As Christi and I walk toward the two year anniversary of Judah’s death, (9/26) we are both finding ourselves facing our grief with a new intensity. This beautiful piece written by my wife, Christi describes our reality well.
…He was 3 months old here. His life was still new and we were still whole. Five years later, I am staring in the face of the monster that is two years without him. Life right now feels like a series of gaping pits where his moments of celebration should be. I fall into every one of them along the way. Every one of them cuts deeply and breaks me all over again. Birthdays are big ones….His first day of school….Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving…family vacations or any family fun time….watching his friends grow….
And then there are the daily holes to fall into…waking up in the morning….not making his breakfast…not taking him to school….watching moms of children the age he should be and the age he was when he died…walking through the toy isle….not making his lunch…not bathing him…clothes and shoe shopping for my other kids and not getting clothes for him….not smelling his smell…not hearing his laugh or his sweet voice….not making him dinner….asking for a table for one less child….no booster seat needed in my car….no sticky hands to clean….no one to read picture books to….no tiny hand to hold when I cross a street or a parking lot….no more kids meals ordered….no more answering a million kid questions….
These are only a sample of the gaping holes Judah’s death has left for me to survive. Soon it will be two years of daily falling and pulling myself out of each and every one of these pits. My heart has been broken more times than I can even begin to count and I am resolved that it will continue to be shattered every day, for the rest of my life.
My God, my husband and my kids that are still on this earth give me the strength and courage to live this brokenness each day. But I am still broken. The death of my son has broken me and it isn’t a brokenness that can heal, because every step through every day without him brings a new wound that breaks me all over again.
When you ask me how I feel and I say I’m ok or I’m making it…what I mean is that at least for today, I’m surviving the constant breaking of my heart. What I mean is that this day, I’m picking myself up and moving anyway. What I mean is that I’m carrying the brokenness today and not being crushed by it.
For those of us that have lost our children, there will never be a purely and genuinely good day again. Our good days are the days when we can breathe, and move, and function, and enjoy our other children, despite the crushing blows we suffer a million times each and every day without our babies.
Today I am forcing myself out of bed. Today I am walking the gauntlet and taking my blows again. Today I am ok.