I was watching Call the Midwife on DVD last week when a quote hit me square in the chest. "Sometimes you have to just live until you're alive again."
Some days involve just living. When you lose a piece of yourself you can feel lost. I equate a lot of my days as walking through a fog. You aren't really aware of what is around you. You look back on past days and everything is...well...foggy. Some days are better than others.
I've hit the one and a half year mark. One and a half years without Jacob. It's unfathomable. I miss his smile. I miss his precious little hands. I miss his courage and strength. I miss him.
Last night I was reading a Make a Wish newsletter that arrived in the mail. I was okay until I got to a picture of a 15 year old boy who had reminded me of Jacob. His slim little wrists. His pale face. Helping to cut up his brother's food in the photo. I lost it. Because of the pain I know this boy has had to go through. Because I wanted to see my own boy reach the age of 15.
Sitting in the waiting room of the orthodontist and hearing a young teen boy speak to his mother. Hearing that deep, yet sometimes squeaky, voice of a teen boy. I'll never hear that. Watching another gangly teen boy grab his chart and walk into the back. His skinny arms and bony elbows as he grows into himself. I'll never be able to watch my boy change into a man.
The pain is everywhere. Seeing Jacob's boots thrown on the dining room floor. Because they are now Joe's boots. But for just a second, one tiny little moment, I was about to ask Jacob to move his boots.
My whole family at the park on Easter, enjoying the sunshine. Except, my whole family was not there. A big empty space was present without my dad and Jacob. Their absence seemed to encompass the whole day.
Joe riding Jacob's bike. Becca picking up a shirt at the thrift store with a pink and green NERD candy on the front, with the words "Best Friends". She says "Jacob loves NERDS! And his favorite color is green and mine is pink! I'll get this for Jacob!"
Using present tense instead of past tense. She meant she will wear it in honor/memory/love of Jacob. An 11 year old girl who lost the brother who was only 21 months younger than herself. Who was her best friend for 8 years.
It's painful to have a piece of your heart missing. The pain is an actual ache. Some moments you can feel your chest tightening. Other moments it's hard to breath. Sometimes you feel shaky. Or sick. Or even scared. Grief is not just an emotional state. It's a physical one as well.
It's a part of our life, forever and ever. Because Jacob is no longer here we will always be missing a piece of ourselves. And because of that, we will always be part of the walking wounded. Our scars, our missing parts, may not be visible to those around us, but we've been to war and come back without one of us. That leaves a wound that will never heal.