In the year leading up to Ted and I getting engaged, I have to say, I didn't really know if it was going to happen.  I guess he was a typical guy in the sense that he just didn't seem sure of me.  I was sure of him, from the beginning.  Maybe I had been out with enough people that were wrong for me to know who was right when he finally came along.  I knew that if he decided that I wasn't the one for him, getting over it was going to be a LONG road.  I tried to think positively but I didn't really get the reassurance from him to know that we would end up together.   It made me sad and scared.  I remember as we got closer to getting engaged, I had a feeling it was coming but I was still scared.  He hadn't really told me outright that he wanted to spend his life with me and so I felt like until I knew for sure, it was anyone's guess.  The idea of living without him was more than I could take and I remember crying to him, "I can't live without you" and him saying, "You won't have to."  Finally he proposed and it put my mind at ease....mostly.

Last summer when I was pregnant, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It was in the very early stages and she seemed very confident that she would be just fine and we mostly were too.  But, I was scared.  Scared to death that things wouldn't go well.  I needed her help with this baby.  I needed her to be by my side for as long as possible.  I cried and cried to Ted, "I can't live without her!", I said.  Thank g-d, her last radiation treatment was the morning that Max was born and she is healthy.  I don't have to live without her.

I never, ever thought for a minute, that I would have to live without Max.  It never ever crossed my mind.  I can't live without him!  It feels like there is no purpose for me now without him.  How can I live without my baby?  It is too much for me.  Sometimes I wish Maxie hadn't been so special.  Maybe this would be easier to take.  But, in my eyes, he was perfection and so so special.  I loved everything about him.  So, it isn't like I just lost some baby.  I lost Max, the most wonderful person that I know.  I am so alone now.  And, I know I am still a "mommy" but not really.  I don't get to kiss my baby.  I don't get to cuddle my baby.  I don't get to change his diaper or rock him to sleep or give him a bath.  I just look at pictures and talk to the sky.  It is agony.  I am in so much pain, it is really agony.  Each hour is a test.  Living without him is my worst nightmare.  The next worst part about not having my baby, is how alone I feel.  I've never been so alone in my life.  Often times I feel more lonely with people than when I am actually alone because very few are comfortable with and/or understand my pain.  I guess I express too much.

I have been thinking a lot about whether I could even fake stoicism.  Stoic grievers are graceful.  They are Jackie Kennedy.  They hurt on the inside and that makes them more sympathetic characters than those of us who express.  Expressing how you feel is looked down upon.  Nobody really wants to see pain.  It is hard to be around someone who is full of so much grief, who expresses so much sadness, who can't fake it.  I just cannot fake it.  I am not sure why.  I am just not built that way.  Maybe Jackie Kennedy was bored with her husband's antics.  Maybe they had grown apart?  Maybe she was in a tremendous amount of shock.  I am sure I was more stoic in the days immediately following Max's death because of the sheer disbelief and shock running through my system.  Who knows how she pulled it off, but this is why I prefer to hide.  If you can't see me, you don't have to be annoyed that I am not acting graceful.  There are very few people who can handle this raw expression of emotion.  If you are this sad, you are borderline suicidal or you should be medicated.  We live in a funny world, where when bad things happen to you and you react, you are a crazy person.  Unless you can find a way to be graceful, you should probably be medicated and locked away.  I am not graceful - I am angry, I am jealous, I am sad, I am devastated and I am lonely.  It's hard to find the grace hiding within those emotions.  I see the possibility of grace in my future, but it is still too soon.  For now, I am just having too much trouble living without him.


Anonymous said...

You are angry, you are jealous, you are sad, you are devastated and you are lonely. And you are absolutely RIGHT to have all of those emotions and more. You keep putting it out there and being real. Do not worry about what others have to say. What you are dealing with is HORRENDOUS. I'm actually sending you an email with some other thoughts - too many to put here.


Amy Robinson said...


I see grace in your honesty and sincerity about how you feel about Max and about having to endure your life without him. Grace comes in many forms, and you have it, my dear.


Jessica said...

I cannot say it any better than Lesley or Amy. You should not have to feel for one moment that you have to hide your emotions. You and Ted are living through the absolute worst thing that can happen to a person. Maxie was so special and wonderful and perfect and he was, of course, the most important person in your lives. Losing him is devastating and being angry, jealous, sad, lonely and spent are all okay. I'm so sorry that anyone has made you feel otherwise. I think that sharing your feelings and thoughts is the most graceful thing you could be doing. It is honest and it is true. And, it is an amazing tribute to an amazing boy. I'm just so sorry that you have to be writing it at all.

Tallie Fishburne said...

The healthiest way to grieve is to do it your own way. I agree with these others that you show a tremendous amount of grace in your honesty and in your love for Maxie. It is so unfair that you don't get to kiss Max, bathe Max, or sing him to sleep. I am so sorry that you and Ted are learning to live in a world without him. xox -- T.

Rebecca said...

Heck, maybe they just gave out really stronger valium in the days of JFK's death. I'm sorry that I'm not a stoic griever, either. People tend to respect those that don't show pain because they don't have to deal with it as much. It stinks.