Time does not heal all wounds. I probably believed that it did once upon a time, but now I'm only willing to say that it merely dulls a wound's pain. Some wounds don't ever fully heal.
But a dull pain is still a nice alternative to writhing in agony, if I do say so myself.
The first Halloween without Thomas was agony. The little Old Navy Halloween sleeper we'd picked out for him would have fit him that year, and it's all I could think about all day long. Last year was a little easier. There were no Thomas-sized clothes in the house by then. He would have outgrown all the things stored in the basement by October 2006.
This year, although I admit there were quiet tears midway through the day, was the easiest yet. I missed my boy like always, but the pain wasn't as acute. I didn't dwell quite as much on what we don't have that all the other parents coming to our door did. It just didn't occur to me the way it did last year.
And this, while it's a good thing really, makes me uncomfortable. It's not that I want to stay mired in unshakable grief, but not feeling it the same way I used to is somehow disturbing.
Is it numbness? Resignation? Healing? Denial? Or is it just habit? I'm so used to grief that I sometimes don't notice it anymore.
My body has been a giant, clenched knot since I lost the twins. I can feel the grief. I wear it like a coat right now, this newer grief I haven't been able to shed or fully absorb yet.
But the Thomas grief is changing over time. I notice it in my reactions to annual events like Thanksgiving and Halloween, and the different ways I react to his absence each year.
It's good. I think I'm doing good. But it's still a little unsettling for each day to feel so "new". Grief is a journey in so many ways and I'm always moving through it, around it, past it. I'm always moving. Always adjusting to the new way I feel.
I move and ache all at the same time and I don't have time to rest.
Going forward is the right thing to do and I'm glad that for some reason that's the direction in which I'm headed. But what I wouldn't give for a just one minute of stillness and silence and rest.