Wednesday, October 9, 2013

One Year

It has been one whole year since we received the initial shock of Aaron's diagnosis.  It was October 9, 2012. It was supposed to be the day we found out whether we were having a girl or a boy (although as it turns out, we still got a surprise on that one at delivery). It was supposed to be the day that we got to see perfect little ultrasound pictures of our baby so we could share them with friends and family.  It wasn't supposed to devastate our whole world. But it did.

A year ago, the girls were staying at our house with my parents.  They knew that Mommy and Daddy were upset but we hadn't even had time yet to process the news for ourselves, so there was no way we could have possibly tried to explain anything to them.  We stayed about thirty minutes away in a hotel room just trying to make sense of everything that had happened in the last twelve entire year later and there are still days where I'm not sure that we've made sense of anything.

I know that I have been guilty lately of long absences from writing anything and that isn't because I think of Aaron any less often or because I don't have things rolling around in my head that I should really be putting down.  My absences are more because of this unbelievable fatigue that has settled over our house in the months since his death...although I know that it is therapeutic to sit down and put words to the thoughts, it's tough to make a choice between sneaking into bed a little earlier or stealing a few minutes at the computer - sometimes it isn't even a choice, we barely make it to bed before we both just give up for the day and collapse.

I know that as parents who work full-time jobs, it isn't such a strange thing to be so tired...and if it was just the physical exhaustion of too-little sleep, I think it would be a lot more manageable.  Actually, I think I would welcome that sort of physical exhaustion.  Where we stand right now is with that painful combination of mental fatigue coupled with the normal physical exhaustion. 

Shortly after Aaron's diagnosis, I would spend hours looking through other blogs and often found many of those parents suffered the same sudden absences in their writing several months after the deaths of their little ones...I naively thought that maybe this was because that was the point at which things really started to turn around and the therapy of writing wasn't quite so necessary.  Now, I'm beginning to wonder if it is more because they found themselves at the intersection of fatigue, grief, depression and life.

It's just another step of the journey and although it is proving to be pretty unpleasant, I find myself more and more convinced that it's a pretty normal one.  We are learning to live in a reality where few people speak of our son and when we dare to do so, their discomfort is nearly palpable. We are still struggling to manage our grief and our loss in a world that feels as though we should be healing and "moving on."  It probably looks a lot like our lives have "returned to normal" but the simple truth is that we still have no idea what that is supposed to mean. 

Little by little, I trust that life will continue to smooth itself out and we will continue to get better at balancing everything.  There are days here and there where I am hopeful and it seems like we're really succeeding at that task...I can only hope they find their way more frequently into our lives.