Friday, June 17, 2011

Right Where I Am: Eighteen Months and 19 Days

So, I'm joining on a project over at Still Life With Circles...basically a 'recap' of where I am, this very minute, in my grief.

Eighteen months and nineteen days. 566 days. 80 weeks. 13,584 hours.

Every now and then, I still calculate.

Because I don't really count that way automatically anymore.

I used to. I used to be able to tell how many days, weeks, hours, minutes and seconds it had been since he'd died...and now, I find myself sometimes biting my cheek just a little bit when someone remembers him on the 28th before even *I* remember that it's another month.

Another month without him.

We drove away today. Leaving the house didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. It being empty doesn't even hurt as much as I thought. I still teared up in each room as I walked through with Luke and talk to him about what happened here and there, but overall, I'm handling leaving the house pretty well, I'd say.

It was the driving past the cemetery on our way out that got me.

Leaving his little body there. Still. Always. Forever.

That got me.

My sister and I were talking and she was trying to tell me that I shouldn't feel guilty. I told her I didn't.

And I don't. I do not feel guilt. (This time!)

I cannot control us moving. I cannot control him being gone. I cannot control much of anything. It's not guilt I feel.

It's aching. Longing, really. Just plain wistful and wishful thinking that things were different. That I knew what his smile was like. That I was able to look into his eyes. That he could hear my voice and know it was his mama, and that she loved him more than she'd ever dream she would.

I just wish it was different. I wish my heart didn't still hurt so much, but then there's no way that it couldn't really.

He is gone. My first-born is gone before I really even got to know him.

No guilt. Just longing.

That's where I find myself these days. Not feeling guilty that I adore and revolve my life around Luke. He deserves it. I'm his mother. I should.

Just wishing I'd been able to do that for Matthew as well. Accepting that I never will, and that's just not something that will change or that I can do anything about.

I'd not call this acceptance, per se, in the 'grief process' sort of way because I totally believe that tomorrow, I might feel completely different.

Heck, in 5 minutes, I might. That's just how grief is. Like one of those plastic poppers that you invert and then place on a flat surface---slowly, slowly, slowly it starts to move back into its original position and then--POP! It flies up into the air, out of control and in no particular direction.

But for now, this is where I am. Not feeling guilty. Not feeling raw. Not feeling responsible.

Just missing him.
Always missing him.


  1. Thank you for always sharing so honestly. I am praying for you as you transition to NC. <3

  2. I'm here via Angie. I am so sorry about your beautiful Matthew. I am so sorry he's not in your arms right now. You have really summed up what grief at the 18 month mark is like perfectly. Like you, at that point, I was learning how to raise a child on earth. Just a word of warning, if you link back to my own blog from this comment, my living son, my little "rainbow", was born just a few days before your precious Matthew, so I'd hate that to be a trigger for you. It always breaks my heart when I hear of babies lost around the same time I had my son. I thought all the wrongs in the world had been made right when he finally arrived, but sadly when I see blogs like yours, I know that is not the case. I always wished that my daughter could have been the last ever baby to die. I hate how it just keeps happening.
    So glad Luke arrived safely. Love to you.

  3. Hi Lori!
    Moving is so hard. I think you are doing a fabulous job and are being so so so strong. When you get settled in Jacksonville we need to plan a road trip. I would love to come see you and Luke and visit with Andrea too.

    One thought I had when I read this... Your blog really documented how much you truly did *know* Matthew when you were pregnant. You are the most connected pregnant woman I have ever known. Matthew did know your voice and he knew nothing but love. You soaked up his little life with more passion than I could have ever imagined a person could.

    I know that doesn't make it better or make it easier. It is just a compliment to you and your loving nature.


  4. As usual, such a beautiful post from you, Lori. You put so easily into words what so many of us feel. I am always nodding as I read. I am sending you extra love and positive energy as you make this move with your family.

  5. Ummmm yes. I couldn't have said it better. The missing, the longing is what stays behind after the raw pain, the anger {for me at least}, the questioning, and the guilt leaves. Missing is the hardest part, but I guess it's something to hold onto, something that keeps us connected to our babies. Thank you for sharing where you are Lori, I feel like I'm right there with you. Sending big hugs friend,

  6. As always, Lori, you put things in a way that just makes me stop and think. Stop and reflect. Longing is the exact word I've been looking for. I long for my little girl. I long for what my life would be like with her. What she would look like. Etc. Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts. Sending good luck wishes your way as you enter this next journey in NC. ((Hugs))

  7. I'm glad that the guilt is gone, that is so heavy... I'm starting to get there, slowly. The longing, though, I'm sure it will stick around forever, and I'm okay with that, even grateful. I'm glad the move wasn't as hard as you expected. Wishing you the best in the move.

  8. Lori, you hit it. Exactly. After all the other intense emotions start to fade, the missing remains. It's like CS Lewis said...when we find that we our longing is for something we cannot have in this world, the only logical answer is that we were made for another (something like that). Missing until we hold them again...

  9. lori -- i am sending you hugs and godspeed...your honesty and self awareness truly is beautiful... he will be in your heart, mind, and soul always -- and you know what? you love him every single day. you dote on how beautiful gods gift was... and it absolutely stinks and will always stink you can't love and hug him in physical being every single day, too... but don't ever forget or self doubt: you love matthew like the world. same as you love luke.... just the way you hold him is unfortunately different... looking forward to hearing of your safe arrival in jacksonville, and trying not to be envious that you will not have to endure any more east coast winters!! :)

  10. I just sent a new Mommy your way. Gideon's due date was next week, but he went to Heaven 5 weeks ago instead. I pray that you and Stormy can be a blessing to one another. {{{hug}}}

  11. Yeah, the past few times the 28th has come along other people have remembered and not me! But I guess I'm at the point where I don't count months anymore, I'm into years. *sigh*

    It has to be so hard to leave Matthew behind. When I applied for a job across the state I told Anthony that if we moved we were digging her up and taking her with us. May seem strange to other people but I'm sure all my BLMs would get it. It's hard to be away from your baby's body so my heart goes out to you.

  12. Lori - I read this blog and thought this post might resonate with you:

    I wish you all the best on your journey and in your new home.


  13. "Just plain wistful and wishful thinking that things were different."

    At 2y8m, this is exactly where I am, most of the time. The other, rawer emotions have subsided into an eternal longing.

    I'm visiting via Angie and I am sorry that Matthew is not in your arms alongside his little brother.