Fear of forgetting.

Half of this was written on the bathroom floor, and I couldn't bring myself to read through and edit it, so sorry in advance if there are any typos/grammatical errors.

I was going to post another day of Amsterdam, but I wanted to talk about Carter today. It's going to get real, and if I say anything that makes you feel like you should apologize to me, please don't. That's not what I'm getting at, I just wanted to write about how I feel.

I wrote about this two weeks ago, but it has still been looming over me. Honestly, I don't know that it will ever go away, but I wish my anxiety about it would just simmer down. I'm afraid of a lot of things in life, spiders, snakes, death, heights, the dark, but I've never been so afraid of anything as much as I fear people forgetting about Carter. It's a very strange feeling, to have carried a baby for nine months, have the ultrasounds hanging on your fridge, all the clothes washed and in his dresser, have the crib and bassinet set up, ready for a little body, and then never get to bring him home. I've said it before, but I'm the kind of person that over-prepares for everything. It feels like that's what I've done. Like, in preparation to maybe have a baby someday, I bought all this stuff, and even went so far as to have other people buy it for me, and I washed everything and I hung pictures on the wall and I straightened the sheet in his crib, just in case I one day was lucky enough to get pregnant and bring a baby home. And then I think about being in the hospital, and sitting at the cemetery, and I look at pictures of him, and sometimes I just wonder, whose life is this? Whose life am I witnessing because it surely isn't mine. It's not solid or tangible enough to be mine. I can't grasp onto any fleeting memory strong enough or long enough to recognize it as my own. It all went too fast.

But I, as his mother, am the only person that knows how it felt to carry him, to feel his little kicks, to feel the contractions and to go through the process of delivering him and know the pain of recovering emotionally as well as physically. I am the only person that knows what it's like to watch my husband hold his son and gently kiss him on the forehead as he cries. 

Other people know our pain. They read our stories and they see Carter's pictures and I know they know him and love him. For now. But what happens in one or five or ten years when everyone's lives get busier and our pain lessens, and not every single thing I post is tinged with a hint (or a heap) of sadness? How is everyone else supposed to remember when some days I feel like none of it was real? 

It means so much to have people write or say his name. It means the world to me when other people validate that he was real because sometimes it feels like he wasn't. There are days that I can't validate it myself, and other people, unknowingly, do it for me. But what about when no one does that anymore? What about when other people have babies born on October 27, and no one remembers the little boy born that didn't get to live with his parents?

I don't feel like a real mom, because my son is not here. What if, down the road, people will forget about the son I had in 2016? What if they look at our family, me and Brandon and whatever kids we have at home, and they forge about the one that isn't there? What if we move away and no one goes to see him? What if our future kids get made fun of because they talk about a brother that lives in heaven? 

What if what if what if.

What if Brandon and I are the only two people that ever remember him? Realistically, that's all that really matters. But what about when people forget that I have a giant, permanent hole in my heart? What about when someone wants me to do something on October 27 and I don't want to? Will they remember why I spend the whole day crying, or will they just tell me I'm too sensitive and need to get over it? How long is it okay to not be okay? Because right now, it feels like it will be forever.

What a week.

I'll tell you what...I don't think I've ever learned so much about myself yet been so confused about myself as I have in the past five months. The only time I remember learning so much and being so confused at the same time was in my stats class senior year of high school. Those of you who have lost someone can probably understand what I'm talking about. It's incredible how strong you can be, much much stronger than you ever thought you'd be in this situation, and as you master a wave of grief, you start feeling super confident that you've got it all under control, then BAM. A new wave of grief hits that you don't know how to navigate, and suddenly you're drowning all over again.

That's how this week has been. I don't know what this new wave is, or what to do with it. I've said for a while now that I've been angry, and that's still this wave of grief, but it keeps changing. Just when I think I have a hold of it and can start being nice to people again, I can't. And there is a huge part of me that is afraid that people will forget where the anger is coming from, that their patience will wear thin, and that I'll be alone with no one to support me through all this crap. It's terrifying. So this is just a blanket apology and begging for some understanding and patience. If I'm mean to you, I'm sorry. If I don't talk to you, well then really you're welcome because I'm just saving you from my moodiness.

I had to take yesterday off, just for a day to recover and not deal with any outside stressors. Brandon stayed home with me and worked for most of the morning, but we were able to make a quick trip to Logan to see Carter. We really were only at the cemetery for like twenty minutes, but it made my whole week to be able to go up there and hang out with him for a bit. Brandon has made the offer of going up there whenever several times, but I always feel like it's just too hard to go during the week. But yesterday, I knew that I just needed to go see him or else I wouldn't feel any better. Even today though, I'm wishing we lived closer to him, or that he was buried closer to us. I just miss the kid so dang much.

Besides seeing our boy yesterday, there have been a few highlights to the week:

  • I finished rereading my book and marking up all the pages, and am now back to editing. I'm pretty excited to just get it over with and hand it off to a friend of a friend who knows someone in publishing. I don't expect it to go anywhere, but I won't let this book rest until I feel happy with it. Mostly, I'm ready to wrap it up so I can start working on my next one.
  • Brandon took me to the crepery yesterday on our way out of Logan, no further explanation is needed.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out on Tuesday, and we plan to get some movie theater popcorn and watch it this weekend. 
  • Actually, my plan for the whole weekend consists of sitting on my butt in front of the tv and eating all the food. Pretty excited about that. 13 Reasons Why was released on Netflix today and I can't wait to start it.
  • I went to the He is We concert last night with Alycia, and it was the best time! We even got a picture with the band after the show! If you haven't heard of them, look them up immediately. Hopefully you love them as much as I do.

Hope everyone has a good weekend. If you're somewhere warm and sunny, send some of it to Salt Lake!