It’s been a year since George passed away. I held hope for the last few weeks of his life, hope that the doctors were wrong and he would be okay. Hope that every Mother has inside of her when something is wrong with their child. But he knew he wasn’t joining our family. I know that because every time I felt overwhelmed and felt really sad and really stressed and worried and anything that was too much for me, he moved around. He kicked and wiggled. His way of saying hey I’m still here, right now I’m here.
My Mom came to be with us for a week and she got to the house really late, I think midnight. She slept with me and while we talked about what could happen, what might happen, he was kicking the whole time. It was so much to handle. Going to the hospital the next day with her and having them tell me he was gone took a weight off of me. The sadness was overbearing and weighing me down, the anxiousness of what the doctors were going to tell me. I’ve always been an anxious person – I threw up the first day of middle school because I was so nervous. I always got a stomach ache when I was nervous, anxious or overwhelmed, I still do. I felt sick before we went into the doctors office – and walking out I felt okay.
Okay in the sense that I knew what happened. My son was gone but I know he didn’t suffer. And he made sure that while I, and Chris, would be overwhelmingly sad – we would be okay. He waited until my Mom showed up to leave us knowing we would need someone with us so that we could be okay.
And so it’s been a year. A year of moving three times, living with family members, spending a huge amount of time with my brothers, my nephews, my nieces, my Dad, my Grandma. A year of missing Chris because we had to be apart in order for him to get farther in his career. A year in which my Grandma passed away too.
I think about George daily. I think about how excited Alice and Jake were after telling them we were having another baby, about how old he would be now. I think about how many people knew he was coming and how they too are sad.
We buried George next to my Grandpa and Great Grandpa. We had a very small family service last December, attended by my parents, one of my brothers and his kids, my best friend, an Aunt and Uncle, my niece, and a few family friends. We had traditional prayers said and sang for him by long time family friends and we buried him.
We haven’t got him a headstone yet. My Mom thought of making him one, kind of how you make a garden stone, and including rocks that family members carry with them for a time. She grabbed a few rocks from my Grandma’s gravesite for us. Chris doesn’t like the idea though, because concrete doesn’t last forever and he wants something that will. Late next summer my family will get a headstone for my Grandma, so I figure by then we can figure out what we are going to do. A headstone feels so definite though. At my Grandma’s funeral one of my Mom’s oldest friends said she hadn’t got her husbands headstone yet because that is the last thing she has to do, and then that’s it, and she isn’t ready.
I think I am. But by saying I think, maybe I’m not. George changed my life, my thinking, my love for the people around me. I wanted to be closed in, to ignore everyone and just be by myself. I didn’t want to be happy, but I didn’t want to be sad all the time. I just wanted to be. I tried changing Chris’ career – the few people who I talked to said they understood, but I’m not sure you can unless you have such a sad event in your life. I wanted to close in and be alone – and luckily for me, no one really let me.
Especially with my Grandma gone now, now I want to open my arms and have my family magically close and have everyone call each other regularly and keep up with the gossip and share the news. That magic doesn’t just happen – and I have days when I try to force it and days where I just leave it alone. And days when I am really sad, and then I talk to my Mom, or Chris, or the kids come running wanting to read a book to me and I know that the impact that George had stretches farther then I figured it would. And I know we are going to be okay.