Just to let everyone know, I set the pages to show only two posts per page to avoid problems with the settings. To see any previous posts, go to the 'previous posts' section and click on the title of the post, or go to the monthly archives. Also, I believe the comments are enabled now, so you can post comments but feel free to send an email to email@example.com if you like or if you have problems with the comment link.
Yesterday was the Spring Equinox and the one month anniversary of Theo's death. It seems kind of appropriate that Spring came on that day. On the day of the equinox, the earth experiences equal times of daylight and dark. After that we begin to notice more and more as the season goes on longer periods of light each day. It kind of feels like that for me right now. Periods of darkness, hurt and grieving feel a little more balanced by times of lightness. A little more laughter, a little less pain, a little easier to remember him and not hurt every time. Hopefully the lightness in my heart will continue to grow with the light outside. I have tried really hard, throughout his illness and his death and now through the grieving and bereavement, to be as open as I can, to allow myself to continue to be open to my feelings and to grow, to not shrivel up or stay tightly closed. I only hope that as the flowers and plants grow and bloom, I can as well. But, then again, even when spring comes on the calendar and the light stays a little longer, we still have periods of cold and frost and rain and snow, especially early on in the season. It's like that outside today. Cold and dark.
One of my coworkers brought in her newborn baby today and I didn't expect to walk around the corner and see a brand new baby. It was really, really hard for me. I had to work really hard not to fall apart in the meeting I was sitting in after I ran (almost literally) into Jill and her new baby boy. He looks nothing like Theo, but it was just the memory of him that little, in my arms, sleeping, nursing. After that I've just been nearly in tears all day.
I just miss him so much. We both miss him so much. I told Jamie yesterday that it feels like he is still here. It's hard to really explain. I've mentioned the feeling to other people occasionally and others have thought I mean that sometimes I forget that he is gone. That isn't it at all. I never forget that he is gone. It's the first thing I think of every single morning. Most of the time I open my eyes from sleep and have that brief moment when I'm thinking of nothing really, and then the thought comes floating up -- "Theo is dead" -- and the heaviness settles around my heart. Or sometimes, more rarely, the thought doesn't float, but crashes in, mean and shocking. Rushing in like freezing air or having the breath knocked out of me. Sometimes it wakes me up in that way and it feels like a shock. But usually the thought just kind of floats in, reminding me, as if I need a reminder, "Psst...hey, remember...your baby is dead...don't forget..."
So forgetting for a moment that he is gone is not what I mean by saying that it feels like he is still here. I mean it feels like he is still here. I can feel him around me or nearby. Not in a "woo-woo" (as my friend Lenore says), ooh I can feeeel him all around me kind of way, just a matter of fact, Theo is here way. As is maybe he is asleep in the next room or just downstairs. Like when somebody comes into a room, and something, the energy in the room, your perception of the presence of another person, changes the way the space feels. Parents, lovers, close friends have a certain knowing about the particular kind of feeling that surrounds the one they love and I can feel that "Theo-ness" around me and in the space where I am. It isn't something that comes suddenly, like all of sudden noticing that he's here or anything like that, more of an overall perception, a feeling that dawns on me slowly at times. I can't really explain it. But Jamie knew exactly what I meant. It feels like he is still here. And somehow, I think he is. But it still isn't the same as having him, nothing at all like having him here.
I was reading a passage from the Bhagavad Gita about the True Self, that Self that never dies, which says:
The Self dwells in the house of the body,
Which passes through childhood, youth and old age.
So passes the Self at the time of death into another form.
The wise know this truth...
Not pierced by arrows, nor burnt by fire,
Affected by neither water nor wind,
The Self is not a physical creature.
Not wounded, not burnt, not wetted, not dried,
The Self is ever and everywhere,
Immovable and everlasting.
There are some who have realized the Self
In all its wonder. Others can speak of it as wonderful.
But there are many who don't understand even when they hear.
Deathless is the Self in every creature.
Know this truth,
and leave all sorrow behind.
I have been thinking a lot about this passage. If I believe what it says to be true, and I know there is no death, then why have do I have such sorrow? Does it mean that I don't truly believe it? I thought long and hard about that. But I do believe it. Maybe it's that I believe, but don't know. But that isn't the case either, because I know without any doubt that Theo exists, Theo's Self, his true essence, is still here, is everywhere, is with me and in me and all around me. I know he sees me and that he feels me and that sometime, I will see him and be with him. I will be able to interact with him and we will talk about all this. But in the meantime, I have no choice but to be here without him in physical form. I hurt because, even if I know that he has not "died", even if I know that the Self, in Theo, in me, in you, in all of us is deathless, he is still not here with me and that is what hurts so much. So I guess I am just selfish and attached to wanting my baby here in physical form and that's just the way it is. I can't imagine being anywhere near wise and enlightened enough that I will not miss having the physical form of my baby here with me. Maybe one day I won't feel so much sorrow, maybe more and more the light will outbalance the dark, but for now, even knowing that there is truly no death, doesn't keep the pain from my heart.
If anyone has tried to comment and cannot, I am sorry. There is something wrong with the system, and probably too with the changes I have made in trying fix the problem myself. I don't know if it will ever be fixed so I opened an email account where comments can be sent. Feel free to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org instead of posting a comment. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.
I will post reminders about the memorial service periodically. We continue to be thankful for all the support from so many people. I am taking all the stuffed animals we have recieved to the hospital this coming Friday. I also want to thank Jennifer D'Surney Emory who brought many, many more animals to add to the collection. Her baby girl christening was held the day of Theo's funeral and all who attended Campbell's christening brought an animal for Theo. Thank you to all of Jennifer's friends and family for that gesture.
I will continue to post to let you know how we are.