I would say that I’ve been taking a hiatus from this life of child loss, but let’s be honest, that’s not really possible. So I’ll say that I’ve been taking a hiatus from sharing that world with people who simply don’t belong here.
No one actually belongs here, but some of us have been volunteered for it.
That’s a hard-line to tread. Keeping these two separate worlds connected , yet separated enough to navigate and survive both. It’s like walking a tight rope over the stratosphere, knowing there’s no safety net or cable to catch you when you stumble.
I’ve stumbled a lot over the past few months. Or maybe not stumbled, but definitely overstepped and tripped trying to keep myself moving forward.
Sometimes it’s maddening to think I still have to remind myself to keep pushing and putting one foot in front of the other, 20 months later. Sometimes it’s frustrating, and I get angry. Sometimes it’s inspiring, and I feel strong.
Sometimes I just don’t know, and resign to the fact that I probably never will.
When I was 18, exactly five days before my high school graduation, I got in a pretty bad car wreck and shattered my entire right ankle. I had to have it fully reconstructed and didn’t walk for months. I remember when the day finally came that my surgeon cleared me to walk without a boot or crutches. Standing up from his table, I panicked. I didn’t know what to do to start moving. Mentally I knew how to take a step and how the motion worked. But my body couldn’t make the connection to my brain. So I just stood there, frozen.
It didn’t take long for me to process it, and within a week I was walking unassisted. Slowly and very unsteadily, but I was walking. Just like riding a bike after my brain made the connection to my leg.
That’s not really how it’s worked since losing Kam. My brain can’t fully seem to make the connection to my heart that I’ve got an entire life to walk through without him. Physically I can move my feet. Emotionally my heart cannot follow.
That creates a disconnect.
I can stay engulfed in the vastness of this secondary world.
I can push myself back into what some might say is the ‘real’ world.
But mirroring the two has been harder than usual. Especially when someone knew throws out that damn ‘brave’ word. I never feel like more of a fraud than I do in those moments. But still, I smile and nod hoping they won’t see me breaking.
Anonymity has been more appealing as these recent months have progressed. Maybe I’m scared I have nothing real to say anymore. Maybe the disconnection from my son has become too vast to navigate back from. Or maybe being anonymous is the only way to balance these two entities.
I don’t have an actual answer, yet. I should probably resign to this fact as well, and that I likely never will.
Answers likely aren’t the solution either way. They won’t change the outcome, nor will they help my heart accept the truth that lies buried in them.
Maybe the truth is just a feeling.
Maybe our love story is unlike the rest.
Maybe our story is just us.
Maybe it’s just love.