I learnt a new word couple of weeks back.

A word I learnt from a mum who blogged about her good friend, Megan. Megan, like all mums, are inspirational but particularly so as she goes about taking care of a son who is battling a rare medical condition called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, or FOP. Because of her son’s condition, Megan has also become an advocator for FOP to bring awareness and raise funds for bigger medical breakthroughs in FOP.

I like how the word sounds, what it means and how neat it describe what I feel on most days.

The noun: Compartments. Verb: Compartmentalise.

Guilt is kept in one huge compartment that I struggle at times to keep in check. Fear is in a tad smaller compartment than Guilt’s. Between the two, I am not sure which is a worse friend. They have a knack in creeping up on me and I will crash and burn.

Anger doesn’t stay in its compartment all the time. It will disappear for days and return with a vengence, especially when I read about how babies and young kids are abused or neglected by their parents.

Regardless, I’m in a better place now as compared to, say, eight months ago. Time does dull the ache and gives me the chance to sort out my emotions. *At this point, cue the song “How could you mend this broken heart?”*

Time can only do that much and if not for the two most important men in my life, I would have done worse.

My husband, whom I was more afraid that he would go into depression again, has been my support and continually reaffirm that I have done all I could and no one else could do it better. So we hang on to each other, making sure the other person is getting on fine, and in so doing, life isn’t too lonely and reminders not too painful.

My son, all of four years, is such an old soul at times. He makes us laugh, reminds us that his baby sister is with Jesus as a matter of fact and tells us his sister loves us too. He is a good distraction, and I like to imagine that when he laughs so heartily, I am hearing both my kids laughing at the same time.

Whenever TJ and I talk about his baby sister or joke about what she would like (TJ insists his sister loves pink), as much as it hurts, I will not cry in front of TJ as I don’t want him to associate his baby sister with sadness and tears. She is the next happiest thing that happened to us and will remain that way.

In the earlier months, I would look away when I see babies who would have been the same age as Leia, or not wanting to carry any of my friends’ kids. But now, it’s ok, I quite miss the newborn scent and having those innocent pair of eyes looking right back at me.

Still the first year is always tough. Christmas used to be my favourite time of the year, but now I don’t get excited over it and I think it will stay that way for a long time. It is poignant and my heart aches as the day gets closer. Some days, I find myself hating Christmas.

If given a choice, I would rather find a cave and just stay in there until December is over. But that’s cowardly behaviour, Earth still spins on its axis and life still goes on.

Sure, I do appreciate the deeper religious Christmas message but I don’t like all the reminders, the lights, the joyful feel, everything.

So I go through the Christmas routine, more so because of TJ. I wouldn’t want to take away his innocence and shape his memory of Christmas as one that is depressing or that his parents are just crappy during this time. It took us a lot of effort to get onto the Christmas routine, deciding on the presents, putting up the tree, getting invites for this party or that dinner, attending this party or that dinner, but still the sullen me is hiding in a dark corner.

It’s just not possible to cut off from everything and everyone. And it is our other living child who pulls us back into the normalcy of things, for he shouldn’t be made to “suffer” along with us pathetic moody parents.

I thought I would be teaching Leia about living with dignity and being courageous. But in the end, my daughter taught me how to be brave and strong, and I don’t want to disappoint her.

One response to “Compartmentalise

  1. when God permits suffering, He also provides comfort… and that is in the form David and TJ. Keep trusting God and know that it’s okay to feel sadness for Leia’s absence.

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