A’s second birthday was last week. The pain and rage were as raw and intense as they were two years ago. The agony was so overwhelming that the thought of killing myself crossed my mind (as it did those wretched first weeks). Not as a serious plan, but because there is no other way to escape such oppressive anguish. Be assured I am not going to harm myself, I couldn’t cause E or Dragon any more heartache.
Last year, I sent out birth-announcement-style cards for his first birthday asking our family and friends to perform acts of kindness in his honor. That, coupled with it being his first birthday, elicited much response. This year I did not send anything nor planned a get together of any sorts. We received a handful of texts and calls plus a few cards in the mail. A mere fraction of last year’s showing. It was pitiful.
I have never felt so alone in my grief.
If A was alive to celebrate his second birthday I am certain he would have been inundated with cards, calls, messages and gifts. I know many of our loved ones were thinking of him on his birthday so why the silence?
With his birthday came a heavy depression. I am apathetic towards work and daily responsibilities. It is a chore to drag myself out of bed each morning, yet I toss and turn trying to fall asleep at night. I’m moody and short-tempered. I’m emotional and distracted. I am utterly overwhelmed by the life obligations facing me. I want to hide beneath the bed covers for days. How I wish the world would give me permission to grieve like two years ago; afford me another bereavement period. Weeks of moping around the house ignoring phone calls, bills and responsibilities. No reason to leave the safety of my home.
But life doesn’t stop. And neither does this adventurous 9½-month-old dragon who crawls, clambers, climbs and explores every waking second. So I must tend to my living child. I must fulfill my scheduled work hours. I must keep up the house and feed the family. Because of my depression and grief, I cannot engage in life. However, I cannot fully commit to grieving and depression either, which leaves me in an uncomfortable, unresolved purgatory state.