Killing Time

Yesterday I wrote that Ted and I were just killing time until we can be with Max again.  The thought of just trying to get through this life quickly and moving to the next stage, where we get to all be together again, is a serious comfort.  I even find it somewhat uplifting.  It forces me to think of the fact that I HAVE to be here and so while I am here, I better find things to pass the time or it will just drag on SO slowly.  I am thinking about getting it ("killing time") tattooed on myself somewhere that I can always be reminded that no matter what is going on - good or bad - that it is just time filler until I get to be reunited with my beloved baby.  "Positive week" went by a little quicker than all of the weeks that came before it since Maxie's death and so this is how I am trying to frame my thinking on a "good day".  I have only had a handful of good days since Max died.  "Good days" are about as good as what I used to call "bad days" before Maxie died --- so let's not get carried away.  Good is still bad......... in my "new normal".  On the new bad days, I become convinced that I will never meet up with Max again.  That there is nothing after this life.  That it is all meaningless.  Those bad days are worse than you can ever imagine (unless you've lost a child).  They are so dark and empty.  On those bad days, I often don't get out of bed.  I am trying to refocus my thinking so that I have more and more "good days" (relatively speaking) but it isn't easy.  NONE OF THIS IS EASY.  I am hoping that this dream of mine, where I get to spend eternity with my baby boy, is reality.  It's really all I have.

Planning for Maxie's Benefit has helped to make the days pass a little quicker.  It has given me a reason to hope for more "good days".  By joining us at this benefit, you are helping us to celebrate Maxie's short but very meaningful life.  If you haven't registered yet, please do think about joining us.  To register online now: Click here.  We hope that you will enjoy the evening, as it is sure to be meaningful as well as fun.  If you cannot make it but would like to support Maxie's Forest, please consider supporting a participant in the 5k we are doing on Saturday, March 17th.  The list of walkers/runners is here:  Pick one you know, or choose the one who looks like they need the most help.  They will appreciate it nearly as much as we do because, as I have mentioned, fundraising ain't easy and these friends and family members have taken on a meaningful but challenging task.

One more 5k fundraiser who just signed up that I want to mention is my Pitzer College pal, Kate Spitser.  Kate's page has not been linked to the main site yet, but you can find it here: Kate Spitser fundraising page.  Katie and I met in French class, which still makes no sense to me since she speaks beautiful French and I can barely piece together a very basic sentence.  She was quickly adopted by my circle of girls and officially made a "Herbetta" (that's what they called us in college.  I never understood nor liked the name that much but it stuck.).  Kate and I share a love for learning foreign languages and traveling abroad by ourselves (not together, but alone).  We both have a thing for Central America and bargain massages as well.  She is a unique soul who I love so much.  If you know her, I know you would agree.

There are many other people supporting us by literally walking beside us in the 5k.  I know that I don't know everyone who has signed up but thank you to Prima Sharon, Stefanie Elkins, Liesel Reinisch, Tamar Tamler, Carmen Abramian, Suzy Koudsi, Gigi and Papa L and anyone else who is planning to walk with us that day.  We look forward to having support while we continue to put one foot in front of the other.  If you would like to register for the 5k, click here: Link to 5k registration.  Then let me know if you will be there that day.  Our team captain, Auntie Beth, is contacting folks to let them know where we plan to meet up that morning.  I think online registration closes this week.

Something tells me that the Benefit weekend will be a good one (actually good, not just "good) and that it will pass by quickly!  I am mostly just hoping not to have a repeat of my NY marathon panic attack.  If I can keep it together for all of the days ahead, that will be a good first step.


Peter Howard said...

"I am hoping that this dream of mine, where I get to spend eternity with my baby boy, is reality. It's really all I have." Abby, I say this with love...but no, it's not. It's not all you have. You have someone who needs you and literally couldn't thrive without you. On my darkest days, I thought of Sam. You've commented before on how you wonder if you're not as strong as other parents who go through the loss of a child, but I think we all show it differently. Sometimes the ONLY way I could make it was to focus on my anger and I decided early on that if I was gone then my moronic in-laws would have far more access to him than I would like. I convinced myself that life wasn't worth it and that everyone would be better off without me. I brought everyone down and was a terrible friend and just seemed to make everyone angry. Even worse, I couldn't dig myself out of a hole. Then, one day, a friend of mine didn't give me the anti-suicide speech. Instead, she said, "You know. My mom killed herself. For the the rest of my life I've wondered why I wasn't good enough to keep her around."

Now, I am not implying that you are talking about suicide. I know you're not. I'm just talking about MY darkest days and the thoughts that crossed my mind. But hearing that struck a chord with me. Later, when I was pregnant with Iris, I got into such a depression and, when coupled with how sick I was, I couldn't see a light anymore. I had none of the joy I'd had with other pregnancies. I dreaded her coming. I was so wrapped up in my grief that when they told me that she might be born at 22 weeks in some horrible way I felt relief because I felt like I didn't deserve her. I didn't want to die, but I certainly didn't want to live. And then, one day, I thought about Toby. It struck me that I didn't have two months with him-I had 11 months. All those kicks and movements and stuff, those were moments with him that were just as real as the cuddles and such I got when he was here. So I decided that if that's ALL I got with Iris then at least I would make the most of it. If I got ANY kind of sign from Toby that he was okay it was the coming of Iris. I wasn't going to throw a gift of his back in his face. So, like you, I tried to change my way of thinking. I figured I could fake it until I made it.

I know our situations are different. You lost your only child and I still had Sam. That made me truck along better than I might have without him. I got pregnant very soon after losing Toby and almost a year to his birthday gave birth again. So we're different in those regards. But I got to the point where I couldn't get out of bed, either. I didn't get dressed, didn't brush my hair, didn't cuddle with my husband, didn't do anything productive. And I would have been quite content carrying on that way forever. Some days, I still feel like that. But I DID have more than that. And so do you. You deserve more.

I am glad you are looking forward to your benefit. It is a tremendous tribute to Maxie and he's probably (wherever) gathering some of his buddies with Gummy Bears and apple juice and they're all congregating around the window to down here, ready to watch the show.

Kate said...

Je t'aime xo