At first I couldn't read them...the blogs about the women who either (1) grieved more gracefully; or (2) were long past the initial grief. I didn't want to know that there was any other way...or that it was all survivable. I wanted to wallow, I suppose. And I did...for a pretty long time.
I distinctly remember the night I stopped crying. I remember the sheets and pillowcase. I remember sobbing until I fell asleep. And that was the last time I cried about "it." It was like a switch was flipped to the "OFF" position and that was all there was to the story.
A few years ago I took the pencil sketches of Alex and Travis off the dining room wall because we were having a Xmas party and I didn't want to answer the questions that would inevitably come from the guests. I recently thought about hanging them up on the wall again, but couldn't find them. On Father's Day I was looking for a photo of Steve and his dad to post on facebook when I found the sketches. They're back hanging where they belong on the dining room wall after an awkward conversation with my now-five-year-old son about the babies who died.
That evening, I watched recorded episodes of Army Wives...where Claudia Joy dies...and I sobbed until my face was puffy and I couldn't breathe from all the snot.
Yesterday I drove past the cemetery. I didn't go in...just like every day for the last I-don't-know-how-long. The familiar old guilt crept in. And then a friend asked a question about dead babies and medical lawsuits and the original guilt came crashing in and suddenly I couldn't breathe.
For a while now, I have been reading other blogs...blogs of people going through horrible things...and feeling ashamed. Life is hard and my battle has been no worse than others. So why do I need to write about it? To be honest, I have had my finger on the "delete this blog" button more than one time. It's embarrassing to go back now and read. I cringe at the memories of sitting at my keyboard crying as I typed raw and unfiltered thoughts. I could have been an inspiration. I could have created scholarship funds or devoted my time to worthwhile projects in the names of my dead children. I could have been "strong" and "graceful."
But I wasn't.
I'm still not.