I have two sons.
Yes, I have Gabe and Christian. But that's not exactly what I'm talking about.
I have two sons named Christian. Pre-accident Christian and post-accident Christian.
I gave birth to both boys. They look the same, have the same blond hair, fair skin, and big, round eyes. But they are two very different boys.
After reading a blog post by Aviana's mom, which explained this phenomenon, I buried it for a little bit until I saw a picture of Christian last night. BAM! That phenomenon hit me right in between the eyes.
That's when it happens. I mean I can look back at every single picture I have of Christian since the day he was born and each and every one of them is memorized.
It's when I see pictures of him I've never seen before, usually those pictures that other people have taken. I'm drawn to it, searching it, trying to draw in every detail I remember from that day and when that picture was taken...trying to remember him.
It's a very hard thing to understand and explain the feeling of grief over loosing a child who is laying right next to you. I don't talk about it because, a) I don't like drumming up these type of deep, gut wrenching feeling in front of people for fear that I just might combust, and, b) I don't want to offend those who have had a child pass away. I feel like those parents might get angry for me even comparing my situation to theirs, because my son is right here with me.
But the son sitting next to me is only the same son in genetic makeup alone. I grieve that little baby that died that day and I've tried to stuff that grief way deep down where nobody can see it, including myself. See, I love the son I have now so much so that if love could "fix" him, he would have long been "cured" ten times over. And up until recently, I've felt that grieving the old Christian would be counterproductive and almost disrespectful to the new Christian.
I try not to think about that little boy. I don't put up too many pictures of him because I'm afraid I'm not fully accepting this Christian by doing so. And I also feel like I'm looking at a little boy in those pictures who has passed away.
It's a deep, breathless, heart bursting, paralyzing grief.
After seeing that picture, I let a little of that grief in. I'm not sure I can articulate it well, but that grief was so heavy I could hear my heart beat in my ears and I thought it just might beat out of my chest. It left me breathless and gasping and with the realization that I have not mourned that son properly. I have not mourned all of the things he could have and should have been. And I think it's a disservice to myself.
I didn't want to say it but I miss him. I can only admit that after reflecting on the fact that I've tried my hardest not to miss him. I've tried with all my might to emotionally check out whenever someone else mentions the old Christian. I nod and smile and listen, but only halfway. I've told myself move forward, this is Christian, focus on him, focus on Lola, focus on now.
But all alone, when nobody was looking, it finally happened...I missed him. I mourned him. And it was painful and for a second I thought I just might die. But it was good and it was freeing. Acknowledging the old Christian, my son who died that day, allowed for more truthful and whole acceptance. Not just the kind of acceptance I repeat over and over until I believe it.
Now, this Christian laying right here next to me, I love him deeply and if he learns comprehension of anything else in his life, it's that we love him because we tell him so about a hundred times a day. He has changed many lives, including mine and I'm grateful for every blessed day I'm given with him. But it's okay to miss him.
March for Science
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