Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving and Isolation

This Thanksgiving was incredibly difficult for me. I lit a remembrance candle for my son, and it had burned down all the way by the time we started dinner. This really upset me, but we were hosting and had to rush to get everything on the table while the food was still warm.
I regret not taking the time to light another candle so that Elias could be remembered and represented during our family dinner. I feel like a horrible mother for that. I know that sounds really stupid, but it's how I feel.  The prayer stated before dinner commenced did not mention anything about loved ones passed on, so between that and the candle thing, I was left with none of the things that last year helped me to feel my son was being honored on Thanksgiving.  I had no comfort - just the stress of errands, food preparation, and being social when I wanted to cry more than anything else.

Today the grief has resurfaced full force, and the tears are flowing freely.  I am feeling much like Brooke in her recent post about not being ready for the anniversary of her baby's death.  So much of her post resonated with me.  Of course, our losses were only days apart from one another, so it's no surprise I find myself in a similar spot at times.

I thought I was just tired today because I was back at work from being on Thanksgiving break, but now I realize the exhaustion is from grief bottled up inside.  I have been so detached lately from my grief.  Not processing, not working through things, not thinking things, just staying distracted. 
And let me officially go on record stating that it has bitten me in the ass.

The excitement over fall festivities, Halloween, and Thanksgiving had me distracted.  Now that the next "holiday" is Elias's remembrance day, my heart just feels so heavy.  The hubs and I have decided to do things much like we did last year in that we honor Elias on the day before the twins' birthday, as we want to honor his life (not the day we found out he had died), and we also want our daughter to have her own happy birthday (although obviously there will be tears shed in private as thinking about our son will be inevitable). 

It's all so complicated, and I don't know that it will ever be less so, as it's impossible to completely compartmentalize your feelings one way or another.  Inevitably we will have joyful moments on our son's special day just as we will have sorrowful moments on our daughter's special day, the feelings will bleed into one another, influence one another, and create a messy work of art that is life after loss.  The perfectionist in me wants things to work out less messy, but I know things will never be perfect ever again.  And really, they never were. 

So today I tried to blame my bad mood on so many other things.  Being back at work.  Being tired.  Having a headache.  The list goes on.  But really, I just miss my son.  So very terribly.  And what's worse is feeling like I'm not ALLOWED to miss him.  Like I'm doing my daughter some injustice by being sad at times, or like I'm not being a good friend or wife because I just want to be alone and cry every now and then.  As much support as I get from some people, at the end of the day there are times where I just really feel alone in all of this. 

The pressure I feel to just chin up and focus on the positive is too much sometimes, and I wish I could run off to a little island and just grieve for the little boy who should be sitting side by side with his sister coloring in books, playing with building blocks, and tormenting our cats. 
No one to act irritated or impatient with me and my grief, no one to change the subject when I do acknowledge my son, and no one to make me feel like an inept parent to my surviving child while I grieve the child I lost. 

Is there irony in that feeling alone in this only makes me want to isolate myself more by running off to a secluded island?

A little island without judgment, with endless Kleenex, and with plenty of FroYo.