There's something very strange and unquestionably surreal about holding a friend's sleeping baby while discussing your dead son.
The weird thing is, it feels really normal. I can't believe it feels so freaking normal. The world and all the laws of nature I used to hold true are so different - nothing is as it was and nothing makes any sense at all.
Except somehow it does.
Grief, as time passes, is like waking up from a coma to find that everything in your universe has changed - and no one is waiting for you to catch up. They're just smiling and dragging you along for the wild and utterly confusing ride. They're glad you're alive and functioning and eager for you to jump back in. Part of you wants to grab those outstretched hands and move forward, but part of you still mourns for the past - for the reality you once knew, and now know is gone forever.
The world just doesn't wait. And so you have no choice but to eventually find yourself holding other people's babies and feeling okay about it, even when you're talking about the boy you buried 16 months ago.
I can't quite figure out how I'm doing this. I keep wondering when I'm going to crumble - when the facade will collapse and expose the real, tortured and completely broken me.
But I don't think she's in there anymore. I think I've healed enough that this IS me. I think I AM strong enough to hold a friend's baby and talk about Thomas without imploding - without my heart breaking into a million tiny pieces and silencing me forever.
And I can't figure out how that's possible.
I miss Thomas every day. I think about him every day. I long for him every day. I ache for him, even still. I always will. But somehow I can still function in this new, confusing, Thomasless world.
I'll admit it, it's often like walking through pudding laced with land mines (which is why I'm so damned tired when I crawl into bed each night), but at least I'm still walking.