The shower was my space.
The space I couldn't be left alone in when my son died. For a month someone had to sit in the bathroom while I showered. Sobbing endlessly, trying to scrub away the broken pieces that were left of me.
I lost count of how many people saw me naked during that time. Honestly I didn't give a damn. I could not be alone in there. The one and only place I couldn't be alone.
I was afraid. Terrified. It was in here where the weight and darkness of my grief could reach me so deeply I knew it would swallow me. If I went in alone there was a chance I would never come back.
Why? I'm not sure. Was it the memories we had in there? Our baby loved bath time. In the world of chaotic schedules it was the one thing his daddy and I stopped for every night and did together. Just the three of us. Videos of splashing and laughter, a time when my world couldn't have felt more right.
It was the room he and I went into night after night at bedtime. Turning on the shower and letting it run. The soothing noise of the water slowly and methodically pushing his eyes closed until he couldn't fight it any longer.
It was the same room I threw up in over and over again for months on end when he was growing inside of me.
The same room I threw up in over and over again the evening we came home from the hospital without him.
The room where I laid my head on my mother's lap crying every tear I had as she gently brushed my hair back with her hand. I remember feeling so small, so lost in this new world I had not chosen. I told her repeatedly I had to handle this with Grace, for him. For him I had to handle this with Grace. I don't remember that part. She told me much later.
No. I could not be left alone in this room. The last piece of me barely being held together would have undoubtedly unraveled..the pain would have killed me in there if I was left alone with it. I would have never imagined the smallest things could be stolen from you when you lose a child. The simple things like showering. Alone.
Eventually enough time passed and I felt like I could maybe make it by myself. I closed the door and laid on the floor, the cold tile pressed against my cheek. I thought about the moments in his brief 3.5 months with us that had taken place in this little bathroom. He really did love it in there.
This is grief.