I feel your absence, Sam.

Sam’s headstone has been a work in progress.  This evening Ted received an email with the final mock-up and it was beautiful.  Simple but exactly like we’ve hoped for, since we have to hope for such a thing.

I’ve come a long way from the first time we went to look at headstones.  I remember meeting Ted outside of the monument company, my entire body shaking, my heart skipping beats because I was holding my breath, and my mind not connecting with my body as I was barely able to move my legs.  I kept telling Ted I thought I was going to throw up.  I don’t have such extreme responses to experiences of life without Sam as I did in the beginning but every so often my feet still feel like they’re having a hard time connecting with the ground.

As the new year arrived two months ago, I knew that all of my favorite babies born living last year would be getting another year older this year.  I knew I would be seeing beautiful birthday parties and babies enjoying their first bites of their first birthday cakes.  But seeing the parties, the birthday cakes, the little girls and little boys, the presents, the toys, and the Mamas with their babies; seeing it still takes my breath away.

I wonder if in those moments anyone else feels the hole of Sam’s absence like I do.

We should be there.  We should be celebrating.  We should be in pictures with all of my other Mama friends.  We should be tasting cake.  We should be planning a birthday party.

I have such a wide range of emotions when I see events full of babies.  A part of me wants to be there and a part of me wants to be as far away from there as possible.  A part of me wants to attend every event Sam should be attending and a part of me breaks at the thought of Sam not getting to.  I wonder if it will always be this way.

I remember seeing a friend’s post on Facebook earlier this week about how her baby is now nine months old.  She posted about the teeth her little one was starting to grow.  In two weeks Sam will be nine months old.  I suppose that means that he would have teeth too.  It made me wonder what his toothy grin would look like.

Nine months feels like a lifetime and nine months has felt like no time at all.

I feel your absence, Sam.

I recently shared with a friend that through my yoga practice I have tried to start loving myself more.  As a loss Mom, it can be very hard to love yourself in the wake of your child’s death.  For the first few months I carried a lot of guilt.  I carried a lot of anger towards myself that I couldn’t keep Sam alive.  So tonight when such strong emotions started rumbling through my veins, I told Ted I needed to take some time to do a practice.

I chose a video pertaining to the third chakra; Manipura.  The intent of the video was to strengthen my inner fire and the color associated with the third chakra is yellow.  During savasana, the teacher had us repeat that we are thankful for our power to choose.  I lay there with the realization that while I would never and did not choose a life without Sam, I still have choices to make as his Mama.

I still choose life.  I still choose to give voice to his because he cannot.  I still choose happiness.  I still choose to feel the depths of my sadness.  I still choose love.

I had reached out to my Mama Sisters in my sadness of not being at birthday parties with Sam.  One of them told me she was learning how to play ‘You are My Sunshine’ on her ukulele right at that moment and when she figured it out, she was going to dedicate it to Sam.  She didn’t know that I had just finished a yoga video on the third chakra, whose color is yellow.  I’d like to think it was Sam in her, telling me he knows my love. Like the color yellow, Sam shines bright like the sun.  You’ll never know dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away.

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