The other day I went a full day of not thinking about Max. I feel like a bad mom even thinking that, but I guess I went a full day without being sad, but he was in my thoughts all day. Does that make sense? It took me a while to make sense to me. 3 years. 44 months. 192 weeks, to be exact. As I went to bed and replayed the busy day in my head, I was filled with guilt for not feeling sad. I caught myself searching for sadness. I wanted to be sad.
"I have to be sad or it’s not honoring him."
"I have to be sad or else I’m going to forget his face."
I know grief more than I know happiness and I'm kicking myself for allowing that grief take over my life, even with therapy, even with books, great advice, bad advice, those hundred of think-pieces on grief, the grief groups, all of it. I was consumed and Max was missing and grief was in his place. I feel like I'm letting go of the grief. Grieving grief. Ha.
The irony of all of this is I wanted so long to be happy, when I finally am, I'm sad about it. Ugh.
I look back at everything I went through with MM, everything. What if I didn't go to therapy? What would my grief look like without social media? Would I have been able to make it without the support of strangers? I had moments of joy but I fought them hard. I feel like I can finally enjoy it. Scott deserves that. Miko deserves that. And dare I say I deserve that??
I read back on my captions on Instagram or even this blog and I cringe. CRINGE. I regret being so open and vulnerable sometimes, but then I read the hundreds of emails, comments and letters and I don't feel like it was such a big mistake. Sometimes I wish I would have grieved privately and just let myself live but I remember there are moments where I felt like if he couldn't live, he could at live in these internet spaces of mine. I think I needed that reassurance. I give myself grace because I was grieving and going through a traumatic experience. I need to remember that.
The wonderful part of all this? You let me be me. Occasionally I would get the email saying "Hey, you shouldn't grieve this way!" Or my favorite, "hey! I can't have kids so just be grateful you at least had ONE! Even dead!" Those really got to a grieving mom but at the end, those people were grieving in their own way, even if it meant hurting others. I wonder how they're doing all the time, too.
Motherhood is finding your identity in a new lifestyle and I don't know who I am without grief. Just because I let go of this sadness, it doesn’t mean it represents who Mordecai Maximus was. It doesn't belittle the grief I did go through. It just means I’m finding different ways to remember him.
And here's a photo of Miko wearing a piece from Max's wardrobe. Happiness.