I continue to find that the grief I am experiencing since he died is so similar to the grief of placing him for adoption.
I have spent a lot of time the past 25 years wondering what might have been and grieving for what would never be, and although that hasn’t changed, it’s different. Now when I wonder what it might have been like to parent, instead of shutting myself down because it’s too painful I’ve given myself permission to really consider it, and I’ve learned a painful new truth: I could have done it. Really, I could have, and we likely would have been okay. In the end, no matter what life would have thrown at us, I would have loved him and he would have loved me. And never, ever, not once, while he lived could I admit this to myself. I never could say that love was enough because there was no way I could have gone on if I had. And, consequently, this brings with it its own set of ramifications. I’ve only just begun to delve into this new phase. I don’t really like it.
There literally are moments when I think he’s still here, that it’s just the same old pain, the same crazy I’ve always felt, and then I remember it’s more than that. More.
So, there is an upside to all of this. Hard to imagine, but true. His adoption made me realize how resilient I am. How time and time again I can come back from the edge. That edge where I can’t breathe. Where the hole in my chest feels like it will envelop me and I will disappear. Where crazy seems acceptable and even desirable. I have an intimate knowledge of what it’s like to be at the edge/on the edge and sometimes I actually enjoy being there, but I know how to turn away from it too; I know how to come back.
I think about his father, his real father, the man he grew up with. I think about him a lot. And my heart just aches for him. I wonder how he is going to get through this. Because I believe I have an advantage. I believe that having lost him once in some ways makes it easier the second time. And I am actually grateful at times, and how crazy is that?