Grief is a funny journey. And so unpredictable. I surprise myself daily with what I can handle - and have handled. Yet there are simple, little things that keep me frozen in place.
I can talk about Gavin's journey to Heaven over the four days we spent at his bedside. And I do - still - nearly every night with Brian. He still requests that I tell him the story about Gavin dying every night. And I do... regardless of how I feel. I know it's what he needs in order to process what exactly happened on those April days. The days his life - and ours - changed forever.
I can talk about the funeral. And even found the strength somehow to talk AT the funeral. Something I never - EVER - in a million years EVER thought I could do. But I did - and I didn't even cry for some reason.
I can talk about Gavin's organ donation. How, when and why we decided. And I can say out loud that we had our sweet little boy cremated and keep his remains at home with us - the only place I want him to be.
But it's the simple things that wreck me. I can't drive by a particular Barnes and Noble without getting a lump in my throat. Gavin, Brian and I went on a little book store field trip together just days before he died. We love books and just leisurely walked around - read books on the floor - hung out and had a snack - and played with their train table. Last night was the first night I set foot in a book store since - and it wasn't that Barnes and Noble. I'm not sure when I'll be able to walk in there again.
There was a day recently when I had to empty my 16GB memory card. Well, I know I didn't HAVE to - I could have put it aside and never used it again - but I chose not to. The photos are backed up three times on two different computers so I knew they were safe. But there was something about emptying that card - knowing that I wasn't going to flip through and see a photo of him on my camera ever again - that took me a few days to get over. If you hadn't noticed, I take an enormous amount of photos and that camera goes everywhere with me. It was just a reminder that Gavin will never be in any more photos. There won't be another family photo after this one...
...or another brother photo with matching or coordinating outfits like this one...
I hate that. It completely, totally, 100% sucks.
Honest to God - once a day I get at least one comment or personal message (usually more) asking me when I'm going to change my blog header to include Hope. Every time I think about it - I feel frozen. Just the thought gets me choked up. I know I need to include her - but adding her will change the landscape of photos that are so new - they were taken just a couple weeks before he died. Changing those photos is just a brutal reminder that Gavin is gone. He is the reason Chasing Rainbows even exists. The name "Chasing Rainbows" is completely inspired by him. He's a perfect reminder to never give up... and never let anyone tell you that you can't "chase rainbows." That anything is possible.
I will be changing my header soon. And I will obviously include Gavin in a huge way. I just want you to know that the very idea of having two deceased children represented alongside my two living children - well, it's just not how I pictured our life. But it is our life - and I'll find a way to represent our family in a way that makes me feel good... and in my own time.
It's those little things.
They keep me frozen.
But with time... the icicles of grief in my heart will melt little by little.
Never really gone - but not as sharp.