That empty feeling

I dropped the boys off to camp tonight (just the older boys). It was a momentous occasion for Brady. You see this was the first time he was eligible for BRASS Camp. BRASS Camp is a camp run by the amazing folks at SpecialLove, specialove.org, for the BRothers And SiSters of children who are, have or died from pediatric cancer. Will has gone since the month before Declan died and has had nothing but great experiences. He loves it and has been waiting for the chance to share it with Brady. Brady hit the magic number on his last birthday, lucky #7.

We’ve been caught up in the excitement since the boys applications arrived and today was the big day! I was excited for them to have this experience together and, well, I guess I was focusing on the getting ready and coaching up Brady on being away from home etc. So caught up, I didn’t coach myself up on the fact that this is Brady’s first time away from home when he wasn’t with relatives. Ack!

As I sat in the parking lot getting ready to pull away, that feeling I have become all to accustomed too, returned to my chest. That heavy feeling. The feeling of loss. I know, I know … what’s with the high drama, Sherri? Yes, it sounds dramatic but it has similar tones to losing Declan. It’s that feeling you can’t stifle but also can’t do anything about. The connection broken, or better yet, stretched. Maybe that’s why my heart hurts. My heart strings, attached to all of my boys, are being pulled taut tonight (and every night since August 18th, 2010) because (some of) my boys are somewhere I am not.

It’s similar to what I feel with Declan. So many have asked and there really is no way to explain this feeling. This picture, recently posted by my friend at A Bed For My Heart, really hits the nail.

Bereavement

Frankly, this is as close as I want any of you to come to understanding this loss but I still want to try to help people understand. Kind of silly but on some level I think it helps … who you may ask? Probably just me but that’s one person, right?

I hear “I just can’t imagine”, a lot. I try to figure out ways to scratch the surface and tonight seems like a decent way. We’ve all had that experience where we drop our child(ren) off somewhere and as we leave that warmth in our chest spreads to heat, grabs hold and just sort of settles in. You try to will it away with deep breaths but its remains. That sense of discomfort in knowing, no matter how amazing the people you left your child(ren) with, they aren’t you. They won’t ever do it as good as you (even in all my imperfectness … I’m imperfectly perfect for them.)

The death of a child has its roots in this feeling. I will grant you … God is a pretty damn good substitute but he’s still not me. Nothing will ever be as good as me (or Stan) Even God. Sorry God, we’ve chatted about this … I know you understand my feelings on this topic. It lingers, never far from the surface, never really loosening its grip.

And yet, life goes on … just as it will while the boys are at camp … it will just be different, a bit unbalanced, until we are all together again. You can relate, right?

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