Losing Curtis is such an everyday part of my life. The pain is not overwhelming on an day to day basis. Our story has just become part of me. So much so that I forget how truly truly awful it really is. That may sound silly, but until I am reminded of the true, raw emotions when it comes to giving birth to a still baby, I don't realize how far I have really come.
Recently, I was watching some videos put out by the MissingGRACE YouTube. Memorial videos they make when they are present at a birth of a baby for the families. I was feeding Cole while watching these videos....beautiful videos of beautiful babies being held by their families. Siblings meeting this baby, a baby who has already passed. Friends and family gathered around for a baptism. It is all set to beautiful music. The pain was overwhelming. The tears just rolled down my face as I struggled to not sob, knowing it would scare Cole who was in a blissful half sleep, eating his bottle. It brings me right back to May 31st, 2006. Right back to laying in that hospital bed, with Curtis placed on my chest. To watching our family hold our baby boy one by one.
Spurred by these videos, I started reading through my blog last night and tonight. I read about the moment we found out Curtis was dead. I read about giving birth to him. I read about planning and having his funeral. And I cried and cried and cried.
I forget. On a day to day basis the pain isn't like this. Which is probably a good thing. I think about Curtis all the time. All the time. But it isn't necessarily painful. Wistful, maybe. A fact of my life, yes. But not painful. But that is why I have to bring myself back. I need to remember where I have been to remember how far I have come. This may also sound weird, but the pain is a good thing. It is feeling. I haven't become numb to the situation.
Like I have said before, I will never be "over" what happened to us. I am always working at moving through the grief, learning to handle insensitive comments with grace, and remembering my baby boy.
It often feels like something that happened to someone else. We have two beautiful children upstairs, asleep in their cribs. Children who make me laugh and smile, children who wake me up in the middle of the night and exhaust me. Children who will try my patience and bring me joy beyond measure. Then, there is this other child who will never be any trouble. Who won't try my patience or keep me up all night.... but he, too, brings me joy beyond measure. Sometimes that joy manifests itself as pain, however. To remember his birth is to remember very real hurt. When it comes to Curtis, pain and joy go hand in hand.
I am really missing him and aching for him and wondering what may have been. This time of year always does this. I find myself slipping into bad habits...self destructive things when I am trying so desperately to be healthy. Four years out, you think this would be old hat, but it isn't. I don't think it will ever be.