I've been asked how I'm doing more times in the last week than ever before in my life. While I appreciate that we are being considered, that people are checking in on us, I haven't figured out the appropriate response to that yet. Just exactly how honest and vulnerable to be. Because, I'm afraid if I utter one word of truth, I'll lose it. The truth is, I'm barely holding it together. I cry constantly, any chance I let myself think about what is happening. I feel immense guilt when I try to play with my living children that I am forgetting Lucas, but guilt when I am hiding in the bathroom from them because I can't let them see me like this. How do I love them, support them, encourage them when all I want to do is find a quiet spot. I am not okay. My body has failed, and another child of mine is gone. I'm left in this horrific place, experiencing normal postpartum pains, engorged and unable to cuddle with my kids, all painful reminders of what should have been. I still need maternity clothes, but I can't bear to put them on. Instead, I have them in a pile in my closet, unable to pack them away yet unable to put them on. So I'm settling on my 1 pair of stretchy pants that still fit, despite the fact that it is 95 degrees outside. And yet, I know when this goes away, so will any physical trace of Lucas' life. And that, perhaps, is the cruelest of all.
This week, I'm planning Lucas' memorial service, trying to figure out what words to use to communicate so much more than just my grief, trying to find the purpose behind his life. His service is Wednesday. Along side this, Father's Day is tomorrow. And I can't bring myself to come up with all my usual cute handmade gifts, all the special things I would normally do to show Andrew how much we love and appreciate him. No man is more deserving, no man has done more for their family. I tried to go shopping today, and found myself sobbing uncontrollably in the Walmart parking lot. Walmart - the last date I had with Dean, the night before Lucas died, when Dean was just so excited to pick out special juice and suckers, and when I thought nothing was wrong. What a terrible place to be my last happy spot, because I normally hate Walmart. And then, in one week, we are celebrating Dean and Warren's 4th birthday. A birthday party, two weeks after Lucas died. How?? How can I face our friends and family, put on my happy face, and sing to my oldest boys? How can I celebrate them while my heart is still breaking, when my body is still recovering, when my mind is still reeling?? I don't want them to resent Lucas, to miss out on things because he is gone and Mommy needs more time. But it's all just so hard. Putting one foot in front of the other, taking steps forward in life, seems so much harder this time.
So, how am I doing? Well, not sure any of this fully answers that question. I'm broken, hurting, confused, angry, and torn. I'm overcome with guilt, facing the truth that my "hostile" environment will likely cause this again, trying to come to terms with the fact that these 3 I have here may be all I ever have. I'm searching for peace and guidance, as the truths I have known to be true seem to be, in fact, false. I am paralyzed at the thought of facing people, of running into the multitude of women I know who are pregnant or just had babies, afraid of the bitterness I've battled for years after Reagan died. And, ultimately, I'm not sure where to go from here.