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this is a “stream of consciousness” post. i don’t capitalize when i do this, and it can be pretty raw so be warned: this may be difficult to read.

this whole other person. gone. this person created inside of me – sharing all of my consumptions. the back seat where he sat is cold now but it still wears the mark of his booster seat. where did that go? probably taken care of by a thoughtful friend who knew that if I were to see it, it would only mean worsening of the stabbing in my heart. the stabbing that is always there. the knife, jabbed so suddenly into my heart. it is so difficult to have to tell myself that he is dead. that my little son…my 6 year old son is dead. that word: dead. what an awful, final word that is.

he would be seven now. I cannot keep my thoughts from wandering. what would he be wearing now? he may be growing into some of his clothes. He’d definitely need a hair cut. he promised he would let me cut it next time and now I have these stupid clippers for no reason.

he’d probably need new shoes. god it hurts to remember those little feet. those sweet little feet that I used to press against my lips and cheeks. the feet that shared in my home pedicures (just the soaking part). and to think that I will never see those little feet again…never feel their warmth, smell them after a sweaty soccer game, tickle them while he squirms and giggles…is yet another twist of that knife.

I try to think that I’m getting better at dealing with his absence. but I know it isn’t true. I’m just getting better at pretending. trying to take care of the mundane that is life going on but he is always there in my heart, my mind…my soul is perpetually and painfully tattooed with his image. his sweet spirit…his fleeting existence.

I know I romanticize things way too much in general and this is no exception. I know he had little quirks that annoyed me. there were nights / mornings when I hated making his lunch. when i needed groceries but just threw something together. and I have regrets…god knows I have regrets. I wanted so badly to sneak into his bed sometimes and sleep next to him. I should have read him the longer stories at bedtime and not rushed through so that I could watch TV or go someplace or just get away for some time to myself. because now I would give any – and I mean ANY – thing to have those moments back. to hear his voice. sing his bedtime songs. run through our little rituals. but he’s not here and I can’t have him back. I can’t ever see those eyes again or hear his tinkling giggle. it’s still a constant struggle to try to comprehend. and the pain never ends. god it’s ruthless and I know it will never get better. how am I supposed to learn to live with this in my heart? with the horrific and gory images of my son’s body? those sweet feet suddenly so blue and cold from the pool. unresponsive eyes that never opened again. swimming trunks in another dimension now along with his car seat. the ventilator at the hospital that inflated his lungs, but the lungs were so damaged the air leaked into his body and blew him up like a balloon. life support machine with two thick tubes protruding from his soft little neck, carrying blood straight from his heart and back in again. could this have really been my son? I knew it was…I never left his side. my head knew. my heart is still confused. I think it always will be.

how do people survive the pain of losing a child? A child…a refreshing and refreshed soul, passed through me. A being in his own right: with a personality, with dreams, with plans. An innocent child. how do you live with this pain, day after agonizing day? because pushing it down and pretending gets worn out quickly and I feel the bitterness and apathy of “everything else” welling up inside of me. So that isn’t working out because I don’t want to be bitter. I want to honor him with the rest of my life…to live the life he was robbed of. I want to let the pureness inside of me reflect and amplify the purity in him, through which he experienced the world. I want to channel his spirit and experience his joy. Do his work and honor him.

But right now all I feel is hurt. Still, hurt. Everything seems to equal twisting of that awful knife and it’s STILL all I can do to get out of bed. sometimes I try harder but it all just feels like trudging through quicksand and it’s a matter of time before I just give in. it seems so wrong to try to push him aside in my mind to feel something besides this grief. I know what I have to do to get by for now. but I still have to have “help” to sleep at night and I start to panic every afternoon when I would “normally” (normal, hah) start looking forward to going home to my kids. Then I realize that it’s just one now…and I remember that I only have her half the time. so I sweep. I re-re-rearrange furniture. I make pillow covers, paint, cook, reach out to friends to help distract me from this pain.

But I know.

I know that all of these things I try: distractions, busywork, plans…they are not really courage. They are just there to drown out the pain. The pain that never goes away. Never heals. And I wonder sometimes how long I can live with this pain in my heart.