Tomorrow is Carpenter's birthday. I have written and rewritten this post almost five times today. And I still feel just as disjointed and confused as with the first draft. This probably makes no sense, but I believe that posting as-is will be honest. And I prefer to be honest about what's going on in my heart and mind through this process. Because not one minute of this journey has made sense.
I drove home from a meeting tonight. It was dark. The radio had been left on NPR and it was pretty quiet. And it totally hit me how alone I was. I called Mike to let him know I was on my way. He didn't answer. I realized that people I had called earlier in the day had not called me back. I called a few other friends. None answered. I called Mike three more times. He did not answer. So I started to panic. The grief finally had a crack to slip through, and it did. Of course, Mike and a friend both called me, and I got a text pretty quickly, but the seed had already been sown. And I knew finally what my big issue had been all day long.
This is the loneliest I've felt in a year.
You imagine your child's birthday as a grand celebration where you're surrounded by family and friends. People come from all around to see the person-of-the-hour, bringing gifts, hugs and kisses. Everyone wants a slice of cake. Everyone wants a picture with the birthday baby. Everyone.
Unless the birthday boy died. Then...well, the invite list is pretty short, and not because you're feeling selective. The number of people willing to celebrate the 24-week-life of my son is pretty damned small. And that pisses me off.
I am pissed off.
Because people SHOULD care. People should remember. How is this not seen as one of the greatest tragedies in the world that such a handsome little boy is no longer among us? Where is the uproar? Where are the memorials, the remembrances, the throngs of mourning fans?
Right here. Sitting on our bed in our bedroom.
I came in the door sobbing, demanding to know why the nation would fly the flag at half-mast for Whitney Houston when she overdosed after a long, exciting life, but only an intimate few recognize Carpenter's anniversary. I stood defiant, willing Mike to hug me and cry injustice as well. Instead, he cut right through all of it.
He said, "I guess we're luckier than a lot of people."
And he's right. Carpenter does have friends and family who will remember him tomorrow. Some will mourn with us. We will not be alone.
So while I still rage against the injustice of a dear life oft overlooked, I will try and appreciate how lucky we are. And I pray that those who make us feel that way know how much they mean to us. Because without those select few, I would have drowned in this sea of grief a year ago.
I'm off to tread water. Or cry myself to sleep. Goodnight, dear friends.