Some time after Xavier died, my husband and our two boys went to visit a psychotherapist. It was very expensive, but so very helpful. He told us we were doing all the right things with our sons, answering their questions and telling them the truth about what happened and how we were feeling about it.
He assured us that the grief would wane and that we would feel less and less raw about Xavier’s death. That we would eventually laugh and smile and be able to live our lives outside of the black clouds that appeared over us when he died. We would survive this he told us…we were strong enough and had enough love for each other to get through it. He did warn us though of something called a “grief burst”.
The definition of a “Grief Burst” from The Grieving Heart defines it as such:
Shadow grief is the intense sadness that overcomes us when least expected, like a shadow from the past that darkens the day, the moment or the mood.(1) Often called a grief burst, this reliving of grief may occur at any time, usually at the most unexpected moments, and comes and goes for a lifetime. While shadow grief is often associated with mothers whose children have died, anyone can experience this type of grief burst.
Today was a grief burst of sorts for me. I was watching TLC’s A Baby Story and a commercial came on for the season finale of 19 Kids and Counting. It’s the episode where they find out their daughter Jubilee has passed away. They pan to Michelle Duggars face at her daughters memorial. I know that face, that pained look of disbelief. The tears I have shed, the same tears we have all shed. I used to joke about Michelle Duggar’s uterus, calling it a clown car and joking about babies just rolling out after the tenth kid. Now, I feel like I know her and her pain. I feel, as silly as this may sound, like we all belong to the same sisterhood of the baby lost.
In the middle of the preview, I started tearing up, it’s not the first time I’ve seen it and teared up, but it’s the first time I couldn’t stop crying, and then shaking. It surprised me that this would be a trigger, but it was her eyes. I could see the pain in her eyes…it has haunted me most of the day. Not only because of Xavier’s death but because I am terrified for the baby I am carrying now and the realization that ANYTHING can happen.
I miss Xavier a lot today. I miss everything he should have been, everything we should be doing with him. It’s heart wrenching sometimes to feel like I am constantly missing my sweet baby boy who will never be able to be anything but a memory for us now. Something has happened during the last 17 months trying to make sense of my new world. My grief has become less jagged, less raw. My every thought is no longer of missing my boy, however, I feel like my love for him has grown leaps and bounds even through his absence or maybe because of his absence. All I can do is love him as much as I can from here on earth.