August 16th, 2017
Five of the longest years of my life. And somehow the shortest all at the same time.
Five years since I kissed your face. I remember the last time I kissed your face. I hope I always remember that moment.
The first few years after Hayden died all I wanted was for time to pass quickly because everything I read and everything I heard told me that T I M E H E A L S.
So in my mind, the further I could get from August 16, 2012 - the better off I'd be.
I am now five years away from that day and yes - time has helped to heal parts of me- and it has also taught me a lot about myself and how to manage the pain and the tears. I feel pretty confident that I can say I am in control (for the most part) of my grief and that, in itself, is a good feeling. I no longer just collapse in the middle of my kitchen floor in pain from not having him in my arms. Actual pain in my chest like nothing I've ever felt. Maybe thats what a heart attack feels like- which would make sense because it truly felt like my heart was literally U N D E R A T T A C K.
My outbursts now are very very private. I am usually washing dishes or in the shower, or in the car. Always (almost always) alone. I thank the passing of time for this gift of privacy and control.
Time has also given my life joy again- and smiles- real life smiles. I actually wasn't sure for quite some time if I would ever truly be happy again. And I am.
I T R U L Y A M.
My life is so full of blessings and it is beautiful beyond words. And I know I have God to thank for every single piece of it.
I no longer want to die- and again fear death. For a few years I welcomed death and not that I would have taken control over that, but just the idea that if I went to heaven I would be with him again and that made me smile when very few other things did. Now the thought of death once again deeply frightens me and the thought of leaving my children in this world without me in their young and fragile years makes my stomach churn. I know Hayden is just fine - actually he is better than just fine - he is with God-
and he is P E R F E C T. He has no clue of the pain and ache in my heart to be with him again. Time has allowed me to realize this and accept this.
I no longer fear the nighttime and how my own thoughts of his death will torture me. I no longer wake up giving myself the pep talk 'You W I L L survive this day' and end my days with congratulating myself on surviving another day. I don't sit at the cemetery three times a week- I'm lucky if I get there three times a month. And I feel no guilt about that.
The thing I am most thankful to time for is no longer waking up in shock and to a nightmare. My own real life nightmare. For at least the first year I would wake up every morning and it would all come crashing back like waves and I would get caught up in an undertow that I couldn't escape. I would just start sobbing before I would even open my eyes. My nightmare was real. He died. He is never coming back. I have to find a way to not only survive this day, but every day for the rest of my life without him. The pain of all of that hitting me first thing every single morning for over a year is a pain I am so thankful to not feel on a constant basis. And anytime I hear of a family loosing their child, that is the first thing I think of. I immediately feel pain in my heart and tears down my face knowing that they too will be experiencing that nightmare for days, weeks, months or years to come.
It is E X C R U T I A T I N G.
Not all shock is gone though. There are still times it hits me- out of nowhere - in the middle of the day - between the craze of every day life - he died. This happened to us. Our baby died in my arms. He died because someone make a major fatal error. He could and should still be here. I watched his lips turn blue. He D I E D. And he is never coming back. And I will never see him again on this side of life. That pain has not healed. That pain - when it hits - is still excruciating.
Time doesn't heal. Time makes us wiser - teaches us how to live again.
The passing of time has done a lot for me in my grief - but its not just time. Its God. Its my family. My friends. My angel mamas. Our nonprofit and all who support it. My living children- my angels on earth. And Hayden. Making it my mission to honor him for the rest of my life has done so much for my soul. All of these things have helped heal me.
BUT the passing of time isn't always good.
With the passing of time comes more pain. Pain of not remembering what he smelled like. What he felt like. What it felt like to hold him. To hear his soft laugh and massage his scar. The farther away I am from August 16, 2012- the farther away I am from the last time I touched him, smelt him, kissed him and held him. And as unbearable as the pain of those first few years was, maybe just for a day I would take it back in just to be closer to the memories of our last days together.