Thursday, May 26, 2005

Momentos for holding on

In the immediate wake of Alex's death, I felt as if there is nothing to acknowledge his existence. He didn't have a lot of belongings in the first place, so his existence seems to have been pared down to a couple of boxes...one of clothes and one of "momentos." The momentos are actually not yet in a box because I haven't found one that is appropriate for storing a dead baby's momentos in. I somehow don't feel like the Winnie the Pooh box is quite right. Anyway...his momentos are just in a pile on top of the wardrobe cabinet in my bedroom. I hope to have a box to store them all in soon.

So...I search the net. EBay has become a favorite destination for me lately. I've found so many wonderful keepsake items, I'm afraid I've become addicted to the search for them as some sort of weird way to hold on to Alex. The self-help book I'm reading warns about addictive behaviors...but it seems to only consider drugs, alcohol, and unhealthy relationships...not shopping. But there is a particular fear that grips me. Once I have all the keepsakes safely stored...what will I do with my time? I'm afraid that the end of my "constructive" shopping will result in my being reduced to a constantly sobbing mess. I will no longer have some purpose to distract me. How will I handle that?

This leads me to one of my bigger issues...

How do I return to my life? I will never be the same. How am I supposed to carry on as if I were the same person I used to be?

I saw one of my clients at the grocery store today. Yes, I ventured to the grocery store...in grubby clothes and without having done my hair or makeup (I'm sure I'm everyone's stereotypical grieving mother). Anyway, when I saw her I had this inexplicable urge to run like hell in the other direction. Instead, I smiled and said hello. Thankfully, she didn't stop to talk, just returned the smile and hello and kept going. I was gripped with a kind of fear I have never experienced before. I am never going to be able to go to work on Tuesday. At this rate, I'm never going to be able to return to work.

But even more concerning is the thought of how I will handle being alone. If all goes as planned, and we all return to our routine on Tuesday, I will be home alone in the afternoon until Steve and Sam get home. I haven't been alone since before we lost Alex. I remember coming home and sitting on the couch with my glass of water, talking to him about all the stuff we were going to do once he arrived. I don't know that I can face those memories and dreams all alone. So if you can't find me Tuesday, I'm probably hiding somewhere in order to avoid the sadness.

Unless you can think of something else I need to buy on eBay? (kidding, of course)

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