October is like a cauldron. Colorful, brimming, bubbling. While in past years this month has been an extreme dichotomy - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month on one hand, Imogen's birthday and spooky fun on the other - this year has been relatively smooth.
We're sure the waves are coming, but so far it's been manageably choppy. The biggest stress in October has been the mountain of fun things to do (and work, but whatever). Trying to squeeze in events, social time, school obligations, party planning, costume making... it's intense. And yet, we're somehow handling it? (Although, ask us in a week after Imogen's birthday party.)
In October, we had a week-long visit in Michigan which included cousin time, visiting Obie's hives, seeing both sets of Grands, a drive up north, a wedding, and a downed tree branch induced power outage at our rental. We went to a pumpkin patch, a haunted light show, two school carnivals, and a Halloween party (not even counting pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating!). The big kids started gymnastics (they love it) and Addy demanded to take her first balance bike ride.
With so much on our plate, some things did have to come off it. Not for the first time, we missed the HAND Service of Remembrance (we were traveling). Elizabeth didn't participate in any online awareness projects. As far as PAIL Awareness month goes, we did participate in the Wave of Light on October 15.
Looking forward to November, there's no slowing down. What used to be Obie's month from top to bottom now has other things taking time.
We've got a coping mechanism for that though - because this happens with every kid. Life grows around the special days. The way we are feeling now is hard to put into words without it sounding like, "it's all good now." Grief never disappears. We're not "fixed" or "over it." What it is, is we've learned to live the life in front of us. We carry Oberon's memory and our love for him forward. And we live.
We celebrate Imogen turning 5 (!!!). We celebrate her spunk, her imagination, her commitment. We go to all the things and we say yes to extra treats and playing frisbee outside in the moonlight. Some days, some moments will be too hard to embrace the present. That makes it all the more important that we dig in when we can. We let go of the guilt, the worry, the anxiety, as much as we can.
At this time of year, it's all we can do to hang on for the ride.