It dawned on me two days ago that while I was running a 10K today, it would be 3 months since the day we delivered Gregory.
Once that registered, there was a slight damper on the remainder of the day that continued through this morning. It also prompted me to go back and read some posts from before his death as well as some of the stuff I wrote as we were dealing with it all.
It’s weird. 13 weeks. Three months. A quarter of a year.
Yes, time has sped back up and our lives are back at the clip they were before we lost Gregory. But sometimes I feel like I’ve aged 10 years through the ordeal. I am still sad. I still haven’t made it through Mass without breaking down into tears and/or sobs.
Is it because, had he lived, I would still be pregnant? I find myself fearing the end of July because I don’t know what another two months will bring and how I will feel on that due date. When I found out Gregory was on the way, I did something I have done with every pregnancy. I went through my work planner and marked the weeks. So, every week right now, I see how far along I would be. Right now, I’d be 32 weeks along, likely big as a house (as my younger brother has been known to say), waddling, fatigued and maybe a little stressed knowing our family dynamics would change soon.
But, I am no longer pregnant. We said goodbye to Gregory 13 weeks ago. I’ve dropped the weight gained through the pregnancy and my body has finally begun to act like a non-pregnant one what with my waist shrinking and my cycles regulating. I’ve become active again, running, doing crossfit, and making healthy changes in general.
When I started running again, I began having some individual prayer time with Gregory. Sometimes I tell him how much I love him and miss him. Sometimes I tell him that I’m running because I want to be healthy for his siblings. Sometimes I just ask him to pray for me, to help me keep going.
The truth is, it’s easier to keep going these days. The tears are mostly relegated to weekly Mass, though sometimes my thoughts wander and the tears come at other times. I laugh a bit more…find things funny again. Even though the sadness is still present, sometimes just under the surface, I am able to put on my strong face and save the tears for my counseling sessions or as I’m getting ready for bed.
I wish I could say the fact that it’s easier these days made me happy. But, there’s a lingering worry that if it’s easier then maybe I don’t love Gregory as much as I thought I did. I feel caught in this strange place where I’m moving past some of the grief, but I’m not. Or I am afraid to move past it.
It’s kind of like how it is with the other five and my occasional, irrational worries that I might show favor to one kid over another. I know it makes no sense, but there’s this nagging worry that I’m giving Gregory the shaft…not giving him enough love or enough of me. The same way I might worry that I don’t spend enough time reading books with Helen or Dominic, I worry that I don’t think about Gregory often enough anymore (which is silly because I clearly still think about him every day). The fact that the grief is no longer ever-present makes me pause and worry that I’m not making him as important as he deserves to be.
It’s this whole big weird mixed bag of feelings that I just don’t know what to do with. Our lives here on earth go on. They must. At times, I find that I feel guilty that I now am facing this state in our family life where we won’t have a baby in the house. And I let myself look forward to it and feel how that can be a positive development. Of course, I’m not happy that Gregory is not here with us, but the circumstances being what they are, it’s kind of like, “Let’s make the best of it” right?
I guess it’s the lack of completeness I feel about the whole thing. Anyone who knows me knows I am a finisher. I like to see things through to the end. And I don’t feel like I got the chance to do that in this case. I don’t know what kind of personality Gregory was going to have. I don’t know if he would have looked like me or Craig. I don’t know if he would have been ornery like Vincent or well-behaved like Dominic. Would he have given Helen a run for her money vying for my attention and affection? Perhaps he and Dani would have formed a brother/sister musical duo or would he have an easy-going, fun-loving soul like his oldest sister, Sarah?
I guess knowing that God spared him from this world to be with Him for eternity at such a young age makes me happy in one sense — that such a soul could be my child.
But knowing that makes me sad, too, because wouldn’t he have made our lives so much richer with his presence here in our family on earth?