Friday, January 18, 2013

A balance of birthdays, shifted

Today marks Isaiah's birthday, the sixth since he died. The balance has shifted, more birthdays passed since his death than shared while he lived.

Grief, year six:

My sister sent a lovely message of remembrance last night, sharing that they were watching videos of their kids, and our boys, last weekend. The only video we three had was deleted, accidentally, the year of Isaiah's death; I remember feeling angry despair at the time. To learn that I would have the opportunity to "see" Isaiah again, perhaps hear his voice or watch that twisty walk of his, that Cutter could perhaps bolster his young boy memory of his brother, well, it shook me more than I might have imagined this morning. It also led me to ponder in what ways technology has changed our experience of grief (I am taking a graduate research course, so I find myself turning everything into a research question).

Physically, this day has found me curled up in my love's understanding embrace, followed by curling up with Cary Grant (also born on January 18) and the Pip pup a la Mr. Lucky while the boy slept. And after the boy woke, we snuggled up with Dr. Who and Amy Pond before he left to immerse himself in video game challenges with a friend, and I walked the dog before immersing myself in a shameless middle of the day bath and a paranormal read– leading me to this point, a honey whiskey and words, after which we three will reconvene for our January 18th ritual: Papa John's pizza with special sauce and light blue napkins, to honor our missing boy.

Emotionally, I find myself weighted with grief today, in ways I haven't been in years past, and I recognize it's the confluence of many factors. This: the year I know definitively there will be no more children birthed from this body. This: the year my oldest turns thirteen, his horizons ever expanding, his gratitude for his ability to volunteer in a food pantry breaking me open, his excitement at taking a Community Emergency Response course amazing me, his joy in bad lip reading videos bringing shared laughter. This: the year I am stretched in mind and body, through personal, physical challenges and chosen, career path challenges. This: the year my love and I celebrate 13 years of marriage, and commit, again and again, to the work of loving one another as best we can.

It is a year of un-balancing, of feeling this grief deeply, yes, but of feeling everything so very deeply, and for that, I will not be sad.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Oh, Jen, your writing is as beautiful as you are. I love you and am holding you all in my heart today.