In the early days after Oberon died, my grief was all about me. I was doing the things I needed to do – expressing my love and pain, filling up space, parenting my child who was not in my arms. These needs continue today, but they are not as all-encompassing. My need for validation from others has receded, and my grief has begun shifting from external to internal.
Now years down this road, it wouldn’t be impossible to let some of the anniversaries or memories fade into the background.
I can see why some choose to do just that. I see the guidance lots of places – focus your energy on the living, not the dead. I understand it, but I am uncomfortable with the sentiment, and I don’t like the message that sends to my loved ones – alive or not.
To my living children – you matter to me. I will do my best to parent you – day in and day out. To meet your needs and give you opportunities to learn and grow and experience the many joys of this world.
And if you die before I do, I will be devastated. I will miss you all the time, and I will look for ways to carry your memory – externally and internally. You will not be forgotten by your mother. You can trust this because you witness it. You have witnessed me carry your brother, who has been gone longer than you have been alive. As I carry him, I would carry you.
To me, my grief over Oberon has grown from focusing on my needs to also encompassing what I want my living children to know.
I want them to know they are loved – unconditionally. They are loved now, and they will be loved if they are gone. They will not be swept aside or forgotten. Their mother will carry them for the rest of her life.