I can’t remember the last time I was completely offline for a day, let alone an hour but that is what I plan on doing for this coming Sunday.
It’s best for my emotional and mental well-being that I not be online on Sunday. I don’t want to see my news feed flooded with everyone proudly posting their handmade presents from their kids or the breakfast in bed their family made them. I don’t want to see what their husbands bought them. I don’t want to see the album of photos posted on Facebook, showcasing their perfect Mother’s Day with their family.
Sorry, if that’s mean but I can’t pretend that stuff doesn’t bother me. I know it shouldn’t, it’s not my life. I can choose to not see those posts and photos BUT its hard when my whole news feed is filled with those. I have come to realize that the only way to not see them, is to not be online.
I am still angry.
I am angry about a lot of things.
I told my therapist the other day that some days I wish I could get a break, that I could go back in time to when life was easy. Not to change the course of history because I will NEVER wish that Bradley wasn’t born BUT to go back to a time when life was simple and uncomplicated. When the hardest thing in my life was only getting 4 hours of sleep because Zach was waking up every 2 hours the night before or the hardest thing when Zach stopped taking his 3-hour long naps in the afternoon which meant no more quiet time for me. Those were NOT hard, looking back.
The heaviness of Bradley’s death has been overwhelming in the last month or so. The realization that Bradley really was born and then he died. The realization that this is my life. Where this would be most parents worst fear, the death of their baby, this IS my reality. I have to live with this heaviness for the rest of my life. I have a whole lifetime of living with this a piece of me missing. The feeling of emptiness, feeling of being incomplete, feeling of never being whole again. Living in two different worlds, the world where my living son, Zach, is and the world where Bradley, my second born, is in now.
The flipping back and forth between the before and after Bradley. My life before Bradley and my life after Bradley.
Have you tried to mother a child who isn’t on this earth? It is exhausting. Some days it is debilitating.
It is exhausting.
It is exhausting leaving the house and having to be out in public.
It is exhausting having to put on a fake smile and having to hold my tongue all the time.
It is exhausting always having to be on guard all the time.
It is exhausting always being ready for that dreaded question any parent who has experienced the loss of a child, “how many children do you have?”. Do you answer truthfully and acknowledge all your children and potentially make the person asking feel awful OR do you answer with a lie because some days it is just easier. Trust me if I could tell everyone the truth, I would! I want to tell Bradley’s story. I want to share the love that I have for Bradley, how deep our love is, that only he and I know exist.
If we are talking about going back in time, I wish I was still in the early days after Bradley’s death. That first week after Bradley died. I would want to stay in that time for the rest of my life. When my chest was sore in the days after his death because of the non stop crying. When my eyes were so swollen, I couldn’t even put my contact lenses in. When I could still smell the NICU because I was still wearing the shirt that I wore when I held Bradley for the last time. All of these meant that Bradley was still fresh in my mind. If I could, I would stay in that time for a lifetime. For those who don’t know what its like to lose your baby, then you truly can’t understand why us bereaved mothers would want to put ourselves through that torture. BUT it is a small price to pay so you can feel closer to your child. It is all we have left of them. We cling to anything we can. I so desperately search for signs and symbols that Bradley is around, it is what gets me through each day.
Since I wont be online on Sunday. I will tell you what I will do.
I will wake up and go for a run on the trail, like any other Sunday morning. I will come home and eat breakfast. Mike, Zach and I will visit the cemetery. We will come home and spend the rest of the day together just the three of us (four-if you count our dog). That will be our day. I wish things would have played out differently. I wish Bradley was here with us. I wish we were a family of four here on this earth. I wish a lot of things were different. I wish I didn’t have to visit a cemetery to be “close” to both of my children.
And finally, today happens to be 8 month since Bradley left this earth. That will never get easy to write or hear or say. Nothing about Bradley leaving us will get easy. Never.
For those mothers who will celebrate with all your children this Sunday, please remember those Mothers who will not have all their children with them.
Until next time,