Monday, December 5, 2016

A slight deviation from Stories of Hope

So I had every intention of posting my next segment of my story but I ran into a snag... a snag of memories that I must share with you.  I blame facebook for my snag.  That 'on this day' feature is great and I love it when I am reminded of times gone by, especially of the times when I was blissfully pregnant with the twins and not aware of what could go wrong.
But today I read them just before I went to work.  Totally dumb, absolutely dumb and maybe a wee bit unsafe as I spent the drive off and on in tears.
The first memory was this one...
Hopefully you can see this but it was approaching our first anniversary and Zack and I had been at his school and had written up a memory card to put on the Christmas tree that a local hospice's grieve and bereavement outreach team had set up.  I remember writing his words 'I remember my brother Cole who went to heaven before I could meet him but looks just like his twin' and then him asking questions all the way home about what had happened, where they had stayed etc.
It's hard to relieve memories of memories...if that makes sense.  Remembering my feelings and reactions this time of year over the last 8 years is hard and it's draining.  Remembering having tough conversations with my kids is even harder.  
The next memory was this one...

 Remembering that my worries, a week before my son died, were of daycare spots and return to work plans is hard too. The hardest thing though is to read the comments....people excited about my babies and, hardest of all, telling my cousin I'd fill her in the next weekend.
The next weekend was our family Christmas.  By the next weekend when I was to see her Cole was gone and my parents had been rerouted from their journey to this family Christmas to Toronto to come and be with me.  By the next weekend my life had changed forever and I would never, ever, be the same Jodie who posted this message or comment.

It always catches me off guard when this happens.  I think that I should be immune to triggers by now.  Funny thing is on this day last year I posted a very similar post about being caught off guard.  Here's some of what I posted then....

In one week I will be reliving the very last hours of my son's life and this year I thought I could get through it without my usual blogging project...without forcing myself to find blessings and gifts in my life after, and because, I lost my son. 
And tonight I realized I can't do this. I can't go on pretending I am ok because I am not. I miss my son, I've missed him since the day he left us nearly 7 years ago and I truly love and hate this time of year.  It is so damned bittersweet to know that your life is inexplicably better because you know the devastating loss of saying goodbye to your child. I often tell people how much my life changed for the better after I experienced losing Cole but tonight that just feels like a complete line of BS that I feed people so they don't feel sorry for me. Tonight I feel sorry for me. Tonight I feel sorry for my whole family.  Tonight I feel sorry most of all for Cameron. 
He feel asleep in my arms tonight and at almost 7 that rarely happens.  He feel asleep with his head on my right arm and side of my chest with his hand on my heart. The irony wasn't lost on me. That is where his twin should be and where his twin will live forever. 
Tonight I cried, sobbed, for the first time in a very long time. Tonight I pulled out my surgery reports and my presurgical ultrasound reports and I reread the clinical final moments of Cole’s life. I remembered and I relived it all. 
Tonight I am thinking of this season I am in and I am praying for comfort in the days ahead. I am praying for signs that my son knows how missed he is. I am praying for signs of the connection he has with us. I am praying that no one will forget him this year. And selfishly I am praying that no one will forget me this year.

I knew this year would consist of many more tears as I have been rereading and editing my story to post here.  The memories have been made fresh and that's ok.  But that's where I expected the tears to come not as I read facebook posts about writing a memory card and about my worries about daycare. But even more so I didn't anticipate seeing the words 'I'll fill you in next weekend' to upset me so much.  That weekend never came. Sure it happened, sure December 13th and Ireland Christmas still existed that year but for me the weekend I had been looking forward to, a weekend to see cousins who hadn't seen me since a few weeks after I found out I was expecting twins, a weekend to celebrate my amazing Ireland family, a weekend to celebrate Christmas, to watch the kids exchange presents, to have fun playing gift exchange games....none of that happened.  And oh how I wish it could have.

Like I said above, it's so damned bittersweet to know that your life is inexplicably better because you know the devastating loss of saying goodbye to your child.  I hate that I know this and I hate that I can't always remember this but most of all I hate that I even have to think about any of this or feel guilty by my mixed up emotions.  

I am still praying for comfort in the days ahead but I am also praying that sharing my story this year can offer hope to someone else on their journey.

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