It’s been 29 days, 21 hours, 31 minutes, and roughly 27 seconds since Tough Cookie left us. Just writing that brings on the tears.
I am in denial and you could say that it’s working for me right now, more or less. I know that I should let myself grieve, I just can’t. It hurts too much. When I acknowledge that it is real, that she is gone and will never come back, I feel like my chest becomes a deep, cold, black hole. Everything that is good in the world, that makes me happy and gives me hope starts getting swallowed by the emptiness that I feel without her here.
The weeks leading up to and after her death I dreamt of her all night long. Before she died, I dreamt of her dying. again and again and again. It was awful. After she died every single night in my dreams, the last minutes of her life were replayed. All of us sitting around her, holding her, touching her, grasping at the life that remained. I still can’t get the image of her last breath out of my head and maybe I shouldn’t want to. The weeks following her death I also dreamt of her alive and not sick. I liked those dreams. The real Tough Cookie was with me again, the one I never really got to say goodbye to. We laughed and talked and she taught me all the things I thought we had decades to do together. Waking up was like losing her all over again.
Now the dreams are gone for the most part. I think of her every night as I try to fall asleep (which isn’t helping the already pregnancy induced insomnia). I try to remember her before she was sick so that I don’t have dreams of her dying. Something happens that reminds me of her nearly everyday. When we made cookies the other day I remembered how she would only eat cookies fresh out of the oven, all ooey and gooey. We were driving and Drops of Jupiter by Train came on the radio. She loved that song and would belt it out at the top of her lungs whenever it came on. Ironically, we discovered the day after Tough Cookie died that the singer wrote that song about his mom after she died of cancer. Every day after work I look at the pots of herbs she planted for us when we moved into our new house. Something she did even though she had just had surgery and could barely walk. Her contagious laugh plays in my head when we laugh.
Our midwife (who shall now be called Activist Genius-an explanation will follow soon) said I should really try to do some grief work before Bubbles gets here. She said that if I don’t, it’s very possible that if will all come out during the birth because it’s such an emotionally vulnerable experience. I guess that means I have some work to do in the next 5 months so that doesn’t happen. I want the birth of our baby to be the happiest day of our lives.
I really pushed Wifey to have conversations with her family about us starting a family. I wanted our pregnancy and child’s first year(s) to be filled with happiness and to minimize the grief of possibly cutting ties with her family if they weren’t supportive. And now here we are two years later and our pregnancy is filled with grief and sadness. I guess I can’t control everything eh?
On a not terribly sad note, Bubbles is doing great. We heard that heartbeat again last weekend and it was a strong 140-150ish. I feel him/her moving around alot, although not a lot today. We have our anatomy scan schedule for February 20th and no we still don’t have to find out the sex. Okay I do a little bit, but I want to wait more.