Saturday, August 1, 2009

Invisible monster

When you lose a child, they tell you many things, the experts, the writers of the books, the parents who've walked the walk before. But they don't tell you everything. There are some bits you have to learn yourself. And those bits are the hard ones to deal with.

I get it that grief is a process. Denial, anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. They tell you that you will feel these over and over and over again, some more than others, for eternity. I get that. I've had my share of them all and expect to continue them until I die and can finally rest.

But the one they don't tell you about is the one that makes it hard to get through the day, hard to focus on anything. It is the one that's been plaguing me lately, kicking itself up a notch for no known reason.

It is the wait for the other shoe to drop. Feeling like life is so "normal" that it can't possibly stay that way. It's searching the internet for an eternity in the wee hours of the morning for every symptom to every illness that could possibly take another child from your arms.

I think I hide it well. I think on the outside I appear normal. I doubt anyone could possibly know that day in and day out I'm wondering which child it will be, which one will get sick, hurt, and die? Maybe it will be me? Or Craig? Maybe if I can just catch the symptoms of this invisible killer in time I can do something to save whoever it is.

I know I know. In that last paragraph was the obvious. I'm trying to prevent what my misplaced guilt thinks I should have prevented with Alex. I get that. I consider myself a pretty logical person and can see the deeper picture, know where these feelings are coming from. But that doesn't make them go away.

This is something "they" never mentioned to me. That the fear wouldn't go away when the bad dream ended. That it would continue to wax and wane for years, possibly forever. To go to bed everynight and fight the tears because I didn't hug them enough, didn't tell them I loved them enough, it could never BE enough.

The feeling like I am always on the defense against this horrible terrorist. I can't see him, don't have a clue how his attack will come, and have no idea who he will even attack. But I can't shake the feeling that he's out there. Waiting. And it's my job solely to be able to thwart his attack. Yet to walk around and go about life everyday like he's NOT out there at all, because not to would be to not live each day like it's the last.

No comments: