I'm back. I didn't post an article a day in October like I'd planned, but I posted enough. And I have several more, so I'll keep posting them into November. Here's another good one.
And now I will talk about things that have nothing to do with the above article. It's been an intense few weeks. Life has kept me very busy with writing and teaching obligations, travel planning, passport applications, and, of course, raising a four-year-old. I haven't had a lot of down time to evaluate my grief or plan how to incorporate Weston into the holiday season. I know myself: I need to plan ahead regarding the holidays.
But grief lets itself out anyway.
The day after the dental debacle, Caroline got sick. Really sick. We ended up at the doctor's office in the afternoon, followed by a chest x-ray and trip to the pharmacy. She either had asthma or pneumonia; we still don't know.
I was already pretty emotional from Caroline being so upset at the dental visit. I had to enlist a nurse's help to calm her down enough to take a breathing treatment. She finally did and was sitting on my lap when the nurse asked her what she was going to be for Halloween. Innocent enough. But then, to keep Caroline occupied, she asked her if she has any brothers or sisters. And what he is going to be for Halloween ("He's not going to be nuffin."). And why he's not going to be anything for Halloween. Is he really little? Yes. That was Caroline's answer. She almost never tells people that he died.
By this time, I was sobbing, and the nurse was concerned. So I had to tell her he died. And then watch the horrified look on her face. She apologized twenty-seven times and slunk out of there.
With all of this going on, I didn't have time to dread Halloween. The breathing treatments helped Caroline turn around pretty quick, so she got to go trick-or-treating. Is she scary or what?
Halloween was OK: she didn't have much stamina from being sick and became upset pretty easily. In retrospect, it has been more difficult, thinking about our adorable one-year-old son who should have been along for the ride.
And then I was figuratively kicked in the gut by a terribly insensitive comment made by someone who should know better. The situation was pleasantly improved by someone else's acknowledgment of the obvious pain on my face later that day.
(P.S. If you're reading this, you're not the offender. The offender doesn't know I have a blog.)
I didn't speak up. Bringing up Weston would have been appropriate in that context, but I didn't do it. I don't know why. Initially, I felt horrible about not saying anything, but now I think it was the right decision.
I've trumpeted over and over that I want everyone to know about Weston. That is still the case to an extent, but he is such a precious and sacred part of me that sometimes I just feel protective. Throwing his story out there would not be the best way to respect him in that moment.
Mulling this exchange over, I wondered why I let it, and others, get to me. Why can't I just let it go? I was lovingly reminded today that some situations will hurt as long as I love my son. While it might not be appropriate to be return the insensitivity, it is entirely appropriate to be sad about it.
I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it: I'm learning to be comfortable with the fact that I will always be broken, and broken-hearted, until Weston and I are reunited in the presence of God. Our world is far from perfect; why should I expect a whole heart on this side of heaven?
And I don't expect or want a pity party for embracing my broken heart. The truth is, I don't want to be whole here. I'd rather long for heaven and have questions left unanswered. Some people might even characterize this as...healing.