't see is the internal damage. They don't see the cracks and fractures that run to the core of us. They go so deep. And though we rebuilt ourselves to some resemblance of our former selves, the selves that never grieved over a lost son, we're not the same at all. Nothing is as it was. No wonder we couldn't maintain what we used to be.
Try as we might, life set us on a dramatic and unexpected course, and being that we're just human, we didn't always know what to do with ourselves or each other. We did what we thought was best, and we had the very best intentions, but it's hard you know, to mend a broken heart of your own, while trying to tend to your children and also worry about the needs and demands of another. It's not that you don't want to try, it's that you don't realize you're not already meeting everyone's needs. I know there are people out there who stand in judgement of us, for letting our marriage fall apart. We didn't do it on purpose, neither of us willfully neglected the other. There was no spite involved. What you have witnessed, you people standing on the outside looking in, is two people who tried very hard, under the weight of grief and sadness and obligation and strain, to put back together and maintain what used to be, not knowing that what used to be was gone for good and we needed to be building something completely new. But hindsight is 20/20, and we can't go back and change the past. And here were are now, 4 years and 4 months later, and we're changed beyond recognition. Our lives are full, our lives are blessed, our lives our complicated, so much more then you can tell by just looking at us. And we're still doing our very best to make the most of the hand we were dealt.
It' isn't easy you know. It isn't natural, to go through what we went through. To hold you child after he took his last breath. To take his only outfit to the funeral home for him to be buried in. To lay his felty white casket in the groud. There isn't anything quite like this kind of heart break. Saying goodbye to a baby you never got to parent and love the way you planned, it causes a sort of damage to your heart that you just can't describe or explain. Its more like a crush injury then a fracture, so many tiny pieces, not a hope of ever really returning it to proper function. So, it doesn't come as any surprise to me, with heart ache like this, that we lost our focus on our marriage, it's not that we didn't care, it's that we couldn't care. Our own pain overshadowed everything else, it was all we could do to try to be normal and try to heal, and as we healed and the pain lessened, we had learned a new normal that didn't adequately consider the needs of the other, but it was normal and again, we had good intentions, we just didn't know we were so badly off course.
Neither of us meant it to happen, it's just another tragedy in our lives that we'll learn from and we'll rebuild again. Don't hold it against us, and don't think you can understand fully, don't judge. We're still hurting, from old and new afflictions, be gentle with us. We did the best that we could.
Some things don't work out like they should (Thanks Joe Purdy for the perfect words).