Without You I'm Not Ok

Songs seem to get stuck in my head. I clicked on to my personalized google home page, and I noticed that the How Stuff Works question was about why songs get stuck in your head.

I know why.

Without you I'm not okay
And without you I've lost my way
My heart's stuck in second place
ooh Without you

Perhaps one of the most galling aspects of Gabriel's death is how people have failed to realize that I am broken. Perhaps this is my own fault. People might call me a variety of things, but broken is not apt to be one of them. I don't look broken, I wear clean clothes, I have finished a renovation, I work hard, I'm presentable. I don't dissolve into tears at the slightest provocation. If I do sob, I do so quietly, late at night, on my own. Holding a stuffed animal that should have been my son's, looking at his photo's, my fingers tracing the outline of his footprints. Whatever the state of my heart and soul, I look fine.

And Mr. Spit and I quickly discovered very shortly after Gabriel's death, starting after his funeral, but absolutely 6 weeks after his death, that people expected us to be all better now. They seemed to expect that we would arise one morning, brush aside our heartbreak and sorrow, move past this tragedy, and be just fine, be the people we had always been.

And 11 months later, there is still a kleenex box on the table. The small and silent testimony that we are not ok. I remember the words from my aunt's poem, that our heart's are shattered, in a million pieces on the ground, and that our mind's have spoken of never coming round.

We received notification of a new baby last night. Or rather, Mr. Spit did. I didn't rate notification. Perhaps they have decided that I am an awful enough person that I can't work up excitement that a baby is here. And I suppose that this is true. I can't. I'm pleased the baby is here and well, but I simply can't understand why my baby died. I can't accept that the rain falls on the just and unjust. I am again, still, always, broken. Not okay.

There will be a new baby in church on Sunday. A father will walk up the aisle and introduce his son to the congregation. There will be clapping and cheering. And Mr. Spit and I will sit in the second pew on the Gospel side, and I doubt that anyone will remember that Mr. Spit never got the chance to do this. I doubt they will remember the couple who's memories of their son are only memories of a hospital room. Our memories of our son in church are only those of the funeral, and I'm hoping that other's will forgive us for not wanting to remember much of that. I doubt that anyone will remember that Mr. Spit and I, we are parents too.

And the pell mell rush of time, it will continue. Gabriel's day will come. And I have booked it off, because I cannot bear the thought that no one will remember. That it will be just another day. That my phone and doorbell will not ring, that no one will stop and say that they too remember a life that was and then was not. That I will sit alone in a puddle of tears and memories and broken dreams. We will perhaps have a birthday cake, but we will not invite anyone. Who would come? Who would come to celebrate a dead baby? Who would walk into broken dreams and minds and hearts?

And after his day, Christmas, a Christmas that will not be baby's first. There will be glass ornaments to the bottom of the tree, and I will not purchase baby toys. The house will be perfect, and I will feed many people, praying that so much joviality around me will uplift my battered heart.

And finally, the week after Christmas, there will be a baptism Sunday. And again, Mr. Spit and I will sit on the Gospel side, and we will bow our heads, and remember that this was to be our Son's day. We will remember a hasty baptism, without the benefit of liturgy to soothe our soul, because things had to be hasty. We will stand in silent communion with a set of God parents, miles away, because there is no need for them to be here. Instead of promises to raise a child in God's love, they read the Old Testament reading at his funeral. They spoke of heart break and pain and read of Our Redeemer living, in the midst of the death of our dreams.

Without him, I'm not Ok.
I know why the song is stuck in my head.