As I get further away from George Mason’s day, the sadness gets cloudy. I miss him, tons, all the time. I don’t go a minute without wishing he was here. I don’t go a minute without hearing Audrey talk about her life (she talks non stop) and wish that George Mason was here listening with me. Audrey also often reminds me that he isn’t here. I know she doesn’t understand what she is saying - if she did, I don’t think she would say it as much - but it still stings to hear that “George Mason no carseat more” or that he’s “out mama’s belly” or “George Mason heaven with Grammy”. All that to be said, the super painful tugs at my heart are becoming clouded by the distance from February 10. Very rarely do I just have a horrible, tear filled, terrible day. More often than not, most of my day is pleasant and even happy. I can daydream about house projects or trips to take with Audrey. I can get through my house work without stopping for a good cry. Most days, most of the day seems so normal.
I guess this is the part of grief where people tell you “it will get better with time”… I get it. It does, sort of, get better with time. The stings are less often and less intense. Even though I miss him its not the only thing on my mind all day, every day. Some times I feel a little guilty about that. I don’t want to forget him and I feel guilty if a day passes and I didn’t cry about him or picture him here. I know that’s silly. I’m not going to forget my son. I’ve also got nothing to feel guilty about. My life has to move forward. For the health of myself, my daughter, my marriage, my life has to keep going. The days will come and go and I have to fill them with healthy life. Not just getting through each day (though there are certainly days that’s all I’m doing), but actually enjoying and doing life with purpose.
In the first weeks after George’s day, I lamented over what our new normal would be. It looks so similar to the way it looked on February 9. I still haven’t really come to terms with this. I have all these big things that I’m processing from February 10 and it feels like I have nothing to show for it. I had a baby but random strangers don’t know that. I’m dealing with postpartum hormones and recovery but an outsider wouldn’t even be able to tell. I welcomed a beautiful son and on the very same day watched him take his last breaths and only a handful of people even met him. I think that’s where I am now. The pain of his loss is getting less intense - it will never go away… he should be here - but the reality of his life and how short it was is staring me in the face. The reality that I had expected to spend x amount of time caring for my son, parenting my daughter, and learning what it meant to be mama of 2 littles, is now so very different. I’m still parenting my daughter, I’m still learning what it means to be the mama of 2 littles, but instead of them both living under my roof, I have one in heaven, and the time I expected to spend with him is now… well free.
What does this mean for my life moving forward? Will there be some big thing I’m called to do with all the time I expected to be spending in a NICU and caring for George Mason? I don’t know. I wish that there was a real clear cut answer to the “what now?” question I so often ask myself. There isn’t. For now, I’m just learning more about patience than I ever cared to know. I’m processing and grieving the loss of my son and trusting God to provide “my daily bread” to allow me to move forward and enjoy this life in a healthy way. Things certainly don't look like I expected them to, but God is good and He is in control. I don't know what is next but as I live this life and move forward through this experience, I will praise God because He is my strength and the source of my joy.
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
- Habakkuk 3:17-18