Something has been on my mind for about a week now. I've started to become aware of the fact that I'm on a sort of 'countdown'. It seems that the closer I get to the one year anniversary of Catelyn's death, the more I'm counting down.
What is it that I'm counting down? Is it the number of days until the 1 year mark? Is it the number of seconds, minutes, hours, days, or weeks I can go without thinking of Catelyn?
The answer to the previous questions is no. First, I don't like thinking about the # of days that it's been without Catelyn, and second, I always think about Catelyn....always.
The inadvertent countdown that I've found myself a part of, is thinking about the current date, and trying to come up with something I might've done with Catelyn at this same time last year.
Please understand that I'm not purposefully trying to do this countdown. I think it might stem from a deep part of me that needs to remember her, and remember that she lived.
Actually, it's a crushing countdown that I find myself a part of.
Every day I watch Catelyn's playmates growing bigger and stronger and smarter. I find myself looking at children her approximate age, and comparing them to what I think she'd be. I remember many of the moments that my husband and I shared with Catelyn, and how amazing she was. It's hard not to wonder what she might be like now, but I can only look at who she was.
Fifty-percent of me would like to bring this horrifying whirlwind to a stop, but the other half of me hopes it never ends, for fear that if the countdown ends, so will my memories.
Instead of hating the countdown, I think I have to learn to love it...embrace it....let it be a part of me, but not control me. I have to let myself be at peace with reality, as best as I can.
What is my reality?
My child is dead. She's not coming back, ever. I don't get to hold her, touch her, smell her, kiss her, read to her (directly) or sing to her (directly). It's quite possibly THE hardest thing I'll ever have to go through in my life.
Do I get bitter? Yes.
Do I get frustrated? Yes.
Do I get mad....sometimes, but overall, I try not to. Why not? Because there is no point.
Anger will not bring Catelyn back, and it doesn't help the situation, at all, to get toxic emotions involved. Plus, at the end of every day, I still believe that the doctors and nurses, and everyone else involved, did everything within their power to save her life.
Do I get sad? Heck yes! It's nearly always the small things - saying 'whee' when I hit a bump too hard backing out of our driveway, opening a container of yogurt, hearing someone yell 'no no', saying 'hi baby', watching wheel of fortune, seeing toddlers content to wear sunhats, petting the cat, going to any pool, etc.
How do I get through it?
Basically, I try not to look too far ahead. I try to take each moment as it comes, and I try to take each day one at a time. When none of that works, I try to remember to breathe.
So, when I realized that I'm being haunted by this countdown, at first, it made me feel extremely anxious. Especially about what will happen when I reach the weekend of Labor Day. Then, it made me sad....mostly because I can see life is going on without Catelyn. And now, I realize that all I can do is breathe through it....let each moment and memory surface, and then see how it goes from there.
Sometimes the hardest part is not really being able to do anything. Again, nothing I can ever do will change the outcome of that dreadful day. However, as long as I keep going forward....keep hoping...keep loving...keep remembering...keep dreaming...keep talking about Catelyn, then she lives on.
This countdown sucks, but I guess it's a good reminder that I can use the memories that are being dredged up to help Catelyn's memory live on.