In the beginning, the trauma took over. It was all consuming, hanging over me like a shadow. Any time I would think of him, the images of that day would flash through my mind like a horror movie. I couldn’t see anything but our devastation. Now, there are some days I don’t cry at all. On those days I push the longing and the ache for my child to the back of my mind and any time I feel it surface I just repeat “Don’t think about it, stop. Don’t think about it, it’ll hurt” until I feel calm again.
Other days, it is all I can think about. The days I try desperately to remember what it felt like to hold him, to make him smile, to rock him to sleep or pull my hair from his hands. To touch his hair, tickle his toes, study his finger nails, smell his skin, feel the velvet of his eyebrows and the whisper of his lashes on my cheek. The days I realize I don’t remember what any of that felt like anymore.
There is a point in the journey through loss, when perspective changes. It is not a measurable point in time, it happens slowly, without you noticing. And then one day you’re waking up and realizing that the trauma isn’t the most painful part anymore. Memory has failed you. Somewhere along the way that changed, now the most painful part of the grief isn’t the awful things you remember, it’s the happy things you’ve forgotten.