Monday, October 19
As we mark the 3 month anniversary Connor's funeral I'm confronted with many, many emotions. I think back to the day they were born and it really is bittersweet. I try to think back to that day and the emotions running through my head. The worry for the boys and the excitement of becoming a mom. There's no way that I knew what was in store for us. I knew it was going to be a long road... but I really had no idea just how long it would be. And I guess I still don't know.
I was driving to school a few mornings ago and passed one of the many funeral homes near my school (it's like a funeral home street, really) and there were the little "Funeral- No Parking" signs out. And it all crashed into me. Everything Connor funeral related came flooding back.
The day before the funeral Johnny and I had to go find an outfit for our little man. At 2lbs 9oz it was impossible to find something small enough and perfect enough. We found something we liked... if you can really like what you're saying goodbye to your son in. But we found something and high-tailed it out of that store. Never to return we hoped. The whole outfit ended up being a bit of a catastrophe- it was too big (preemie was 0-7 and he was obviously very much smaller than that) so there was last minute panic. The funeral director called and told us that the outfit was "disturbing" and that we might consider doll clothing instead. At the time I was really worried about what Connor would look like. What was wrong? Had the bruising on his head from the bleeding gotten worse? Had something happened? How could my perfect baby look "disturbing"? In retrospect it was probably nothing to do with Connor that made him disturbing... it was the fact that no one, even a funeral director who does that sort of things for a living, wants to be getting a newborn baby ready for his funeral. The idea is disturbing. In the end, we couldn't go out and buy another outfit. We just couldn't manage it, so we ended up adding a blanket from Colby's isolette to wrap him in. A gift from brother to brother.
The day of the funeral I woke up early to pump. As I sat there pumping I had millions of words running through my head. Things I wanted to tell everyone about Connor and the boys and my dreams. Johnny was saying something at the funeral and I knew I needed my own words. So, after I was done I broke out the computer and the words just flowed.
Then I got ready and we were ready for the funeral. Physically at least. No where near emotionally ready... but we never would be, would we? We drove and I counted. Counted long and hard. When we pulled up the funeral directors were at the door. They wanted me to get out as Johnny parked. I couldn't even look at them... I just shook my head and clutched myself and Johnny's hand and parked. I wasn't ready. But I knew I had to be. For Connor.
So we finally got in and were "greeted" by our families. What do you say? No one has any idea. Then Johnny and I were led in to view our son. Our perfect, precious, beautiful son whom we were never hold again in this life. He was beautiful. There was nothing disturbing about him. He looked peaceful and beautiful. I have the image in my head. As odd as it may be, I wish I had a photo of that image as well.
The funeral passed like a blur. I was in a fog-- a purposefully maintained fog. I couldn't think about what was going on. It was just too hard. We said hi to friends and family. We wondered why certain people weren't there and were touched by several other unexpected visitors. Soon it was time to give our words. As we know I passed that job on to Johnny. I just couldn't read them. I watched the papers as he read. In front of me I could hear the sobs of friends and families as they listened to him speak, but I couldn't look.
When time was up, family and friends filtered out with their goodbyes. Then it was time for Johnny and I to say our final goodbyes.
I wasn't ready. To this day I still wouldn't be ready. I don't think I would ever be.
It was the hardest thing I ever have done. After a long, long time we said goodbye and closed the lid, never to see our son's body again. And with that, another part of my heart literally broke away. I was saying goodbye to a piece of me. A piece I worked so hard for. A piece I would have done anything for. A piece I couldn't protect.
Even after all this time I still find myself in a state of disbelief. I'm not sure if there really is a way to come to terms with losing your baby. Watching Colby grow and thrive is the greatest gift. Looking back at pictures I am amazed at how far he has come.
And then I remember that I should be watching 2 boys grow. I am a mom of two, not one. And I remember that one of my babies is dead. He's in a beautiful little heart box on my dresser. I remember I only have a handful of pictures of him. I remember the kicks he gave me. How he was the "easy" baby and we called Colby the trouble maker. I remember his eyes watching with such intensity the morning he passed. I remember the incredible love I have for him and the hole in my heart that was left when he passed away.
Some days I think I'm going to be okay and I am so thankful for what I have. Other days I wonder how I will move on and wonder why things just can't be easy for once. I would say I am coming to terms with losing Connor and this new life we have been handed, but I don't think I ever will fully come to terms with it. It creeps up on me when I think I'm okay.
But then I see Colby and remember that I have to be okay for him.