The reality is, while your world has come to a dramatic halt and you feel like your insides have been chopped and twisted and turned upside down, the super market check out person still smiles, the power bill still turns up in your inbox and the post man still delivers the mail.
I don’t know if it’s death in general, or just a child’s death (as the latter is the only one i’ve experienced in my life), but death makes you look at life through a whole new set of prescription lenses. Whether you want to or not, there’s a natural feeling of looking at what you do and how you spend your time each day, re evaluating what you value most and watching how your friends come and go from your world of complete stand still.
My 18 month old keeps pointing at my stomach and saying ‘baby’, like we used to talk about when Paxton was inside me. This comment that is so simple and innocent tears me in two every time I hear it. To help both her and I, I have to gently tell her that there is no more baby and point to the white box on the dining table and tell her that baby Paxton is in there instead. She settles happily for this information and i’m left with an additional heaviness in my heart.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel clearly through the new set of lenses when things like Paxton’s death certificate turns up in the mail, offering me a reality check and slapping me in the face with the reminder of what I lost. Or when I open the letter from the hospital which holds the discharge notes for Paxton and I, detailing the facts of the 3 days of physical, mental and emotional torture that we both endured separately.
As your world stands completely still and you watch the rest of the world turning and time slowly passes, you notice the friends, family or in laws that have relentlessly kept in touch, cushioning your falls as you continue to trip on the rough road ahead, you feel the sting of the ones that offered support from afar and then never followed through and you note that if you don’t start standing a little taller and walking with a little more strength, you will soon be left behind.
Sometimes I feel guilty as I start to gain more positive thoughts about the life ahead. I feel like I’m not giving the memory of my dead son enough care or thought. But the reality for me is, the thought of how he died and everything I could have done differently during my pregnancy life to stop the outcome that has already presented itself, stands strong in my mind each day.
I hope that as the world keeps turning, these thoughts will become a little lighter to carry.