Someone told me recently that 7-9 months are a new wave of hard in the grief season, in fact she said it’s some of the worst. After she told me, I said “well that wasn’t the most encouraging pep talk I’ve ever had.” Although I admit now it was a good warning as I’m in month 9 and have experienced it.
Several months ago a dear friend asked about Tim and I joining her family for vacation. It wasn’t a definite, but it looked like we would have access to a condo, next to theirs, by the beach and mountains all for free!! There were no guarantees, but it seemed like a great idea! I was in, but trying not to get too excited.
About a month before the actual vacation, when the possibility became a reality she wanted to confirm our plans to join them. It seemed like a no brainer… free vacation with some of our closest friends. But I said no. I never even told Tim. I didn’t think we could handle “family vacation” without our son. Family vacation without our family seemed unbearable. And I was afraid watching another couple with their kids on vacation would be a blatant, non-stop reminder that Enoch died.
This particular situation brought about a new form of grief. Grief has certainly shown up over the past 9 months. It usually shows up abruptly and often causes me to cancel the plans I had set for that day. This was different, this was changing major plans anticipating the grief that would most certainly show up. It seemed so strange, and yet it made so much sense. We couldn’t go. We shouldn’t go. I was confident my heart wouldn’t bear it.
As my friends were enjoying the beach that week I couldn’t help but wonder… What would it have been like to take take our small son on a beach vacation? Had he been here, I am certain we would have gone. I wondered what stage of life he would be at. I wondered how annoying it would be to have him in the sand. I wondered about taking the classic family beach photos, like all those I see on FB in my newsfeed. I wondered about nap times and how it would work as their kids are no longer nappers. I wondered how much he would weigh and what he would feel like to hold.
The wondering was overwhelming, and so the next chance I got, I held a little baby girl just a tad bit older than Enoch. I needed to… I needed at least some of those wonderings to be understood.
Grief is a strange thing, and as we get further along, I’m not sure I understand it any better