Season of Grief

There are many reasons autumn used to be my very favourite time of year. The trees and their leaves, changing colours like some mystical fairy tale painting. I love watching the leaves float to the ground like little falling stars. I love breathing in the crisp autumn air and feeling the crunch of dried leaves crackle beneath my feet.

Autumn brings with it birthdays. Lots of birthdays. My grandmother (how I miss her), my brother - who turns 33 today (Happy Birthday Stretch!), my daughter and in a few days, my very own birthday. Quite a lot of cake for one month. I have many September childhood memories filled with chocolate frosting and wrapped in tissue paper..

Of course the birth of autumn brings with it the start of school. A parent's personal celebration. What is there to not love about September?

Turns out, a lot.

These days, autumn and the months which follow, are brutal. It would be less painful if I just bent over and you all took turns kicking my ass.

Seriously. And not just because my arse region has recently acquired some padding.

This is the time of year my husband and I refer to as our "Season of Grief." It is a tough time for all of us around here. We miss our kid. Our son, their brother. The next few holiday and birthday-riddled months do nothing but amp up our grief and spin it into an emotional monster which threatens to swallow us whole.

It is hard to have a birthday or holiday celebration without noticing the glaring absence of a boy long lost. I know as I put on my mommy happy face and try to make the best of this trying situation that I'm not the only one affected, the only one limping along in pain.

What does one say to their children when you know what their birthday wish is, and will be? What does one do when you watch your otherwise-very-happy child blow out her candles, close her eyes and wish her brother was home in our arms? How does one react when you hear your son pray every night to see his little brother once more?

It kills me. Slowly, one cell at a time, it's taking me down and stomping on my spirit.

There is no escape from this feeling for the next few months either. Next month is Frac's birthday, Thanksgiving and then the anniversary of Bug's passing; November brings about the painful reminder of Boo's father's absence, only to be followed quickly by Christmas. Just when we have hobbled our way through the most painful holiday of the year, we get beat on the head by Bug's birthday, the first week of January.

It's a party non-stop around these parts for the next four months.

I had hoped this year would be easier. After all, we are approaching the second anniversary of his passing. The pain has to end sometime, right? Or at least slacken a bit. This choking noose that leads me around by my heart every day has to relax eventually, one would think, right?

That may be true, but I'm still waiting.

I wait to notice when my scars are scabbed over and finally healing. I wait for the seepage to stop. I pray every day that nothing comes along to pick at these wounds and releases the pain again.

All of this waiting is damn near driving me insane. Almost as insane as painting those darned polka dots on my daughter's walls. I'm trying my best to keep it together, but I have to tell you, this sanity business is harder than it looks. All I want to do is hide in my pantry, curl up on the floor with a soft pillow and nurse a nice red into oblivion. I'd try it now, but I'm pretty sure Fric and Frac would find me and knock on the door, demanding to be let in.

I wish there was a magic formula for me to stop missing my Bug, to stop feeling this pain. I'm sick of carrying this weight on my soul and quite frankly, I resent it all to hell that this is my family's burden to bear. This is the legacy I passed on to my children. A pain that will follow them until the day they die.

I somehow managed to find the gift that just keeps on giving. Too bad I can't find the receipt to return it.

I just wish there was someway I could make my children's birthday wishes come true and bring their brother back.

While I'm at it, I'll take three magic beans and that goose that shits out golden eggs too.

Might as well reach for the stars when I blow out my birthday candles.