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My mind and my fears keep me awake at night. Thoughts stretch like tentacles into the peace I try to create and spoil my feigned solace. The picking up and moving on of life and time are cruel to a mind and heart like mine, still so stunned and still…so stilled by this strange existence I am to live now.

Loving, gentle friends tenderly and casually ask when I might return to work, so I set up some time to meet with them tomorrow about a plan. There are loud wonderings in my head about how I might handle that. Will I cry? Will I make an ass of myself? Will they think I’m not ready? Or worse, will they only think I’m ready?

I feel like I know just as little now as I did three weeks ago. Like I’m still in a foggy stupor, blindly following the advice I’m given. I feel like I have been keeping myself busy with moving, gearing up for the school year, seeking meaning in books and memories…and most everyone seems to want me to stop crying. But the truth is that I’m sad. I want to cry. I want to stop faking social niceties and I want visitors to be prepared to lay in bed with me and listen to me cry.

I hate that this happened to him. My little boy was wonderful and I miss him every single moment. And every moment I miss him, I have to remind myself that he’s not on vacation. He didn’t get a leave of absence. I’m not dreaming and I’m not going to wake up. He died. My son, Noah, died. He’s gone and I can never get him back. All that remains of him now is 7 years of photos, the box on the mantle and this hazy pain that lives and permeates everything around me.

I know that nearly everyone has experienced a painful loss. I know that there are parents out there who have lost more than one child, or a baby…or three. Terminal illnesses, accidents, tragedies. They all strike indiscriminately all around and to us no matter the age, gender or economic status. But trying to draw strength from the fact that the experience is universal is the proverbial missing and spiteful nose, angry at the face.

I’m aware of the worries shared by loved ones and I love them for their love of me. I see the pit of despair that could swallow me up. And it still hurts. And I’m tired. It’s 3:30am and I’m exhausted from doing all of the things I should be doing. I want to be allowed to cry without someone (including me) shoving a pill at me to calm me down. My son deserves to be missed! He was sweet and loving and smart and tender and funny and clever and he deserves every one of my tears.

So I don’t know what the point is here. I don’t know what I’m ready for and what I’m not. I don’t have any more answers than I started out with. And I miss my bubbers with every breath, every movement, every second. He feels…..stolen from me.