Sunday, October 29, 2006

I've been avoiding the blog world. Back when I first discovered blogging, the interactivity of it all was mind-blowing, and utterly addictive. Now though, it frightens me. I know, that sounds weird. But you see, I was doing "so well" that everyone began to believe I was strong and... Well, whatever. Now I feel like I've created this persona that I have to live up to. I don't want to post stuff about how utterly devastated I am for fear of letting people down.

But, I promised myself I'd be honest throughout this process, and I know that in reality that's all anyone expects, so here it comes.

First of all, although I've lost 2 children, and I love Alexis as I would any of my children, the truth is, because Nova's life and death are so recent, they are, for the most part, what is effecting me most profoundly right now. That isn't to say that Alexis no longer effects me, she does and always will. Her death reshaped all that I was and am, and it was the post-Alexis Erin that lost her son. Alexis' effect on me is undeniable, but right now, it is Nova that I most often, and most strongly, grieve.

I feel almost guilty saying so, but it's the truth. I've had 5 years to adjust to the fact that Alexis is gone. I'm still having to remind myself daily that Nova will never come home. It is him that I talk to at night, his blankets I still bury my face in, his medicines that still sit in my kitchen, his clothes in boxes. It is him that I still fleetingly (for just a fraction of a second) worry that the children will wake when they get too loud in the hall outside my bedroom, and its his presence (or rather, the lack thereof) that still keeps me from sleeping in my own bed.

And it is him, and how all things relate to him, or my mourning of his death, that are constantly on my mind. So a few days ago when I received a letter from the cemetery where he and his sister are buried, it was to him that my mind turned immediately.

When I opened the envelope, I read about the candlelight memorial service they'll be having this year, as every other year. They light candles (luminaries, in small bags) in your loved one's memory. People gather there to witness the cemetery speckled with wavering lights, dancing memories.

I knew without giving it much thought that I wouldn't be attending. I've only been to the cemetery once since Alexis' burial, and that was for Nova's funeral. I just can't do it. It is oppressively sad there, and I can't do it. But as I looked over the paper again I noticed the date of the ceremony. December 2nd. Nova's birthday. Of course there's no significance in that. I know that, but I can't help but feel differently. I've been fighting back the tears since I got that letter, sadly grateful tears - grateful because somehow it just feels right that this should be held on his birthday. As if the universe is acknowledging the impact of his life, the importance. It's like rain at a funeral, oddly appropriate.

But more immediately than that is Halloween. Last night we went shopping, the other kids needed their costumes, so it was unavoidable. But I dreaded the going, the rifling through a million costumes. I feared it too - feared seeing the baby costumes that would remind me of the outfit I wasn't buying. You know, the little peapod, the red chili pepper costume, the cowboy in a size 12mo. The ones I'd have oohed and aahed over for Nova's first Halloween.

Everything is a reminder.

I remember the anger after Alexis died. I remember the way it held desperation at bay, and the way that, eventually, it devoured me. After Nova died, I promised myself that I wouldn't succumb to the anger. But now I wish for the anger. Mad is easier than numb.

posted by Erin @ 5:39 PM   3 comments

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Donovan "Nova" LeClair

Monroe, North Carolina
Nova was our second child to be born with congenital heart defects. We lost our daughter at 12 days after open heart surgery in 2001. Nova was born 12/2/05, with Pulmonary Atresia with VSD. He lived 6 weeks after surgery, and passed away on April 6th, 2006. This blog is his story, and the on-going story of how our family is dealing with the loss of our beautiful boy.
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