It’s the day before what should be Cameron’s 9th birthday. I’m balancing on the edge. Part of me wants to cry and just crawl in bed until it is all over with. The other part of me wants to force normal, “before” normal, and plan a day of his favorite activities. I already know this birthday will be a mix of disappointment because the day will fall short of what I want it to be, sadness because he isn’t here physically, and joy because he was here and that’s worth celebrating.
In these moments where grief begins to take over, there are many things I just can’t do. Normal things that shouldn’t be hard are paralyzing.
I never understood what it meant when someone said, “I just can’t”. Grief took the mystery away. There are still things I just can’t do. It’s not that I physically can’t do something. It’s that I just don’t have the mental stamina or focus to make myself physically do it. That’s the best way I can describe it. The only solution has been to give up until later.
Today, I did something hard. Something I’ve been avoiding since March. Today there is an incredible weight off my shoulders.
In grief, things happen when they are supposed to happen. It has been 21 months since Cameron died. I still count it in months because it is all very fresh. Since that day, we have been drowning in “stuff” related to his death. There was a 7-month autopsy, 5-months of genetic testing, countless conversations with doctors and “experts”, and finally a medical consultant to to give me the answers I needed.
The ridiculous part? All I had to do was send an email! I’ve had the first sentence written in draft form for 2-months. You see, this medical consultant told us Cameron’s case should be published in the New England Journal of Medicine. I still can’t wrap my brain around that thought! So much positive can come from it, and we support that as an outcome. Yet, just the act of typing up a few paragraphs to review those conversations and send it to a doctor at the hospital that now makes my skin crawl (no offense to them) paralyzed me.
I know Cameron is pushing me. He sent a very clear message when he connected me 6-weeks ago with a complete stranger from that night. This is supposed to happen. It’s time so today I wrote that email and clicked send. Today I could do it because the time was right.
What I’ve learned about child loss is waves of “stuff” keep on coming. Just because time passes doesn’t mean it gets any easier. There is a constant struggle with grief to be in control. When things get hard, just be patient and wait longer. It will happen in it’s own time.