Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Where We are Today

It's been over a year and a half since we lost Barrett. In that time, not one day has gone by that he hasn't crossed my mind at least a dozen times.
To most, it probably seems that I am "over it". They don't see me post about him every day on Facebook. I no longer burst into tears when I think of him. In fact, I talk about him a lot without crying now. I can now tell his entire birth story without shedding a tear. But that doesn't mean I'm over it. It means that I have learned to live with the pain and I am incorporating him into our life as a family in different ways.
I post pictures of our rainbow baby, Cate, a lot. And when I do, I feel as if I am posting Barrett too. For me, he is part of her. She is here because he isn't. If Barrett were here, it would be physically impossible for our precious Cathleen to make me laugh every single day. She is my gift from God and her brother. I imagine that his looks and personality would be so similar to her, my little goofball. She will always carry a part of him with her just as Audrey will.
I smile when I talk about Barrett and when I think of him. I smile every time I finish a blanket for Barrett's Blankets. I smile because I am so blessed that he is mine. But the truth is, I miss him. A lot. I miss him every time I think of what milestone he would be hitting right now had I carried him to term and had a 15 month old baby boy now. I imagine him running alongside Audrey in the yard and fighting over toys with Cate.
I love that Barrett is buried in a family cemetery, but I admit that sometimes I wish the drive wasn't so far. It's just not possible for me to make it to his grave as often as I'd like. So I bought apple trees for each of the kids and planted them. Barrett's has a plaque and when it gets bigger, I plan to put a bench under it where I can just sit with him awhile.
I have not forgotten. Spreading his name is still just as important to me. It's being done through Barrett's Blankets (which is slow right now due to having Cate, but I fully intend to hit the ground wide open again in a few months...but I am still slowly but surely sending out blankets). I wear a ring every day with a tiny footprint that says "You are with me every step of the way". I love having the ring since I haven't been able to wear my necklace with his handprint with his little sister being so fond of pulling on necklaces.
When Barrett died and there were so many days that seemed impossible to get through, I often wondered where I would be a year from then or ten years from then. I wondered if it would always be this hard. Here is an answer to those of you who are freshly experiencing loss: No.
I'm going against the norm here. So many people say "It always hurts just as much" and so on. And that's true. Oh man, is that true. Sometimes I think it hurts worse the more I think about it. But everyday living is easier for me now than it was in August 2012. Not just because of Cate, but because I am adjusting.
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