Six Months

February 17, 2009

Yesterday marked six months since we said goodbye to Teddy in that courtyard garden in Portland.  What does it mean, this six month mark, this half a year without my little boy?  The grief isn’t as raw as it used to be, but it’s still there, pulsing and throbbing beneath the surface of everything I do.  I draw it up here, let it overflow into words and tears, let it out and let it speak.  Maybe as months continue to go by I’ll look back and see how my grief is changing, or how I am.

Yesterday, in the doctor’s office for my annual exam:
Doctor: “Do you still cry a lot?”
Me: “Well, what’s a lot?”
Doctor: “Every day?”
Me: “Yes, usually.”

She’s a bit worried about me; I can tell.  I think that if I asked for anti-depressants I’d have no trouble getting them.  But I don’t think I’m doing so badly, really.  My child is dead.  This is supposed to hurt and linger, isn’t it?  And the doctor’s office brings the tears near the surface every time, so she only gets to see me in a state of heightened emotions, and with yesterday being a month marker, this was especially the case.  But maybe at six months I should be more pulled together, less tearful, more energetic?  I don’t think so.  It feels like I’m feeling what I need to feel, doing what I need to do.

I just handed in my annual review, due yesterday at work.  It’s shorter than it usually is, and I only gave it a cursory spell check.  Usually I put a great deal of care into my review, but this was as much as I could do this year without breaking down.   2008 is my year of Teddy, and I resented having to review the year before I was ready, even while focusing on the work parts.  Added to which, my work calendar is my main calendar – every doctor’s appointment, every haircut is on that calendar, and as I poured over it, reminding myself that I really did start and finish some projects last year, I kept running into those dates – my first prenatal appointment, our first ultrasound.  Our second, slightly worrisome ultrasound, our trips to the specialist, the day they told us they thought it all looked okay, the day they told us something was really, truly wrong, the meeting I missed because I had to go on bedrest.

I want to delete it all and I want to remember it forever.  I want to hold it close and let it go at the same time.  What is that?  Why is that?

Half a year without you, Kiddo.  I don’t know how that happened.

I wanted to love our little guy here, in the world, to see him grow up.  I don’t get to have that, so I need to love him as best I can as things are now.  I’m not good at it yet.   My life goes on, and parts of it are bleak and parts of it are beautiful, but there’s a Teddy-shaped hole in everything.  I don’t want it to go away, but I want, some day, to live with it more graciously.



  1. Six months was hard. Such a definitive amount of time.

    “A Teddy-shaped hole”- I love how you put that.

    No more words from here, but thinking of you and Teddy every step of the way.

  2. Yes, this does hurt and linger–well beyond six months. Keep feeling and doing as you are. I hope that some day you do get to the point of living with it more graciously. I’m just over a year out. I have new joy, but I’m figuring out a new phase of the sorrow.

  3. Holding you close on this difficult anniversary. It wasn’t until you wrote it, that I thought about our own impending anniversary as HALF a year. Sigh. What a devastating half a year.

  4. crying everyday is not a problem, imho.

    My doc looks at me that way too. six months is really not that long. And looking back at a calendar – oh that’s a tough one.

    Thinking of you and your family…

  5. You might not feel this way all the time, but I think you are living with it – and without Teddy in your arms – with incredible grace and graciousness, Erica. And I think you are right where you are, not “behind” or anywhere you shouldn’t be. It’s good for your doctor to understand that she doesn’t need to worry that something is “wrong” with you. What you write about the Teddy shaped hole says it all… I’m holding you at this 6-month mark and onward.

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