Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Vacation in the Year of Firsts

We left last Friday for the Poconos. It's a bit of a drive but since Kai died I haven't been working and we don't have the spare cash to fly someplace warm. At least it's pretty and quiet here. We were here two years ago - when we didn't even have the thought that we would lose a child. It has been difficult coming back and seeing some of the same things that we saw two years ago. So much has changed in my life and I had no clue the first time I was here.

I dreaded going on vacation. I felt, again, like I was abandoning Kai. It hurt to think that just three of us would be going away. Last fall when we went on vacation our daughter kept making plans for our vacation this year with her little brother. How we would have to pack the car; where we would stop; how we would have to plan our activities so that her brother could have fun too. All those memories stab me with pain when I think of them. When we left Friday afternoon I was fine. Scared - but fine. My daughter asked that we play my Coldplay, Viva La Vida CD. Great! No Hannah Montana for at least the first little while! When the CD got to the title song I recalled that wonderful Youtube video of the children of PS22 singing the song. Then I recalled that I first saw that video when I was still pregnant. Then I started crying. I looked out the window so that my husband and daughter couldn't see me crying. It bugs me that my husband can't deal with my tears. He just pretends like nothing is happening. It hurts. My daughter hugs me and tries to comfort me - but that is not her job. She's just a little girl. I am glad that she is compassionate, though.

We're staying at a resort that is on the Delaware River. It's beautiful here. The units we are in are older. Probably first built in the '60s or early '70s. Not luxurious, but quaint and at least clean. The units are grouped like houses on a small country road. Lots of open lawn areas, big old trees, and little gardens. I teared up when I looked around. In my mind I saw my family having a picnic under the huge evergreen behind our unit. Our daughter was entertaining her baby brother while my husband and I got the food ready. Over by the river where there is a huge flat area and a swing set I envisioned my husband and daughter playing soccer while I sat and swung gently in the swing with Kai. Is this what is called daydreaming? I wish my mind didn't wander into these fantasies that hurt. How do you stop it? Are you supposed to stop them or is it better for one's mental health to just let them happen and feel all that pain rising in your chest and taking over? It's probably the latter. So far dealing with our son's death in a healthy manner means allowing myself to feel all the horrible, painful emotions of grieving.

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