Monday, May 31, 2010

Pass the how-to manual

A year ago this weekend, I was at a birthday party. It was this very birthday party that I laid on the floor of the bathroom behind a locked door and poked my belly trying to get our son to move- he wouldn't budge. I hadn't felt him all night, my ankles were swollen and I just knew something wasn't right. I couldn't enjoy myself the rest of the night, you could visibly see that something was bothering me.

That's the last time I was out with friends before we lost Nolan.

Tonight, we were at that very same birthday party. It hit me and it came out of nowhere.

It's that time of year. June is here. June is here TOMORROW. The month I have so graciously put in the back of my mind like it was to be forgotten about. I'm not saying I want to forget the life we were given for 2.5 days. But to forget all those feelings that are going to come tumbling down with no notice. Kind of like they did tonight.

The weather is changing like it does every June. It rains every afternoon, the hot and humid Florida air is back and it reminds me SO much of the days after we lost Nolan. The days I was planning his funeral, the rain never seemed to stop. That weather is back. It's just a grim reminder that time of year is here. It's also the same weather that lasts ALL summer, the same weather those months of deep grieving I went through.

I'm not ready to face the next few weeks. I'm not ready for these feelings. I have done so well disguising them for months. Huge breakdowns seem to be a thing of the past, that was until tonight. They are back, unpredicable and unstoppable.

Does anyone have the manual on how to face these dates, the month, the feelings. I know so many of us have already gone through this. HOW?! Do I wallow in my tears? Do I avoid hugs? Do I go into hiding? Do I distract myself? How do I do it? I know there are so many different ways but can't there be a step by step manual on how to go through these dates being gentle on yourself?

In 11 days, I will face the hardest day yet in the past year. I'm sure it will be a hot muggy afternoon, the rain will beat on the windows and all I will be able to do it replay in my head what happened on that very day exactly one year ago. It's scary, it's raw and I am just not ready to feel it.

I just miss him more than I could ever express, more than I could put into words and more than life itself. I just want to see him kicking again in his isolette. I want to feel that "everything is going to be okay" feeling that I got when he was in the NICU. Never in a million years during those 2.5 days did I think we would watch Nolan slip out of our hands right in front of us. It's just so surreal.

I am going to be a hard person to be around the next few weeks. I know I will "get through" it, I obviously got through a lot already. But it doesn't help the fact that I am going to feel this all over again.



14 comments:

My life said...

I don't know what this feels like yet. I will be thinking of you as you approach Nolans Birthday. I know that there is not a manual for grieving so I'm sure the same can be said for these important reminders. I don't think you have to be in your deepest grieving to relive the pain again. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. ((Hugs))

Saffy said...

I'm sorry hon, but no easy answers. Every year from 14 Dec - 2 Jan I go into this little hermit state where I just reflect on our little guy. The first 'birthday' was def the hardest because of the emotional build up to it. Now I try and make a special meal on the day - kinda like 'what would he have wanted for his special day?'. Kooky I know. Hugs.

Maddie said...

Hugs. No advice really - I haven't been there yet and honestly, just the idea of Matilda's first birthday coming around makes me cry. Just do whatever you need to in order to get through this. xx

babyrndeb said...

yes, you will somehow 'get through it' ~ I've had patients tell me even years later they take that special day off of work just to remember their child. Anniversary dates are very hard - just know that and know that what you are going through and feeling is very normal.
There isn't really a 'grief manual' for everyone does it in their own way ~ but one good book out there is "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart" by Deborah L Davis.
It might be worth reading.
Take care. Know that others are thinking of you

KAM said...

Praying for you all month long (and always). Hugs.

Sara said...

I would just say let yourself feel what you are feeling in each and every moment. Don't try to be anything that you aren't. Like you said, just get through it. You don't have to pass with flying colors. You don't have to be pleasant. You don't have to cry all the time (but if you need to then do).

Just exist. Exist and honor Nolan through your love!

Rachie said...

Ashley-
Justin and I think of you guys often! There is no manual, you are writing this yourself. I am sure that your blog writings have helped other women going through what you've gone through, so maybe in some way you are helping to write a manual for someone else to help ease their pain.
You do whatever you need to do to get through it. As long as you keep him alive in your memories and heart, Nolan will be there. And just think of how extra special the new baby growing inside of you is- especially since he/she has a big guardian angel brother looking out for them. Take this month day by day and know that there are many people sending good thoughts and prayers your family's way.

Rachel

belle said...

((((((((((hugs))))))))))

Maggie said...

I haven't reached the one year mark yet and I really have no idea what to expect. If only they wrote manuals on how to deal with all this crap. Rely on your support and your family and us. :) We'll all be here for you. XO

cmatsukes said...

Just keep thinking about this time next year you will have 6 month old. Nolan will get you through and give you strength, and family and friends. So here it is from me to you Hugs, Love Aunt Chris.

Holly said...

It's tough. Pretty much the month leading up to Carleigh's birthday was emotional. If only it was as easy as following a manual with this stuff.

Jayme said...

For me- it's the anticipation that is the worst. The actual day isn't as bad for me. And as Saffy said- the first year is the hardest. It's going to suck, but we'll be here, whether you are pleasant or not, to help you through it.

elena said...

I have not gone through this yet myself, but I imagine it will be tough and I will feel the same way you are feeling right now. As I am already deeply affected as each month passes and it gets closer. I will be thinking of you on this day. *hug*

love and prayers
elena

Betty said...

(((hugs)))