12 Weeks In


Earlier this week, I called in sick.  Someone could easily say I had a case of the Mondays but truth be told all I wanted to do was cry.  I cry at work but I was afraid if I cried the way I was feeling on Monday someone might put me in a mental institution.  So I called in sick.  I told my employer I wasn’t feeling well and they expressed that they hoped I felt better soon.  Soon?  Not when you call in heartbroken.  I dropped off Alejandro and was honest with Paul – I just couldn’t and didn’t want to deal with people on a day that I was missing Joaquin so much.

Twelve weeks  in and I stared at myself in the mirror.  Tear stained, wearing pajamas at noon and completely defeated.  For one day at least.  Twelve weeks in and I still can’t take his car seat out of my van.  Twelve weeks in and his toothbrush still sits in the same place.  Twelve weeks in and his inhaler sits on the kitchen counter.  Twelve weeks in and his aspirin stares back at me, untouched.  Twelve weeks in and I still sleep with his blanket and his t-shirt.  Twelve weeks in and I still can’t believe this happened to us.  Twelve weeks in and I cannot believe I experienced the circle of life with my 4 year old.  At mass this past Sunday, I realized that I stood in the same spot where we promised to raise Joaquin to believe in God 4 years ago only to stand there again and turn him back in to our Lord.  At times, twelve weeks in, I still walk in a fog.  I often wonder just how I manage to still stand here.  To still laugh.  To still eat.  To still breathe.  But twelve weeks in and on days like Monday, yes, I think I can no longer go on one more day without him.

Joaquin 1220

Twelve weeks in and it pains me to see that life certainly moves on whether you’re ready to or not.  The bills still need to get paid.  The phone calls have slowed.  Even Alejandro seems better.  Twelve weeks in and at times, my six year old comforts us the way we comforted him in the beginning.  He’ll hear us crying, drops what he’s doing and hugs us until one of us pulls away…at just the right time.  Twelve weeks in and this child that keeps us going has grown up faster than any child should.

Ale and Dusty Walking

Twelve weeks in and I realize I have a long and tiresome road to travel.  I have fallen time and time again.  And each day, I manage to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.  Twelve weeks in and I realize I have two choices – I can let it beat me and break me down or I can keep walking even with tears in my eyes.  I choose the latter.  It’s better to cry and keep walking than to just cry and let grief consume you.

Twelve weeks in – yes, it can be done.

strength and dignity


This Thing Called Grief


I cry.  Yes, trust me – I do cry.  After all our company left yesterday and after finally getting caught up on Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Paul and I decided we were exhausted.  Do you blame us?  We have been going on overdrive since our sweetpea went Home one week ago today.  So we headed to the dark bedroom and got in bed.  And there, we cried.  And cried.  And we fell asleep.

20 minutes later I woke up.  Like I literally jolted up.  Paul asked if I was ok and I said, “Yeah, I’m done”.  So here’s the deal.  I think I am just really focusing on God and Joaquin’s fighting spirit that I make myself not dwell.  I practically force myself not to.  Last night before bedtime I was missing Joaquin’s voice and I wanted to desperately listen to the videos I have on my phone of him.  But I felt like my wound was so deep at that moment that it just didn’t seem like the wisest idea.  Instead I took a quick peek at his pictures, inhaled the smell on his pajamas and went to bed.

This morning I decided to check out the five stages of grief and I am either doing things backwards or I have finally excelled in something.  Check them out.

Denial and Isolation – ok.  I think I did this.  But I did this in the hospital.  I never isolated myself but I think I was in denial or really, really holding on to hope.

Anger – I have only dealt with anger once so far.  And that was when a family member was making our family’s mourning about them and carrying out a little too dramatically.  I raged in anger and didn’t care who heard me.  This was OUR child.  How dare you drape yourself over my casket and wail uncontrollably while my six year old watches and goes from happy to scared.  How dare you?  If anyone should be doing this it should be me.  And I didn’t.  I weep in private for the sake of my living child.  Am I wrong?  Who the heck knows?  All I know is that I was livid.

Bargaining – my bargaining came in prayer form.  I mean like hard core, all night vigil prayer form.  And it worked.  He was completely healed.

Depression – I am not depressed.  I am sad.  I miss him so much.  But I refuse to be depressed.  REFUSE.  Joaquin was a happy child and I feel like I have a bit of him in me therefore I cannot be depressed.  I feel like he tells me to get up and GO!!  And what mommy doesn’t listen to their kiddos when they get that demanding.  Thank you, baby boy.

Acceptance – the most beautiful part for me.  I accepted Joaquin’s passing when I soaked in the word of God.  He was telling me it was time to let go.  Yesterday Paul and I spoke about when we really think Joaquin died.  Medically it was at 4:15 am last Friday morning.  But we think perhaps his soul had left his sweet body earlier.  We were trying to pinpoint exactly when but that’s kind of impossible.  Then I wondered.  What if he died when I spoke to Chaplain Ana?  When she whispered things I can’t remember.  When I heard her call me a woman of God.  When I exhaled and inhaled in her arms.  How can I not accept it when it happens so beautifully?

So – my grief has been all over the place.  A lot like me!!  And it doesn’t matter.  As long as you get it done.

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