Sometimes, when I least expect it, I well up in tears. They don't usually last very long and aren't the kind of sobbing, ugly cry that can often overwhelm me. No, these tears are different. It's like a pressure release valve for my emotions. Driving down the road, sitting at a stop light, brushing Audrey's teeth, watching "Friends" on Netflix; these are the moments when I feel like I'm doing ok, that life is moving on and I'm wrapping my head around that and I feel good.... those are the moments when the tears come and go without warning.
It's almost like I prepare myself so much for the things that are supposed to be hard that I actually manage to get through those things without losing it. I made it out of the doctor office, phew. Or I met my friend's precious new baby and smiled and was excited, check. Those moments I expect to cry. Those moments where I am most overtly reminded that my son isn't here on this earth, those are the times I feel like it would be most appropriate to cry; ugly or not. But that's not how grief seems to work. Grief hits you when you least expect it. It is in the quiet minutes of your regular every day life that sadness creeps in and takes over; even if only briefly.
This is hard for me. I want so badly for life to be normal. I want so badly to not have to face this sadness head on so often anymore. As long as we stay holed up in our house I don't have to talk about it. As long as I avoid those that care about me, I don't have to dig deep into the pain. Unless, of course, I want to (And those times of deep introspection have been very healing, so I have to not discount them). But the funny thing about avoidance, is that even total strangers have forced me to face all of this. I remember a very -too happy if you ask me- happy nurse in the cafeteria of the hospital the morning after George Mason died.... I was standing in line with Adam as he bought some lunch because I needed to get out of that hospital room. The woman behind us was the nurse and she very excitedly said "congratulations on your new baby!" ... in that moment I wanted to punch her for being nosy and assuming. I wanted to scream to everyone within earshot that my son had just died so that no unsuspecting poor soul would have to be the recipient of my raging hormones and painful sadness.
I guess that as hard as it is to have life go on, it's better than avoiding it or denying it ever happened. I had prints made of the few pictures we got of our sweet son. I spent an enormous amount of mind space deciding on the details of size, frame style, placement, etc. It was really hard. It seemed so final. But it was so good. George Mason, our beautiful little boy, never came home. It would be so easy to pretend or forget that he was even alive. 16 hours isn't very long at all. So I did it. The do-er and designer in me made the decisions and did it. I'm faced with the sadness every day because he's not here but I want to also celebrate his life, his impact on our lives, and his presence in our family. While there are only 3 of us at home today, there are 4 in our family and I'm forever changed by that. So every time I walk up or down my stairs, I see our family picture and smile. Sometimes I cry, but those pictures aren't there to be a painful reminder. Instead, they are a celebration of our family, our son, our children, and our deep love for both of them.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:6-7