Today I was asked to describe the last forty weeks in a couple of words. After only a second of thinking I could only say one thing, I’ve survived. Admittedly, I laughed after saying this. It seemed a little dramatic, even for me. I hurt every single day. Tears come and go, most of the time I don’t even notice they’re there. I scream in pain, questioning everything. And yet, I see the continuance to live. There’s been growth and relationships gained. I’ve laughed out loud in spite of everything. But, there really is no other way to describe what it’s like to lose a child. When I got home, I was curious to see how they defined this word that’s meaning seems so simple. There was two that jumped out at me.
- continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship
- remain alive after the death of (a particular person)
See, as a definition it seems so simple. Almost like we’ve always had an idea what this word means, but you don’t truly know it until you’ve been in survival mode. There have been times in this forty weeks where I have just simply existed, even when I tried the exact opposite. Grief, anxiety, and depression are hardships I live with everyday, on top of feeling Jensen’s absence. Yet, I remain and I have to continue on. So surviving really is the right word to describe all of this.
On top of it being Tuesday, the number forty has really been speaking to me. If we’re just talking about pregnancy, forty weeks is the week to get to. It’s the due date we all know. Jensen’s was April 17. Today there’s more to this number and my grief. Although I try to stay away from talking about faith and religion, I think it’s necessary for me today.
As always this is not to make anyone uncomfortable, just how I make the connection and sense of things.
In the Bible, the number forty is pretty significant. On the top of my head, I can think of at least ten times forty is mentioned. Each time it is, it’s always a period of testing. Just one example is Moses. I mean his life was split up into three forties full of trials and testing, I’m also watching the Prince of Egypt, so it’s all coming back to me. Anyways, the past forty weeks for me, have been full of those tests and trials. I mean I didn’t lead the Israelites from Egypt, but I’ve led myself this far. Every day there seems to be a new challenge for me. I test myself and question my purpose. As a collective, I never thought I’d make it to forty weeks in the beginning. It’s strange for me to think another child could have grown in this amount of time.
I test my motherhood each day. There are trials and errors of how to work on my grief. Honestly, everything since Jensen has been born has been a test. I’m still getting to know Danielle after Jensen. It’s hard living with a self you know nothing about. Anxiety. Heck, anxiety is always testing me and making me trust myself again. Even other people, unknowingly, test me. Maybe that’s more on myself and testing how I react now. Even Jensen has been testing me, in good ways. Testing me to see if I see his signs. Fun fact, my Netflix has randomly been turning on and changing to cartoons. Wonder who would want to watch that? He’s also led me to certain books, this time Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Who, in fact, named on of the characters in the books Robbie Jensen. So, Jensen ultimately rewards me after every test, but still.
Alright, so I’m guessing you’re wondering where I’m going with all of this. If you’d talk to me in person, I would be talking for hours. Anyways, through trials and testing, we see progress. Not necessarily results right now, maybe I’ll see some at the forty-year mark. Even though I describe this time as survival, there has been so much progress. I’m not healed completely, but I’m healing. There are parts of me I never knew before, but I do now. I don’t like the pain I feel, but I see what I’ve learned from it. Saying that, I don’t see Jensen’s death as a learning experience, but the way I’ve lived or survived or whatever this is, has taught me so much about me.
I’ve said this over and over, I NEVER THOUGHT I’D MAKE IT TO THIS POINT. When I was preparing for New Years Eve, I thought my heart would stop at midnight. I didn’t think it could take that hit. But I’m here. Jensen’s love for me has driven every step and it’s made me want to do better for him. Maybe that’s cliché, but I’ve survived these forty weeks of trials because of love. Because his light is so bright, that it leads me to the next test. His love has given me a deeper sense of faith and it’s shown me that I have to trust in this unknowing, to me, life plan.
What I do know today, at week forty, is that although I’m extremely uncomfortable with grief and not knowing where my life is going, I somehow feel I’m on the right track. I don’t feel pressure to move on from anything or to get to anywhere quickly. I’m not ready for another relationship or to even think of having another child. There’s nothing wrong with trying to figure out who I am again and what mothering Jensen is going to look like in this next forty weeks and beyond. I don’t think this is the end of my trials and testing. It’s going to be lifelong for me and maybe at forty months I can look back on this post to see how far I’ve come. No matter what, the love I have for my son will continue flowing through me through every step of my life.
Jensen Grey, you are so loved. I hope the past forty weeks in heaven have been peaceful for you. Today wasn’t so bright here on earth, but I bet heaven is warm and bright where ever you dwell. I wish you were here, so my tests would be learning all about you. In some ways they are now and I know you’re helping me along the way. I miss you. I love you.