Today wasn't so bad. The kids kept me busy by being particularly horrendous, which i am thankful for. I didnt have time to think about what today is. All week i've been dreading it. I actually thought yesterday was the 25th for awhile.
Today i should be taking a 6 month picture. Filling half the frame. A frame that still hangs empty in the hallway. All by itself next to Gabriel and Sarah's smiling little faces. I need to cut the mat to fit it and put in his little footprints and handprints and an ultrasound picture from when he was 16 weeks old. I can't quite do it yet. So i just look at the empty frame there every day. I even touch it as i walk through, almost every time. I have no idea why i do that.. reaching for what is lost i suppose.
Things are getting more hopeful. There are less hard days and some days when I can even feel good. I have stopped feeling guilty about the good days. It is a hard lesson to learn.. how to live without your child. At first just smiling felt like a betrayal. Some days even getting up felt that way. But i read in a book about child loss that you should picture what it would be like if you were the one to die. Picture your child mourning and not getting out of bed. Living a life devoid of joy because of his/her longing for you. The advice was.. write a letter to your child. Would you want them to live that way? And then... take your own advice.
So I'm trying. I've stopped trying to pinpoint every little second of his last week. I have finally realized that knowing the timeline will not undo what has been done. I've stopped picturing my life with him, what he should be doing and what we should be like. Sometimes i do it, but not every day. Giving myself a break.. letting myself smile and enjoy things again. I'm finding that I enjoy work again and have been socializing to some extent. Although i have found that i'm not really comfortable unless I'm with another mother who has had a loss.
Then you dont have to worry about the sadness that comes unexpectedly. Or the inappropriate comments that sometimes come out that make other people so uncomfortable. Or the fact that people avoid the subject all together when it is all you can think about.
So i guess I'm learning to live with this. I have never really understood what people said when they talked of a cross to bare. But that is what this is. You carry it always. Some days it knocks you down. Some days you are strong enough to balance it beautifully. Others it keeps you pinned to the floor.
So this is our life. Living without Francis. One step in front of the other. Hoping tomorrow is another day that with God's grace I am strong enough.