When I think of this word the first thing that comes to mind is death. The truth is we grieve so many things in life. When Alex was born I grieved the loss of that moment, the moment when I was supposed to hold him for the first time, quiet his cry. I couldn't even touch him because babies with pulmonary hypertension need to be left alone. I grieve those moments, the newborn moments the gurgles, the kitten cry, the funny faces, the sleeping smiles. I missed all that.
Then I grieved the loss of the typical child, each week a milestone should have been met, and we weren't even out of the hospital. The hopes you have for your typical children, succeeding in school, sports, marriage.
I grieved my freedom, caring for a special needs child takes up all of your time, if you aren't physically doing something, you are planning for the next event of the day. Tube feeds, breathing treatments, therapy, reflux, doctor appointment.
I grieved over the doctors words, "may never speak", "may not look like he belongs in your family", "mental retardation".
This year has been full of grief for me, full of anger, fear. Not so much a "why me God", but "where are you God?" I have had moments of being so consumed by grief, I absolutely could not go on, my heart kept beating though so forward I went. I had moments of feeling so isolated and alone, no one could possibly understand what my hour by hour life involves. They are planning parties, I am inserting an NG tube into my sons nose. They are Christmas shopping I am in the hospital again.
It took a little less than a year, the grief is gone.
I still wonder about the future, but I don't grieve it.
I still look at typical babies, but I don't grieve it.
I love Alex for everything that he is. He hasn't said his first word yet,( at least in English), but he has taught me more than any English speaking teacher I ever had.
In his first year of life he has touched people around the world.
I love you Alex, and my heart is not broken. My heart beats stronger than it ever did.