He would be seven

It is impossible to imagine what he would be like today. Whenever I try, I just picture Mo but a little bit bigger. I imagine that he'd be sweet because he was sweet. I imagine that he'd be easy because he was easy. But I'll never know. That thought alone - that I'll never know - makes me feel sick. When I think about not knowing him, this person who I felt I'd known better than anyone, I feel sick.

When our rabbi friend came to the hospital to help us say goodbye to Maxie, I asked him how long it would take before I could incorporate this loss into my life. I literally meant - when will this not feel like I am living in a nightmare anymore? He said, based on his experience suddenly and unexpectedly losing his wife, "seven years".

Seven years. SEVEN YEARS. At that time, I could not imagine seven years. I couldn't imagine how I would get through the next seven minutes. And life remained that way for a LONG time - not knowing how I would get through the remaining hours of the day. Sometimes I would try to imagine how I would get through a whole life (because it felt impossible) - but trying to imagine that was too huge. It still is. I could only focus on the time that was directly in front of me.

It still has not been seven years. It's been 6 years and change. And I know there has been an enormous shift - no matter how slow and gradual its been. (SO SLOW & SO GRADUAL). I think this is the first year that I feel like I can say that I am happy most of the time. I am not in a state of panic about the health and safety of my living children all of the time. I don't feel as though I am living in a nightmare. I don't. But I miss him as much, or more, than ever. The sadness I feel at having lost him is more real all of the time. And though I don't live in a nightmare - most days are actually happy and full of things to feel joyful about - I am definitely living a different reality than most people I know.

I would give anything for a glimpse at what life would have been like with my seven year old Max. I still believe he is waiting for me. I hope he knows that I am patiently waiting for him.


Susan said...

I still think the most profound thing anyone said to me after C died - another bereaved parent - he said "I understood that my son was dead and I was alive". All the thousands of words we've both written since our children died, just boil down to that really. It seems implausible that they could be dead, that we cannot see them, touch them, know them - and that we have to carry on and create a life without them.

We're on 7 years and change now, and I think you describe it well. We are living a different reality - it's just hard to say anymore where the pain and the grief, so much softer now, ends and the old us remains.... it's like we ate it - or maybe it ate us. Warmest hug sweetheart - you're surviving and you're a beautiful mother to all your children, even though they are separated across Heaven and Earth xx

Unknown said...

How I wish Max was here to get to know his incredible younger brothers and sister. Love you so much. I will forever be so sad and sorry over the loss of your sweet boy with the infectious smile. xoxo