I was taken by surprise the other day when I mentioned perhaps taking February 28 off work this year. The tears came quickly and I had to swallow and push them down. My boss has been completely supportive and never even a little bit awkward about our loss of Gregory last year. I didn’t expect to fight back tears when I mentioned perhaps wanting the day off.
I was reading through some of my posts from last year before we found out about Gregory’s passing and I was really struggling with Lent. I had messed up on a Friday and eaten meat for breakfast. I hadn’t figured out just what kind of sacrifice I should make for Lent. To be honest, I was kind of a mess…and that was BEFORE I knew about Gregory’s death.
In hindsight, it seems so perfect, you know? There I was, feeling sorry for myself, not doing very good at being Catholic during Lent. I was really struggling. I was feeling alone, spiritually. I didn’t really know what to make of it. I think I was just floundering — flapping and flailing (as my father would say) — not knowing what to do, how to pray, and feeling like a really bad person because of it.
Then, February 28 happened. February 28 was the date I went in for my mid-pregnancy ultrasound. Craig was going to go with me, but hadn’t felt well and I just figured it was routine — I’ve done many of these on my own. But they didn’t find Gregory’s heartbeat and determined he must have died about 9-10 days earlier.
My world completely stood still for a day or two. And it moved so slowly for awhile after that.
It’s funny when I think about it because when I have given birth to each of my children — that is the way it was. The moment each of them came into this world — I remember that moment and it seemed to last forever, and I love that.
And, so it was the same when I gave birth to my baby boy, Gregory, who was still. I remember that moment, always, and the pain in my heart and the tears that ran down my face. I remember shaking with sobs and looking at my husband who was doing the same. I remember feeling my doctor’s hand on my shoulder and that he didn’t have anything to say…and that he was crying with us. And the nurses and all the other medical staff in the room were sad with us.
Before I sat down to write this, I hadn’t decided whether to take February 28 off work. But I think I have now. I think I will. Just because I will think about Gregory all day on that day and on March 1. I know I will. It makes sense — often on the birthdays of my children, I think about them all day long — but it’s happy and I don’t feel the need to take a day away from work (since they are usually in school anyway). But with the happy memories, it doesn’t distract me or make working more difficult. But I fear it will be more difficult to work on February 28 this year.
It will be a year since his passing February 28/March 1. A milestone. I’m happy to say that the grave marker has been placed and I look forward to seeing it in person (the weather/snow has been awful and prevented a trip, even if we would have had time). I’ll go there for sure on March 1, maybe on February 28, too.
|We got the letter letting us know Gregory’s Memorial had been placed.|
It’s been almost a year, and though the pain doesn’t rise to the surface as often, it’s still there. I miss him. I miss what he would have been for us. I miss what my family would have been with him here. I do miss all that.
But, I also see what we are with Gregory in Heaven, too. I see my children, who have watched me grieve this year, draw closer to me. I see my son, Dominic, who lights up at the name of Gregory when he hears it. I see my husband and me, feeling comfortable and stable with our family as it is right now.
When all this happened, I struggled to see how this fit with what God had planned for us. I think sometimes what a leg up I’ve gotten to have a child in the presence of God interceding for me and I wonder how badly I must have needed it.
A year ago, I was confused, trying to figure out an adequate sacrifice for Lent. But it was okay. Lent was oh, so hard last year. Easter was not particularly joyful for me last year. But through this past year, I see that sometimes, you just don’t have to come up with it on your own. Sometimes, dealing with whatever is in front of you…is enough.