Today I had to go to my kids' Christmas parties at school. I knew I would have to do it because they needed me to be there, and I want them to know that, no matter how broken I am, I WILL show up. But, wow did it suck. That's right, being around little children excited about Christmas sucked. First of all, anytime I leave the house I feel like I have a bulls-eye my forehead. I see the looks, and then the darting around of eyes because people are unsure if they're supposed to be looking in my direction. And the thing is, I totally get it. It's like trying not to look at a wreck as you pass by on the street. You know you shouldn't, but you just can't help it. It's human nature. It just feels especially shitty when you realize that YOU are, in fact, the "wreck."
All I could think today, as I walked around from room to room, was that he'll never be in these classrooms. He'll never make a gingerbread house in preschool. (I'll always only have three of those in my house). He'll never learn to carry a tray in the cafeteria. I won't get to watch him stumble over words and then jump up and down with excitement as he reads his first book. He'll never know what it means to be loved by Mrs. Mak. I've already experienced my last "first day of Kindergarten", and I didn't even realize it. I didn't even get to complain about it like everyone does when they know it's their "last." I didn't get to obsess for the last year of stay-at-home-mommyhood about what the hell I'd do with my life when my last child goes to school.
One of the craziest parts of the anger stage is that sometimes I find comfort in certain things, and then someone else can say it and it makes me want to pull my hair out. For instance, hearing that my son is "now an angel" should be this beautiful, comforting image. Instead, sometimes it makes me want to scream, "BUT HE ISN'T HERE!!!!" I want him here. Right here next to me. Not in heaven. Not with Jesus. Not with other loved ones. I am his mom. How can being anywhere else be more important than being with me? I know this sounds bitter and ungrateful, but it's the truth. It's what I'm feeling.
I miss him so much. I actually physically ache. It hurts, and I can't make it stop. That pisses me off, too. One more thing I can't freaking control. I also get pissed that I am no longer one of those people who thinks that bad things won't happen to them. But, I know that NO ONE is exempt from this type of pain. Some people lose children to car accidents, some to disease, and still others to a million other reasons. The truth is it doesn't really matter. It's all unbearable, unavoidable pain.
I realize that I have several more "steps" in the grieving process, and some are going to be prettier than others. But, I have to write about them all. They all matter, and they will all be a part of this. I hope that I don't lose friends along the way, and in that spirit, I'll do my best not to punch Santa.