Well, it's not technically 11 months now. It's 11 months, 10 days. But as I sat in Liv's room, sobbing, I realized I might want to write this out. And 11 months is close enough. But at this point, I've really stopped counting up, and instead, mentally started counting down.
Carpenter's birthday is less than one month away.
I've talked to people about their angels' birthdays a million times. Almost all of them have told me that the days leading up are so much harder than the actual day. And I thought this must be due to planning how to spend the day when you should be buying cakes and party hats.
No, it's way more than that.
For the past week or so, there's been this overwhelming sense of angst and emptiness. There haven't been any huge triggers, I've kept the planning for his birthday pretty matter-of-fact, and I've been quite busy. But when I stop, take a breath, or lie down, it's there again.
The worst this week has been the feeling of needing to fill my arms. Such a universal experience, I'm suffering from empty arms. So today I asked Mike to get me a stuffed animal for Valentine's Day. And I had to dry my tears before I could even finish my request.
I used to wonder when the roller coaster of grief would start the painful decent leading to this milestone. Now here I am, just under a month away from his birthday, and the pain is sneaking up on me slowly.
It's going to be a long month, I guess.