It is 4:19 a.m. What am I doing up? Good question. I had a big long day yesterday. I worked hard. I played hard. I got no nap. I should be snoozing right? Right. But I have spent the last hour or so laying in my bed in June 2008.
I kept telling myself, "Stephanie. It is August 2010! We are two years out. Let's close that chapter and look forward." But somehow my mind wasn't listening. So finally I thought maybe coming down here and writing it out would put the past back to bed and let me go to sleep.
We went swimming last night. Jon had to work till almost 8 so I took the 4 kids by myself to our friends house. I knew this would be too much for me to watch 4 kids at a pool when two of them are not so water safe. So I came prepared. I brought a port a crib and put Noble down to sleep in the house as soon as we arrived. He was tired and it was his bedtime so this worked well. Now I just had Lauren to worry about.
I got in the pool with the kids and we had fun. I worked with Lauren on her swimming. I helped her see that she could swim all the way across the pool by herself. We did a few laps together with her turning on her back to float to breathe. She did so well and I was so proud of her being so brave and working so hard to learn this technique. Still, it was draining to keep my eyes on her 100% of the time. It is just stressful to me. She was fine the whole time. We swam for about and hour and half in all and she got so good at flipping over on her back. As she got tired toward the end she often would stay on her back and kick to get to the side.
There were no close calls. Sabrina and Annie had a blast and Jon eventually showed up to get in with them. Still, the stress is just there for me now whenever water is near. Part of me always feels I must be missing someone or there must be some danger I am not seeing.
And so when I woke up at 3 a.m. I was back again in 2008, reliving the reason for my stress. These days, the reliving is less adrenaline filled. It is more analytical?, more of a running through the events in my head, confirming that they happened? And they are often accompanied by that nauseating feeling of the reality of my loss.
Lately I have been thinking about how different the death of a child is as apposed to losing a grandparent. I haven't really experienced other losses enough to know how this compares to them. But I was thinking how different this is because losing a child changes you as a person. Some of those changes are good and some of them are pretty not so nice. :) But it changes you. It is like a different chemical is added to your make up and it completely changes who you were before is so many ways.
The other losses I have experienced, while they were very sad to me, didn't do that. I was very close with my grandmothers and I still miss them often. But it just seemed to be part of life to lose them. Maybe it was earlier than I wanted with one of them. But she was still 80 and had lived a full life. Somehow, losing a young child doesn't seem like it should be "part of life." And yet ... for me ... it is.
And so now, I guess, is this. The stress and the reliving, at 4 in the morning, the day that changed me forever as a person.