I have always had an abnormal sleep schedule. This time last year, the infinite annoyances from my pregnancy hindered sleeping. My nightstand was the resting place for Melatonin, and any other potential fix. My frustration at my husbands positiveness and our inevitable discussions, was always short-lived. I’ve heard Aaron fiercely explain why Firefly is the most underrated TV show in existence. I’ve watched a cat “sing” the Game of Thrones theme. Usually, all before my eyes have adjusted. Yet, I didn’t mind waking at 4:45 a.m. and doing that every morning. Our days were monotonous, and I was waking up happy. delighted to be alive, and thankful for the beautiful eyes staring back at me. The idea that I would one day dread the moment I woke up had never existed in my world, before.
Eventually, August came around. I had envisioned the month before our daughters birth to be a simple one. One spent enjoying the last month without an infant, and bonding with the boys. I foresaw buying school supplies and packing our hospital bag to be the most arduous tasks. My youngest son’s 3rd birthday was taking place at the end of the month. We finalized the details the day after we celebrated Aaron’s birthday – he turned 38 years old on July 30th, 2017. The photo above is one of my favorites, taken that day.
The picture itself is not remarkable, or memorable at first glance. A photo I once looked at with adoration, now fills me with dread. Dread for my past self – it would be the last picture we took together. In less than 7 days, he would be dead. When I went to our home to pack a few things for myself and the kids, his birthday cake was still in the fridge.
Dread is one of my most prominent emotions throughout this first year after loss. I would attempt to fall back to sleep in the hopes of avoiding 8:57 a.m. for the first two weeks. This was my attempt to avoid being aware of the moment it would become exactly x days without my husband. Every Sunday night for the next 6 weeks, I did my best to avoid Game of Thrones. Once I resumed, I found myself in a new cycle. I’d find myself forgetting he was dead, and remembering that meant we’d never discuss it. I dreaded the hospital and grocery store as much as our anniversary, and Christmas. I dreaded planning and celebrating my son’s third birthday, and the birth of our daughter. The irony of being so prominent and engrained in each others lives – is dreading every single moment, once he died.
I have heard “Time will help”. The hard truth is that the pain does not get easier with time, and it does not lessen in it’s intensity. Rather, the moments that trigger it, and reminders of it happen farther apart. Time does not heal the wound itself. Our bodies and minds develop mannerisms and methods that help handle our grief. I’m receding back into an emotional state that’s intensifying as the anniversary approaches. The pain remains, and the hollowness feels thick enough to touch. There is a longing for what used to be – and sometimes my heart aches, and feels so desperate that I swear it’s going to break. We celebrated July 4th together, and his birthday is approaching. The one year mark is…God. Exactly a month away.
Everything we loved and experienced bear the effects. From the vast and unconstrained skies we danced under, to the small and insignificant. A youtube video, a TV show, a certain time: 8:57 a.m. or 4:45 a.m. Anything that was part of our world, can be catalyst for our grief. No matter, my stance will always be the same. I would rather know the depths of griefs reach, instead of never experiencing something wonderful enough to miss.