These have been eleven of the shortest longest months of my life. Some minutes like hours, some days like moments. All mixed up in this mess of grief. Each day taking me further away from the too brief time I had with my baby boy. These anniversaries won’t pass unnoticed, either, which seems like One of Those Infant Loss Things. My mind may forget the date, but my heart will not. It always aches a little more on the 20th.
I’m dreading One Year. No matter what reassurances people try to offer, “Odin will never be forgotten”, One Year feels too much like an ending or closure I’m not ready for. I’m fighting at the passing of time with everything in me right now because although it’s been nearly a year, the pain of his absence is still there. It’s always there, just beneath the surface. And the weight of that pain and its permanence is so lonely. So I don’t want all of the Firsts to be done because they are still recognized as Hard. After that I’m not sure what happens. People move on. I want time to quit being so cruel.
They say Time Heals All Wounds and I’ve called BS on that one before. My wound will not heal and I wouldn’t want it to. Instead it is my job to tend to it; keep the bleeding at bay; be sure that infection doesn’t spread. I keep it well-bandaged so people don’t notice and stare. Most people don’t even know I’m injured and most who do seem comfortable that I manage the wound privately. I guess they’re not good with blood or are worried they’ll make the pain worse (not possible).
I know that there will be times when I can think of Odin with more love than sadness and I have definitely had some of those moments of strength and peace. They are few and far between, though, and there is always a steep come-down from those days. Maybe that will change as time goes on. That’s what They say anyway.
I’m currently reading the Harry Potter series (for the first time! In my thirties!) and there have been a few times (and I’ve just finished book three, The Prisoner of Azkaban) that I have been moved to tears. (If you haven’t read the books, there are spoilers ahead.) This is the most recent moment in a scene where Dumbledore is speaking to Harry about his father:
“You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him.”
There is a tiny little strange part of me that likes to think of Odin as Harry. Harry’s parents, Lily and James, died to save Harry’s life and that’s what we would have done, too, to save Odin. It’s sort of like we’re living the story in reverse. Harry is living without his parents and misses them, dearly, and his grief runs throughout the plot of the books. (This isn’t a new idea, it’s been written about a lot.) I’m inspired by the parts of the book where Harry is able to think of his parents with love and not sadness and I appreciate that struggle. I could probably write a whole blog post about Harry Potter but it would be derivative. Mostly I wanted to share that Dumbledore quote because I loved it and am trying to believe in those words for Harry and for Odin.