I planned to write this a long time ago. But somehow I never got around to it and while my thoughts are constant, my writing is not.
We're closer to 3 years without Andrew than we are two. Or one. Though, my memories of the day I met my firstborn are still quite vivid in my mind. I'll admit, I have to look at his photos to perfectly remember his cute nose and beautiful lashes sometimes, but the memories of what it felt like to hold him for that short time are still so vivid. The rush of sadness and love is still so memorable.
We were at Costco yesterday and Benjamin managed to find a little girl and her two brothers. They were eating at the food court and the 4-year old boys got up to walk somewhere. The dad called their names to get their attention and it caused Ray and I to look at one another with our jaws dropped. The twins boys were Andrew and Benjamin. So that's what it's like to have siblings that are both alive and with the same names you carefully chose for your own children.
It still makes me infinitely sad that I cannot introduce my Andrew in person (or let him introduce himself!). And it makes me sad that Benjamin will never know his "big" brother, who ironically is and will always be much smaller than he. The sting of losing Andrew is still sharp and I'm still angry about it. My friend commented recently to me that although Benjamin never met his brother, the firstborn, he acts as a second-child. He's more cautious, curious, subdued and observant.
At this stage, I boldly proclaim that I birthed two beautiful boys when other moms at the park ask about how many children I've had. I'm far past the stage of caring about making others sad or disappointing them with news. I am proud to be a mother of two boys and will stop at nothing less than to honestly share our story. It helps me honor Andrew and it forces others to face the reality of loss and that it's perfectly normal to be transparent about sadness in our society.
It still opens up doors. I still meet other moms who lost children and go on to share about their losses when I open up about my own. My mentality stands that if my reality of loss is uncomfortable for them, we don't need to carry on as friends.
One of our new friends we met at storytime has been dealt a rough road of multiple miscarriages and complications related. We were at the zoo recently and she asked if I'd ever attended a grief group, because she recently attended one and found it helpful. I talked through all the reasons I never did, and then explained how blogging and our recent BLM meetup is daily therapy for me. That in the earliest days, I had support from all over the globe at my fingertips and not just on the last Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. It made me wish she and all of the other loss moms out there had the same support I feel so lucky to have.
I am so grateful for the support. While I don't blog about grief daily based on lack of time (surely not lack of thoughts!), I'm still living and tearfully remembering all we've come through over these last 2 years, 7 months, and 24 bloody days.
Right Where I Am at 6 months
Right Where I Am at 1.5 years
Heartbreak and Healing
10 months ago