“Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains”.
-Kahlil Gibran

I feel like Kahlil Gibran was really ahead of his time in much of his writing. Out of all of the quotes on grief and loss, his touch me on a deeper level, more than any of the common rhyming verses out there. I hadn’t felt much like writing lately until I turned to my good friend Mr. Gibran for a little inspiration.  He got me to thinking about time, and why I feel like a 6 month anniversary weighs more heavily on us, than the 4th or 5th.

Time seems to be both a grieving parents savior and a grieving parents nightmare. Everyone tells you that “it will get better with time” but what I really think they mean is “eventually, we can forget about all of this and not talk about it anymore because it makes us uncomfortable”. Granted, not everyone means it that way, but it feels like the vast majority of people do.  And that is the last thing that I feel like I want to have happen. I don’t want to just sweep Jack under the rug and move on through life like he didn’t happen. He is a person, he is our child and I cannot let him be discounted.

While Jack’s physical body may be tucked away in the ashes in his urn, the seed of his life remains in us and thrives with life! I have come to realize this more and more lately, that we are never alone, he is always with us.

However, having his 6 month birthday come  makes me reflect on just how hard it has been. I look back and think about the first month, the second, the third and I think, “my god, how did we survive it?”. The answer to that question, I don’t really know. Somehow, we made it through and I feel like the past 6 months have been the worst months of our lives. Imagine spending half of a year of your life….. in terrible pain…knowing that the pain will never go away.

Because Jack was born prematurely, when I picture him at 6 months, at an adjusted rate, he would have been more like 3 months . That doesn’t help a whole lot because at three months babies start doing lots of really cute things and I am sad we aren’t going to experience any of that with him. I’m sad we never got to bring him home from the NICU. I’m just sad about everything. I guess I just feel weird about everything. My co-worker got me a little pot of flowers today, and it was so sweet to have someone acknowledge Jack’s birthday, I almost fell apart.

It’s difficult too because so many friends are having babies or have had them recently and while of course I am happy for them, and so relieved that their babies arrived safely, there is always that voice in the back of your head saying “that should have been us”. I wish so much that I didn’t feel that way, but to deny it would be lying, so there it is.

Then the holidays are still looming overhead like a sad song that won’t end. All I really want for Christmas is a vacation away from our sadness. A place to hide and feel quiet for a while.

So I suppose the culmination of all of this is that Jack’s 6 month birthday signifies a lot. It shows us how far we have come in our grief, it marks what we are missing him growing and doing at this time, and it occurs before the start of the time of year when we should be making memories. That is why this is so much harder than the other months.

I’m trying to stay positive, I really am, as illustrated by my previous thankfulness post, I am trying to keep things in perspective. Sometimes though, it is very, very, hard.

~EH

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