Grief is a tricky thing. It's a constant barrage of warring emotions. However, in that moment when you're feeling a particular emotion, it's as if it's the only one you've ever had. It consumes you and you're incapable of anything but that feeling, and only moments later you're inundated with emotions that are in direct opposition to what you'd just been experiencing. This is why one really can't say something "right" or "wrong" in these situations. Someone can say something in one moment that will be perceived in a particular way, and the same utterance only days later will evoke a completely different response. As you can imagine, this is extremely exhausting, and sometimes you just shove all of those burning emotions down, momentarily accept the things you can't change, and ask the important questions.
Today I was having one of these moments. It often happens when I'm driving alone. I'll be pulled in a thousand different directions, and then out of the desire for nothing other than self-preservation, I will quiet the chaos in my head by simply accepting my loss. I find myself asking my son questions when I feel like this. Today it went something like, "Ok, I know I couldn't do anything to have changed what happened. I know that you're gone, and you aren't coming back. But, I need to know that you knew love. If the only thing in my power was to teach you how to love and be loved, was the time we had together sufficient for you to have learned this most important thing? Did you know how very much I loved you? Did you feel that same love for me?"
The deafening silence caused me to turn the radio on, and I heard the introductory chords of an old, familiar song. Each word that came through the speakers brought more tears...
Sometimes late at night, I lie awake and watch her sleeping
She's lost in peaceful dreams, so I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark.
And the thought crosses my mind, if I never wake up in the morning,
Would she ever doubt the way I feel about her in my heart?
If tomorrow never comes, will she know how much I loved her?
Did I try in every way, to show her every day that she's my only one?
And if my time on earth were through, and she must face this world without me,
Is the love I gave her in the past gonna be enough to last, if tomorrow never comes?
Some will say that a grieving mother will grasp at anything they can pass off as a sign from their child. I would agree with this sentiment, because the pain is so very physical and the burning in your heart can only be quelled by the person you are missing. Sometimes I have moments where I search everything surrounding me for just the smallest glimpse of my Easton. I've learned that in those times, I usually find very little, and then it can feel silly to be searching for something that probably isn't there. However, sometimes the signs are indisputable. This is one of those times. I know in my soul that this was our moment. He was answering the burning question. I have finally heard my son's voice, and although he sounded very much like Garth Brooks, I know he meant for me to hear this song.
So, I thought about those questions: If my time on earth were through, and she must face this world without me, is the love I gave her in the past gonna be enough to last, if tomorrow never comes? He was only 2 1/2 years old and his speech was limited. And even though the pain is mostly unbearable, even though there are still times that I just can't breathe and screaming is all I can do to release some of the burning, I can say to my baby with absolute certainty that the answer to his question is a resounding...Y.E.S.