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Today marks three months since the last time I kissed my Noah’s head. I’m learning to “compartmentalize” so that I can get through the day: mentally take Noah to school, drop him off, kiss and hug him and go to work. Then, as I’m leaving, I visualize picking him up again and asking about his day. It’s supposed to help me focus more on the tasks at hand, and it’s helped some. Sometimes I even imagine taking him to a circus or racetrack to play until I can come back to get him.

As much as that helps I still have to live here in reality where the images and events leading up to his death are forever etched in my memory. His sunglasses are still sitting in the backseat door where he sat, no doubt covered in his sticky fingerprints. Crumbs long ago etched into the spot where his booster seat was. People still hug me, offer condolences (which are needed and greatly appreciated). So in reality, I know I don’t get to go pick him up.

After three months of anything, I guess a new pattern or routine will tend to emerge and that’s true enough now. Like it or not, a new status quo is established as life inevitably and cruelly goes on. I’m still a flake. I still have breakdowns at least daily. I still hate that this happened and I hate that life goes on. Right after leaving the hospital, I hated that the sun still rose every day. It felt like mockery. The audacity of time’s forward movement shocked and angered me.

Now, as the weather cools I find myself angry about that too. I’m angry that it has already been three months. I’m angry that the holidays are coming, angry with another flip of the calendar, and angry that stores are already stocking their shelves with the usual painted plastic bait again. I’m angry at the universe for making this kind of pain even possible. And I’m angry that somehow it was ME – MY family – that was chosen to endure it.

So I guess this undercurrent of depression is my new normal. Mom used to say that life isn’t fair. I’m old enough to know that. But I’m brokenhearted and deeply disappointed that it is THIS unfair. A friend and I were talking the other day about how other problems seem so minor and small now. Election mudslinging, pet peeves…so ridiculous that we get so upset and excited about such insignificant things. Such a waste of energy and time.

So Halloween is coming up. I don’t have it in me to open the box of decorations and costumes. I can’t look at the capes that the kids dressed up in while playing pirates only a few short hours before my son closed his eyes forever. Of course, I think of what we did last year. I still feel that pull to get our tickets to the pumpkin patch and to our annual trip to Missouri Town‘s Spirits from the Past. But none of us want to do that this year. It’s little kid stuff….and we no longer have a little kid. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and, like everyone, there are so many great memories of Halloweens past. Except mine hurt now, so I have to find something else to do this year. Something we can do with Zoe. Lord knows I can’t answer the door to trick-or-treaters. What if one of them is wearing the same costume as Noah? Any ideas out there in blog-reader land?

So I will sign off with a photo. This is the altar I made to honor Noah for Dia de los Muertos. Comfort doesn’t come without pain anymore, so there has been both associated with this project. It’s just another way for me to express my hope that he can feel how my soul misses and cries out for him.