It’s been five months since Nash passed……………five months…………he has officially been gone as long as he was here. I don’t know what I expected to feel five months out. Maybe better, maybe I thought things would be easier, maybe I thought I would have moved forward in some way. All I know is what I feel now is not what I expected and I’m happy and sad about it all the same. I never truly want to move on. I don’t want to live my life without having some amount of sadness when it comes to Nash. I guess I just thought five months out, at the very least, I would see a light at the end of this very long tunnel. I don’t though, I don’t see a light. I don’t see an end to this gloom, this cloud that hovers over me everywhere I go. Part of me wants to see that light, feel normal again. Be that person bad things don’t happen to. Live life again where my biggest problem is paying my bills. The other part of me wants to stay in this gloom. Embrace it. Stop pretending I’m okay because it’s exhausting. I’m tired of putting on a smile and acting like I’m doing better. I’m not doing better. If anything, I’m doing worse. There are all these reminders of my previous life wherever I turn. Reminders that Nash was here and he isn’t any longer. I wish these reminders made me happy, but they don’t, they make me feel empty.
When I was pregnant with Nash, Todd had a diaper party. He got over 3,000 diapers! We stacked them in the basement and grabbed them when we needed them. Some boxes are open, some are not. Next to the diapers is an empty swing. Nash never really liked it. So we put it in the basement next to the diapers, thinking maybe we would need it when we had our next baby. I also had bagged up Nash’s clothes as he grew out of them and put them in the basement as well. Our washer and dryer are also in the basement. Every time I wash clothes, I stand next to the boxes of diapers that are left and that empty swing and bags of his clothing. Reminders of our previous life. Reminders that we were once parents.
Instead of overflowing our trash with big boxes, I’ll just throw them downstairs and Todd knows to burn them out back. Everyone who has had a baby knows that you have an unlimited amount of boxes from things you’ve gotten. We were so busy loving Nash and taking care of him that our basement became full of them. Todd laughed one day and said, “Feel free to throw some of these in the trash every now and then.”
Over the last couple of weeks, Todd has started cleaning the basement and burning the boxes that accumulated. I watched him from the upstairs window without him knowing. I saw him throwing the boxes in the fire but stopping to look at some of them for a minute. Like the box Nash’s bathtub came in. The front had a picture of the tub with a baby in it. He stared at it for what seemed like five minutes before throwing it in the fire. I’ll never forget The look he had as he burned the boxes. The boxes Nash’s toys came in, his tub, his high chair, his saucer, his diaper boxes. All I could do was watch and cry as I saw my husband throwing away things Nash left behind and saw the agony it was putting him through to do it. I was mad at myself, I should have just thrown them away. I should have known what this would do to Todd. What was I thinking!?!?!
The teddy bear I have Nash’s ashes in came with a sweater that had his name on it. I didn’t like the way it felt, it was wool and hard, not soft like his clothes, so I put an outfit of Nash’s on the teddy bear. I loved that the neck of it smelled like milk. I would find myself waking up in the middle of the night and smelling it and pulling the bear as close to me as I possibly could. Last week, I started getting upset that it was losing its smell. I needed to put a new outfit on it. I stood in the doorway of his nursery and looked at his dresser. Being pregnant, before I do something I know is going to upset me, I literally stop and takes a couple deep breaths and try and calm myself down. I did this and then walked in his nursery and knelt down and opened the dresser drawer. A drawer I used to open at least three times a day five months ago. His clothes were in disarray from the last time I was in it. I looked at all the familiar outfits. Everyone has a story, a memory. I started to pull them out one by one and smell them to see which ones still had that milk smell.
There I was in a pile of his clothes, crying and smelling them all before finally picking one out. As I put the outfit on the bear, I cried as I snapped the buttons. I hadn’t snapped buttons like this since Nash. The familiarity of matching the buttons up cut me like a knife. The last time I snapped these buttons it was when I was putting this outfit on Nash. I cried and thought to myself how pathetic my life has become, I’m crying as I’m dressing a teddy bear. When I was done, I sat on the edge of my bed, stared at the teddy bear dressed in Nash’s clothes and wallowed in my sadness. Its not fair to be dressing a teddy bear and not my baby boy. I look at all these things he left behind. His clothes, diapers, boxes, bottles, blankets…us. He left us behind and now we have to try and pick up the pieces left of our hearts and go on living without him. It’s hard enough to have all these memories of our previous life to live with, without all the physical reminders….but I can’t get rid of them….it’s to painful. So I’ll hold on to them until I have the strength to let them go. I’m not sure that day will ever come, and I’m learning that that’s ok.