Grief is tiring. No, actually, it's exhausting. It's different every day and sometimes, just when you think you've gotten past something, you take a u-turn and go through the same part you thought you were finished with only this time there are new hurdles on the track. I've never run a marathon, but I imagine grief is something like running one. Except every time you think you see the finish line in the distance, you take a turn you didn't see coming. Instead of reaching the end of the race and getting to rest, you have to keep running.
There are days when I don't want to be grieving any more. I want to be a normal human being without a foggy brain occupied by having a baby and grieving the baby I lost. I don't want to feel like I am living under a big black cloud while everyone else plays in the sun. I don't want to be the one crying while driving down the road or heavily sighing every time I see matching outfits while shopping. I have days where I don't want this to be my life. I know it sounds horrible and you may not understand it. I wouldn't trade my boys for anything but it's probably fairly obviously that I would much rather be a mom who got to parent twins who doesn't have to think about what to take to her son's grave or when to look at his pictures.
There is no way around the tears and the tired feelings. I truly believe that these are things I have to go through to get to the other side. My grief isn't a nice little stack of things that I can easily step around when I don't feel like dealing with it. Sure I can stuff it down for a little while. I have a pretty good "keep it together" mode when I am in public. But it covers every part of my life. It's a little here and a little there.
If there is an upside to grieving, it's that it does change. Slowly it gets a little bit easier. Missing Carter will never go away and it will never be easy to not have him here. But I do feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have days where I feel like planting flowers in my garden. There are days when I feel like I can dance in the rain. Some days I even tell people I have twins (usually only if they aren't with me so I don't have to explain where Carter is). Certain songs still make me cry my eyes out and some days I need that. But there are also days when those songs bring me joy and remind me why I am here. I know that Carter was here for a reason. I know that he is no less of a person because he isn't here. I know he will always be deeply missed by those who love him. And I know that he is happy and he is free. He isn't sick and he doesn't have to face the trials of this life. And for that, I will forever be thankful.
I am thankful for someone who is greater than all of this, who is holding my baby in his arms until I can be there. Until that day comes, there will always be a part of me that will grieve for my son. Sometimes in big ways and sometimes in smaller ways, but it will always be there. I can only hope that when I finish this marathon, no matter how many detours I make, that God will make me a stronger person because of it. There are a lot of things I don't understand, but I do know that there is someone running this race alongside of me, who knows every turn I make and every hurdle I jump over. He knows when I am tired and when I need someone to carry me. I also know that he will never leave me.
"There was given me a thorn in my flesh...Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away fro me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me...For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:7-10