Everyday is a new adventure as we continue to learn to live this ‘after’ stage. The after as in, learning to relive again after losing a child. This new normal we have to transition our lives to. I haven’t posted in a few weeks, because to be honest I have so much going on in my head that I truthfully don’t know what to write about. The past month has been hard. When I mean hard, I mean really hard. Someone messaged me a while back and said that for them months 3-6 were the hardest for them, and I don’t doubt that one bit because I too am feeling the same way. Not only am I grieving the loss of my son, I am trying to stay strong for the little one growing inside me. Pregnancy hormones on top of grieving my child that should be here is just plain difficult.
We recently had our first Thanksgiving without Grayson and the few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving made me very emotional knowing he wouldn’t be here. I wasn’t sure how to prepare myself, if that is something that’s even possible to do. I’ve mentioned it a few times in previous posts about how my body goes through this ‘anticipation’ stage. Your body knows something is going to be happening or something is going to be said and you do your best to prepare for it, but in all honesty you don’t know how your going to feel or what your going to say until it happens. I woke up Thanksgiving morning and I laid in bed for hours crying. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through the day. How I was going to survive this day without Grayson. Brent and I went out to the cemetery and I cried the whole way there. I looked out the window the whole ride, I couldn’t make eye contact with Brent as we drove out there. I don’t know if I will ever be able to truly grasp and understand the difference in grieving between a husband and wife, but we are still new in this journey and we both have a lot to learn about each other in this process. I don’t see Brent cry often, he doesn’t like seeing me cry, so a lot of the times we do that on our time in our own ways, but as we pulled up to the cemetery my heart pounding in my chest, I got out and we began walking over to visit with Grayson. I look over at Brent and for the first time in a while I see tears screaming down his face. It’s hard seeing someone you love cry. I have always been emotional and it’s easy for me to start crying when I see someone else crying and I may not even know why. For me that day, I needed to see those tears from my husband, I don’t know why because I know he loves his son more than anything in the entire world, but my heart needed to see it. It was cold and windy as we stood there side by side taking in the moment. Life is unfair and we shouldn’t have had to spend our Thanksgiving visiting a cemetery because our son should still be here with us today. All day long my heart was heavy and I really just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry all day long. The pain never leaves, it may ease over time, but for now it’s still very much there and it hurts.
The past month, I have been asked a handful of times, “Is this your first?” As in my first child. You have no idea how incredibly hard it is to be asked that question. It’s an easy question. Of course not, it’s my second, but to stomach the question and have to respond is beyond difficult. I will forever answer the question honestly. Because I do have two children, one however is just in Heaven. It’s difficult because people you encounter when out and about don’t know your story and they don’t know what your going through. Brent and I were in Lowes on Black Friday and we were walking through the appliance section and a lady and her husband stopped and as were looking they stopped and said, “Be sure if you’re getting any appliances to get smudge proof because when you have kids their little fingers will leave marks all over it.” Then they walked away before I would have been able to say anything back, but in my head I thought to myself, if only they knew.
As the weeks start to dwindle and our due date with Miss Graysie gets closer my stress and anxiety have become more apparent, more so anxiety. I was doing so well not crying at the thought of looking at pictures or videos or just the mention of his name, but now it’s hit or miss. Sometimes I am fine other times, you may just catch me at the right time I need to release some tears because thinking about him not being here makes my heart ache so so much. I’ve chatted with a few about my fear and anxiety for when Graysie arrives. Most that know me know that I am a protective momma bear. I was very protective of Grayson. I was always living on the edge and a worry wort because I never wanted anything to happen to my sweet boy. Then when something happens and it’s out of my control I find myself feeling like I didn’t do enough. I find myself questioning if I did enough as a mom. Grayson was with me every single day of his life yet I still find myself asking if I did enough. It’s hard to explain some of my thoughts, because I don’t think many would understand unless they have been through what I have. You may think you know how you will feel, but you won’t. People thought I was protective of Grayson and afraid to ever leave him, you have no idea what’s going through my head now being pregnant with his little sister. You haven’t seen protective and you haven’t seen the fear that lies in my heart. The fear of ever losing another child. This may sound harsh, but if anyone ever tells me I can’t always live my life in fear, you clearly don’t know what it’s like to lose a child. Because for the rest of my life, I will fear that. I will be on edge everyday of my life. So if I don’t let my sweet girl around certain animals for the first five years of her life or eat certain foods, know why. I don’t know how my child got E.coli, but I will do everything I can to be sure my next child doesn’t get it, even though I thought I was doing everything right with Grayson, I now understand even though you want to protect your children from everything you can’t, I thought I was one of the safest cleanest moms out there, this however was out of my control.
Yesterday, I was in Walmart literally just walking around. I decided to go and look through the Christmas aisles to find a small tree and an ornament for Grayson. I have had a few meltdowns in stores before, this time however it was different. This time I literally felt like I was having a panic attack on the inside. My heart was pounding. At one time I stopped in the aisle and leaned again the cart and placed my hand on my chest just to see how fast it truly was beating. I felt short of breath, so I kept trying to take deep breaths, I felt light headed and got super hot. I could feel the tears intensifying, but someone walked behind me so I did my best to hold it together. I ended up getting what I needed out of the Christmas aisles and walked over and met my mom in a different area and I just lost it. I couldn’t keep the tears in any longer. I didn’t realize that walking around the Christmas items would make me feel the way they did. I realize how hard this month will be without Grayson and it hurts my heart beyond measure. This was going to be the best Christmas yet. Brent and I had bought an advent calendar for him to take part in everyday of the month. We wanted this to be the most special Christmas for him knowing just a month later he would be a big brother. Instead of getting some awesome presents and planning out all of the fun and exciting things we wanted to do this month, I sit here and struggle with knowing what it will feel like the morning of Christmas I wake up and realize it’s not how it is supposed to be.
The pain of getting through the day is hard and the Holidays are harder. And those of us that are in this “child loss club” know it won’t get easier. I said to someone yesterday, I only hope I can be just as good of a mom to Graysie as I was to Grayson. I don’t want my daughter to see her mom sad everyday of her life. I pray that when Graysie gets here she realizes how special she is and how much of a miracle she is to our family. A miracle to help us get through the days. I only wish her big brother were here to share this adventure with us.
The truth is, that hole in your heart exactly the size and shape of your child will never ever go away. But the love that oozes from it has more power to change the world than anything I’ve ever known. -Angela Miller
2 thoughts on “Anticipation and Fear”
I have followed your story since day one. As I read your post about being in Walmart I was thinking that I wish I was in the store at that time so I could hug you and let you cry on my shoulder. Not say a word because I know that nothing anyone says will make you or your husband feel better especially at this time of the year. Please know that my family thinks of you and feels true sorrow for your journey ahead. I anxiously await the arrival of baby Gracie as I truly believe she will be the beginning of a little healing of your heart!
The James Family
Thank you Shannon ❤️️