It seems so strange to me that I was in the hospital three years ago. I mean, I know a lot has happened since then, but three years is a long time. Sometimes it seems like yesterday.
But I can tell a big difference in the way I feel this year, as opposed to last year and certainly compared to the first year. I know many of the people who read this blog have also lost a child, so I like to do updates from time to time about what my loss looks like at such and such point. It's what I wanted to know after we lost Rip.
One thing that surprises me a little is how constantly my mind is on my son. I mean, he is my child and I will always love him as a mother loves her child, but there is still no day where I don't actively think of him. Every single time I see the numbers 11/11 (which continues to happen quite a lot), I say "Hey Buddy, I love you!" I wonder sometimes if I will be saying that when I am eighty years old...I think probably so.
It still stings when people point out Gracie as an only child, or say things like, "Wait until you have two!"...not because they are wrong. Gracie has only child syndrome and I know my world will be turned upside down if and when we have another child. It stings because I do have two children, and they would not be saying those things if Rip had lived.
But I've notice a big shift this year, more than the past two years, towards healing. Sometime recently I was thinking of Rip, and I had a very vivid, sad moment of how much we have lost. It physically hurt me, and I found myself saying out loud "this will pass, this will pass." And it did. I knew I would slip back into being "okay" again. And then I thought about right after Rip died and how it must have hurt like that all of the time in those first few months. So I want to tell anyone going through that now, the extreme, excruciating pain will pass.
October and November reminds me of my baby boy, but (I think) in a healthy way. I feel more in tune to him this time of year, as if the excitement of the holidays is somehow connected to his birth. There are plenty of things that hurt, the biggest of which will always be that I cannot squeeze him to me and tell him how much he is loved, but as I've always said I want the life of my family to be a celebration of Rip's life. He deserves to be celebrated.
So, the "state of me" in year three, is a constantly evolving one. But I find myself having fun, looking forward to life, and being able to make Rip a part of that life even as it moves forward. I find myself concentrating on the good.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.