I miss him.
It's a constant, dull ache. I miss him, and long for him. It's a part of my being. Sometimes it is sharper than others, sometimes it hurts more than other times.
This afternoon was one of those times.
It does not escape me that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of a child, nor that the angel named Gabriel plays a prominent role. It was something I marveled at in August in that brief period of time between confirmation of Gabriel's sex and identity and his birth and death. How neat, I thought, that Gabriel will always feel a little something special at Christmas.
Being so close to the time that his birth ought to have been is an odd feeling. Certainly, feelings are running closer to the surface than a month ago. But I wonder if that is just the season, rather than the time. My friend is due the day after I was. She is coming close to her time, and much as I want to support her, I find myself sitting back and apart. I so fervently wish her a speedy, easy birth and a healthy, bonny son. But until he arrives, I feel a twinge and a pain as my chest tightens with every update, and I find myself tongue tied and glassy-eyed.
My friend A asked how I was doing with it and I told her the truth. I am surprisingly calm. It stings, and yet. I don't really associate Gabe with January anymore. August is his month now. And I can say with certainty that I will not look at G's son and constantly compare. It won't be the exquisite, acute pain I had originally thought it would, at least once he's born, because . . . Gabe is of a different time.
We have spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how best to honor him at this time, how to fit him into our lives in a way that includes and remembers him, makes him part of our traditions, and is not crippling.
My wonderful friend Katie is arranging some of his photos for us, with copies of his footprints if I can get them to her. She's also creating something for my parents as well (DH is not comfortable giving Gabe's picture to his parents, as they have not expressed interest in seeing the photos). That is forthcoming, and I feel some surprising relief at finally getting his picture done and put up in our house. It feels like the right thing to do. But since those won't be ready for awhile, I wanted to do something else at Christmas.
We decided to do ornaments to represent Gabriel. One for our tree, and one for each set of grandparents. Having made this decision quite late, our options were somewhat limited and we found some silver 'G' ornaments this afternoon that we thought would be appropriate. Standing there, holding them, it hit like a ton of bricks.
I should be holding him, shopping for his first Christmas ornament. Not his memorials. God, how I want to hold him again. How I long to feel him near me more. The ache was so deep, the pain poured out like molten lava, magma pouring from the fissures of a volcano, tears streaming down my face in an instant. Dh held me while I cried in the aisle, Gabriel's ornaments in my hand.
It shouldn't be like this. It is though. All I can do is continue to love him and miss him. I hate it.