Sunday, April 5, 2009

Well, something happened this weekend and I don't know what to make of it.

I am one of those parents that do all the Easter Bunny and Santa kind of things. I love it. This weekend, we wanted to take Claudia to the Easter Bunny and get a picture taken. I was _fully_ prepared for her to scream bloody murder. She is 16 months old. Face it, it is a giant rabbit with bow tie. That can be kind of freaky to kids! But, I am also the type of mom who would think a crying picture of her with a giant rabbit would be kind of funny too. To keep, to look back on one day and laugh. (No, I don't want to make her miserable or anything.)

So, off we went. We got her picture taken. She did great, by the way. LOVED the bunny. Smiled at him, patted at him, willingly sat in his lap and we got some cute pictures of her smiling.

I was pretty thrilled. We got a cute picture of her with Santa this past Christmas and now a cute picture of her with the bunny. Fun!

Later that night, it hit me.

2 years ago, it was the 1st Easter since we lost Curtis. It was right before I found out I was pregnant with Claudia. I was walking in the mall and caught sight of that stupid rabbit. It hit me like a ton of bricks I didn't have my 10 month old with me to get those silly pictures. I never would have him with me. I broke down and we had to leave the mall right away. I had successfully avoided the mall at Christmas time to avoid seeing the Santa and Christmas stuff. But holidays kept coming, and Easter was another rude awakening.

Then, at the end of 2007 and all of 2008, whenever we would do a "first" with Claudia, I thought about Curtis. How we never got to do that event with him. We never got to take him to see the bunny. Never got to go to the zoo. Never got a Halloween costume for him. No baptism. No July 4th picnic. No swimming. On and on...whatever her first, it would remind me he never had one.

So, this year when we took her to the bunny. The fact that Curtis should be there never even crossed my mind. I was excited to take her to see the bunny, then she did so well, so I emailed that picture out so quick and uploaded it to facebook to show the world.

Later, over dinner with Craig, tears filled my eyes. He asked what was wrong.

"I think this is the first event I have taken her too where I didn't immediately think 'Curtis should have gotten to do this'. That fact never even crossed my mind until now. "

Is this how it is going to be now? That I will find the ultimate happiness in that exact moment and remember later? Is that good? Because it doesn't feel good.

I gotta tell you, the guilt I felt all night last night was not easy to stomach. I should have an almost 3 year old go running and screaming from that giant rabbit. And it didn't even hit me until later.

I don't even know how to process it.


Hope's Mama said...

I don't have any answers for you, but I suspect I'll find out more about this in the years to come. Easier said than done, but try not to beat yourself up about it. You are a fantastic Mum to both your kids. Time just seems to take us away and soften those sharp edges for us.

Kristi said...

Maybe it's neither good or bad... just is. Its not as though you're forgetting Curtis. You're simply able to be "in the moment" with Claudia. And that is good, if you ask me!!!

Happy Easter!

Aaron'sMommy said...

I don't have another child yet, but I have those moments. Times when I am happy and really enjoying something and then later I spend an hour (or more) in tears. Unfortunately, I am not sure that will ever go away. When we were in our counseling she told us we may always hit those "brick walls", but that as time goes on they will be fewer and further between AND get a little softer.

Have a Happy Easter!

sue said...

Actually I believe it is a healthy thing. Life goes on. Claudia needs to know it is ok to enjoy things and not feel guilty about not having her brother there. As with any death time marches on and keeps going. Eventually we have to move on with it. My Mother died at Easter. We buried her on Good Friday. Easter is getting easier. Same thing with my dad, we buried him on Christmas eve. Thankfully I can still enjoy Christmas with my grandchildren.

I still sometimes feel guilty about enjoying these holidays without them but we still need to enjoy them.

I know parents cannot compare to children. I am only comparing the handling of the death, or the morning process.

Sarah said...

I know what you are going through. I know it well.

mrs. mari said...

i've been following your blog but never commented before. so let me say here that you are an amazing mom to both your children. curtis and claudia couldn't ask for better than you. it's important for claudia to know that she what she does is special to you all, and her firsts are highlights in your life and in hers.

as a previous comments said, claudia needs to be able to enjoy events and not feel guilty that curtis isn't there with her enjoying it, or that yur sad because he missed being able to enjoy it.

i am the child that came after, and it is sometimes a very hard place to be. you are so on top of your feelings and actions i am in awe of you.

kim said...

I know we all have our own beliefs, but I think Curtis knows every minute of every day how much you love him. Of course we can't always control how we feel. But try to go easy on yourself. You were just having a good time with Claudia and forgot to be sad. Maybe your subconcience is starting to let go of the some of the "should have beens". You know that you will never ever forget your sweet boy, and wish for all the world that he could be there having those experiences as well. I think living life to the fullest is the best way to honor a lost loved one. I know, not always easy, but you're doing the best you can with the cards you were dealt and for what it's worth I think your a great mom.