I made it through the day without crying. What an awful day that was.
This morning as I was picking up and folding laundry in the bedroom, I realized I hadn't needed to hug Jacob's stuffed toy he got at the hospital to go to sleep as I have in nights past. There was a little thought of "well, that's good." But as I got to the end of the day, somehow just thinking and realizing that it was the first day I hadn't cried made me cry.
I don't try to hold it back. I just let the tears flow when they want. But lately, I think I've tried to make it better somehow -- to realize the loss, and on some level accept it.
But then there's the backslide.
The thing with grief is that it's like swimming through half-melted Jell-O. Some parts are easy, some are thicker and therefore more difficult to get through. Some are like that really hard part on the bottom of the bowl when it sits in the fridge too long, and it feels darn near solid so you don't think you can possibly get through it.
You can't tell when it's going to change either. It just comes, with a hair-trigger and a force one minute, then a slow easy calm the next.
Grief is a lot of work. But it's work that has to be done.
Often I've compared this loss to the loss of my Dad, who died 13 years ago. The shock, the anguish, the despair that followed losing my beloved father and friend is comparable on some levels.
On other levels, it's so much easier because I know grief. I've lived it for the past 5 years as we've tried to have a family, suffered three miscarriages, and now, the loss of our Jacob. I know how this is supposed to go. I'm supposed to stop being a control freak and learn once again how it is to let go.
But on a whole other level, this is the worst thing I've ever had to endure. Losing a son, whose body was so broken due to his genetic disorder that couldn't have been foreseen or prevented, now that's just plain awful. The hole in my heart is huge, and I know my husband feels the same way.
The only thing we do is turn towards each other for comfort. We keep going through each day and wait for the pain to subside enough to feel like we aren't just going through the motions of life anymore. We choose to get through this. For Jacob. For ourselves, each other and family and friends who have made such an outpouring of love and support.
People say I'm strong, tough, but really I'm not. I just know I'll get through it, because that is the only alternative compared to quitting, and I don't even know what quitting would mean.
And one quote from Winston Churchill keeps playing through my head like a tape player: "If you find yourself going through hell, keep going."