August 27, 2014

Living in this world and that world

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Oh man, life has been so busy these days!  It's a good thing, because I've barely had time to think about my heart and it's wounds, I've been very distracted.  I know I have to bring myself back down to earth when I finally get home at night and fall into bed.  I still have to fight this monster called grief head on, because if I push it away or ignore it completely, it'll simmer and then destroy me all at once at a bad time.  I have to give it attention so it doesn't bite me.

Work has been great.  I feel that I am slowly pushing through all the normal things I do each year to get ready to be a good counselor for these students.  I walk around the school all day, poking my head into classes or checking up on students that may need me, and helping staff along the way.  It's busy and it's good.  I know it's only going to get busier.

At some times though, my mind pops into another world...

I would be 32 weeks pregnant today...

The last time I walked into this room, he was here with me...

My stomach would be SO BIG right now...

I would be 8 weeks away from meeting our baby boy...

My baby shower would have been this weekend...

No matter what I do, there is always this alternate universe in my mind.  A universe where my baby didn't die.  A universe where I would be getting ready to give birth to a happy, healthy baby boy.  I am happy and hugely pregnant in this universe.  People are excited about my baby.  My nursery is done and so unique and cute.  Dave and Ashley are giddy with anticipation...

But then I have to force myself back to reality.  Oh gracious, how painful that is!!  Not quite as bad as actually losing the baby, but pretty painful nonetheless.  I don't go into this universe on purpose, it just comes up into my mind at random.  Like today as I was walking down the hallway at school towards my 3rd grade, I had a crazy sensation that instead of the 3rd day of school, it was the 3rd day from the last day of school...the last day I was there before everything went wrong.  The walls are still fairly empty in school, it was muggy and hot, it had an end of the year feel to it for some reason...anyways, I was instantly taken back in time and thought for a teeny second that things were all ok and I was walking towards 5th grade to do my transition lessons.  Maybe it was all a bad dream?  Jackson was still there in my belly and we were going to have a great summer together!

Whoops, back to reality, Tina.

It didn't make me cry, I'm getting stronger about that.  I can talk about it all, and talk about him, and really be OK.  But these alternate universes where he is still alive with me, I want them to stop and I want them to continue all at the same time.

I'm guessing it will always be that way.  I have to wrap my mind around that and get used to it.  In October, that alternate life will turn into having an baby.  Next year, there will be a one year old there.  In 18 years, I'll be going to a high school graduation in that universe.  I think Jackson's would-be life and future will always be living along side of me, always forcing me to wonder what that life would actually be like if he were here?  I read an article tonight about a mom who gets so depressed as school starts because it reminds her of a student will never send to school, a child that is missing from a classroom.  She says, rightly so, that we as bereaved moms straddle time and space and how hard it is to live that way.  She is totally right, but it depressed me how that could be me, every year, at every milestone.  This wound may heal superficially, but it will be ripped open over and over?  How can I handle a life like that?  Won't it kill me?

Well, I know the answer to that already.  No, it won't kill me.  It may happen, I may feel it...but I'll deal with it and get through it just like I've gotten through everything, and I'll move on.   God may have to pick me up or drag me through again, but He will get me to the other side.  I'm so thankful for all He has gotten me through so far.  I really feel better than I thought I would.  I feel happier than I should!  A few friends have said that I look well, and at first I just think how that is crazy considering how broken I am...but then I think...eh, maybe I am not so broken anymore.  Or, maybe I am.  I don't know, I go back and forth, but that makes me think I am mending in many ways.

I guess that I am sort of ok with this alternate life I see beyond my painful reality.  It will always help remind me that he was here, he was alive and for a very short time, he had a bright future.  As time goes on and the memories of actual reality with him fade, that alternate reality may help me remember.  I never want to forget him, but I do want to move on.  I don't want to straddle both realities equally, I want to fully live this life and dedicate all the wonderful and good things in the world to him, while peeking into the what could have been every now and then if I really need to.

Will the holidays and anniversaries and milestones hurt me?  Maybe.  Will they break me though?  I don't think so.  I'm already way ahead of where I thought I'd be, healing wise.  I think I find a ton of comfort in the fact that he is in a better place.  It's not cliche, it's totally true.  He won't know the hurt and pain and disappointment of our world.  He will only know life and beauty and goodness in Heaven.  He is in a better place, and I can't feel sorry for him that he is 'missing' things here on Earth. And I can't feel sorry for me either.

If things are so beautiful here, how much more beautiful are they there?  Thank you, Jackson, for my sunrises & sunsets ;)

That's all for now, it's been a long day...it's been a long week, and I am ready for bed!  Night!