Tomorrow morning, Kaleb and I should be walking to his first day of kindergarten. I pictured us hand in hand walking into his classroom where he would make new friends, and I would turn around and leave with tears in my eyes just as I did on Christopher’s first day. Instead, I will watch all the teary eyed moms walk their “baby’s” to their first day of school and I will visit the cemetery.
People remind me of my strength on a daily basis, they have since diagnosis. Telling me how strong I am, I don’t feel strong – I don’t WANT to be strong, I did not ask for this yet here I am right in the middle of something so painful there aren’t any words to describe it. I keep hearing my pain will ease, it will get easier, but it hasn’t…life goes on and things do change, my grief hasn’t gotten any “better”, it’s now just different. Grief is not a job that I can just quit because I don’t like it; it’s not a relationship that I can leave because it doesn’t make me happy anymore. Grief isn’t something you go through, it something you live, EVERY day. Some days are easier than others. It’s been described as “ugly shoes” and waves of the ocean, knocking you down unexpectedly. Those two things are definitely true. For me, it’s a coat that I carry with me every day, I can take it off for a little while and look “normal” but the minute someone asks about my children I have to put it back on, and it’s hot and so very heavy. I still think about Kaleb every day and that will never change. He will be with me always, not in the way I had expected, and that is why grief will always be a part of my life.
So tomorrow, I will wear my coat and I will even put a smile on my face as I walk through the storm and the painful realization that this will not be the last of the “first’s” that we will go through without him.