Last week, after Steve got home from work, I went out for a “mommy vacation” to the gas station to grab a Coke Zero and just drive for a minute. I got into my car, plugged in my phone and turned on my music. I backed out of my driveway and started my evening drive. The sun was still up, just low in the sky. The breeze was rustling the fresh leaves in the trees. It was beautiful. As soon as I got onto the road, that all too familiar heaviness sunk into my chest. In the quiet, the tears began to sting my eyes and that lump started to grow in my throat. In the stillness of my car, I feel my baby, I always do. We spent so much time together in the car. Just him and I, back and forth to the hospital, to Bo’s games, to my appointments. I never left him behind when he was here because I wanted to keep him safe. I still don’t want to leave him behind.
Some days hurt so much. It is a nightmare to go through. The pain is at its worst when I am driving by myself because it is a reminder of the times when he was with me…just him and me. It is like I start my car and my mind slides through every memory I have of him, trying to hold onto every picture in my mind. When I am by myself, the tears don’t hold back and flow freely with the memories. I am sure the cars that drive by feel really bad for the crying crazy lady next to them. But, I can’t help it and to be honest, I don’t want it to stop….I don’t want to “help” it. I want to embrace every emotion related to my boy because that is him, inside of me once again.
Steve and I were told last week that we should move on or else it gets harder. I refuse to move on. I will move on with him but I won’t leave him behind. For 9 months his little heart beat right next to mine. He was appropriately under my rib cage right next to my heart for the entire pregnancy with the triplets. There is arguably no one that knows my heart better than him. I like to look at the pain as my hearts way of holding onto him. I embrace the tears because that is my baby reminding me how much I love him.
I have explained it before that it isn’t that I love Hayes more than my other kids. My kids make up the quilt of my life. Steve and I have created this beautiful quilt together made up with each of these perfect children. Losing Hayes left a huge hole, a massive tear. I have my other kids with me but that huge part of me that I created is no longer there, holding me together. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that is my view of what I feel daily.
Saying this though, I want you to know that I am happy. It is possible to be sad and happy simultaneously….I am proof of that. It is possible to live life with Hayes in my heart, to feel sadness and happiness all at once. To feel brightness and complete darkness. I find times to laugh, I find times to smile and sometimes I cry and laugh at the same time. Grief is crazy like that and really, there is no making sense of it. I think the important thing is to feel whatever it is I am feeling. If I want to wallow, I cry. If I want to laugh and dance with my kids, I will. Hayes has taught me to embrace every emotion and that is what he wants me to do. That is honoring him.
So, in response to that advice to just move on, that will not happen. I will carry that pain of losing my baby forever and I won’t let it go. My grief is the measure of my love for Hayes. There is no time limit on grief, that is all I have left of him until we meet again. Until then I will laugh through every tear and smile through every painful memory because that is my heart piecing itself back together. That is me living life with Hayes and wrapping myself in the quilt we created. I will find my own way through this ocean of grief.