At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s been a year. A whole year since Odin was here with us. The countdown to the one-year mark allowed me to digest time in a way that made it more manageable. Four months, eight months, nine months, eleven. Getting to that place at the end of what all the grief blogs and infant loss websites say is the hardest time seems like an achievement. I’m here, I’m (mostly) participating in the world, I am still employed, I don’t have a drinking problem. But now it feels like what lies ahead is so much less manageable. A whole lifetime.
At what point will counting the months feel less sacred and necessary? Will I still be counting at fourty-two months? Ninety-three? I’m scared to stop counting because it’s something else to let go of and there’s so little to hang on to. Also, part of me also feels responsible for keeping track because if I don’t do it, who will? I’m like Desmond on Lost, pushing the button every 108 minutes to avoid a system failure. It kind of makes Desmond crazy, but I think it keeps me sane (for now at least). Keeping track of time is a thing I can control and so much feels out of my control these days.
What I’ve realized this morning is that parents of toddlers often answer the question of how old their kid is in months (and there are many memes about this). I’ve decided that I’ll grant myself another year (at least) of counting months to the point where Odin would be two years old. It’s my way of taking the whole lifetime of missing one step at a time.
And, just because I thought this article was perfect, I’m sharing it here. How To Love Someone Who Is Grieving Their Child written by Emily Long. (She often writes for Still Standing Magazine and Still Mothers.)