Yesterday was eleven weeks since we lost Christiano. Sometimes it still feels so new, like it just happened yesterday, but other times it feels like an eternity. Mostly, it feels like an eternity; especially on the days that I long for his hug, his sense of humor, his laugh, his voice, his presence. Today is one of those days. When I utter the words, ‘I miss him,’ it doesn’t nearly scratch the surface of what is going on in my heart. Time and words become anemic in some ways, but, in other ways, they become more significant than ever. Time becomes the wall that separates us from seeing Christiano, but it also becomes part of the bridge that will, one day, reunite us. My life is now divided and defined by time; life before Christiano and life after Christiano. Time stands still, yet time goes on. Time heals the wound, but time deepens the pain. Time becomes our closest ally and our furthest foe; it gets in our way, but it carries us through. Words are complicated, as well; they say everything, yet say nothing. They heal, yet they destroy. They bring life and they bring death. Some are listened to and some are dismissed.
Both time and words frustrate me because they are both unfounded and ineffective, yet so proven and valid. How can time be all these things?Time brings change. Words bring change. Friends have changed. I am changed. Nothing around me is permanent. And, this is what continuously draws me back to The Lord. He is unchangeable; tried, true, and steadfast. He is my constant in this very shifting and unstable world that is surrounding me.
We are coming up on three months since life changed so drastically. There are still moments when I think my son will come walking through the front door. Other times we do head counts, expecting to see four heads, but only three are found. Dinners are still made for six – sometimes I forget that he is gone, and I pull out a plate for him. Bread goes stale, milk goes sour, and leftovers get thrown out. I have to learn how to grocery shop for five, but I don’t want to. I still say to my husband, ‘honey, we can’t all fit in your car,’ then I’m saddened by the realization that we can and we will. Learning to live without Christiano is something I was never prepared for. How does a mom learn to unmother the child that made her one. People have said , ‘But, you will always be his mom,’ and I understand that this is true, but it just isn’t the same. I’m not feeding him, ironing for him, changing his sheets, folding his laundry – the laundry that he always threw in the washer and left the rest of the job for me – I don’t get to ask him what he is thinking, I don’t get to give him rides and listen to him talk about his future. There is so much I won’t Get to do. Yes, I’ll always be his mom, but not in the way that I want to be. I became Christiano’s mother at fifteen and had no idea what I was doing. But, because being a mom is all I ever wanted to do – it came natural to me. He was so easy to love, which makes it all the more difficult to say goodbye. There is simply nothing natural about learning how to unmother a child who, by making you a mother, changed your life. It feels grotesque and foreign to me. And, I don’t want it.
God was the one who showed me how to be a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter – He has taught me everything. I know He will teach me, now, how to be a grieving mother, but it won’t be easy to learn. I’ll probably kick and scream a lot; because how can I yield to this truth – that my boy is never coming through my front door again? Only by His grace and in His time. Time – there’s that word, again. It never goes away, and it never stops.