I have a pain that haunts me daily. It’s a pain that cannot be healed in any way. A pain that is so deep I would wish it upon no one. These last couple of weeks have shown me what life will forever be like without Tyler. We were in the midst of what should be an exciting time in our lives, yet my husband and I both felt numb and disconnected.
Looking through model homes and potential builds was a fun and exciting experience until the realization that when we transfer into this new ‘home’, we’ll be alone. Just the two of us. No responsibility for anyone other than ourselves and our two dogs. What a concept. One of our biggest fears before starting a family was letting go of the selfishness of living only for what we wanted, and what new adventure we could seek out each day. Now, we’d give anything to have the responsibility of a child back. Not just any child, but our child, Tyler Matthew. Our precious gift from God.
I’ve come to realize that even though my world came to a screeching halt, life around me hasn’t stopped moving. People have picked back up with their everyday lives and fallen back into daily routines. I’m not quite sure just where I’m at in this journey yet. I have finally accepted that I’ll never hold our son again, until my time here is done, yet I can’t push past the excruciating agony of it all some days. I have moments where I look at pictures of Tyler and smile, watch the little videos we have of him taking us in as we spoke to him, and I can feel my heart overflow with love and appreciation for the time we were given. Yet some days it’s the total opposite, those same sweet mementos of his life send me into a dark place that feels nearly impossible to escape.
While we were home in Texas over these last couple of weeks we were able to sit and visit with him almost daily. Through the humidity, heat, mosquitoes and lack of any cloud cover – we enjoyed every moment we sat there and spoke to him. We told him about how much we love him and about how we cherish those three weeks of pure bliss with him in our lives, we explained how much we all miss him and think about him with each moment that passes. It’s an odd concept to talk to someone who isn’t there. Someone once told me that the burial process really isn’t to honor the dead, it’s a way for the living to cope with their loss. I truly believe that. I feel so much closer to Tyler when we sit at his resting place. I feel a deeper connection than I do when laying in bed at night speaking to his picture that sits next to my side of the bed. I suppose that’s the reason for the sudden shift in my mood since returning to California. I feel like by leaving Texas and leaving the cemetery behind we have in a way, left him.
My emotions have been on overdrive lately thinking about all of the change that’s to come. I return to work this week part-time in the office as opposed to being at home, I fly to Virginia the following week to face my co-workers who have never met me – yet know my story, in four short months we begin our big move back to Texas, the day after our anniversary we sign on our very first house, Billy begins one of his final rotations at Fort Irwin in the coming weeks and he deploys overseas sometime next year. It’s overwhelming to take it all in. I look at our life from an outsiders point of view and wonder how we manage to keep ourselves together at times. I wonder how we will do financially and as a couple when our lives are uprooted and moved back to the state we grew up in.
Through all of these things, my mind still focuses on Tyler. I find myself thinking about the new house and what room he would have been in, about how when we move – his things will be packed away and likely not come back out. How we’re leaving Fort Irwin and the place he was born and lived with us for his short time. I’ve found myself back in the land of constant questions. The why’s, how’s, and when’s are killing me inside. I want to feel in control of my life when I know that honestly, I never will be. I need to learn to let go of that urge and just put my faith where it belongs, in the Lord himself. I want to be able to hold onto my memories of Tyler and reminisce with my husband over the good times we shared with him as opposed to live in this constant fog of anger and confusion. I want to prove to the world that I can and someday, I will, begin to seek the positive things in life through the darkness. I know that my heart will never heal and that I will miss him everyday for the rest of my life; however I want to overcome this constant anxiety and fear and always remember live each day for my baby boy.