Thursday, October 15, 2015

All over a bowl of cereal

Grief can make you feel crazy. It can make you feel irrational. It can make little things turn into big things. And for me right now that "thing" is a bowl of cereal.

We typically don't have cereal in our house. We're more of an eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles type of family. But with being pregnant and needing to snack and eat smaller amounts of food more often I have turned to cereal. Mike typically does most of the grocery shopping, so on one of his recent trips I requested he pick up a box of cereal. My only request was nothing too sugary.

So, the other night I went to the cupboard to pour myself a bowl as a bedtime snack. But when I opened to cupboard door I froze. He bought that cereal...the cereal...Kashi Cinnamon Harvest.

What's the big deal about that cereal you ask? Well here is a quote from Marcellus's birth story

I was restless and couldn’t get back to sleep. When I realized I was hungry I just decided to get out of bed and get something to eat around 4:40am. I left Daddy sleeping and went downstairs. I got a big glass of water and a bowl of cereal. I still thought I was just having a few BH contractions. After I finished my cereal I tried drinking lots of water and lying on my left side.
 The cereal mentioned was Cinnamon Harvest, one of my favorites at the time. And 4:40am on October 28th, 2011 is the last time I have had a bowl of it. It is the last thing I ate before he was born. Every time I think of his birth story I think of how I thought I was just hungry. That a bowl of cereal could make what I was feeling go away. And almost 4 years later I have not been able to bring myself to pour a bowl of that (delicious) cereal.

I guess at first it was maybe too triggering for me. Too triggering to do something I did in the hours before he was born. Too likely to cause flashbacks to the start of my recognition of being in labor with him. And maybe I'm still worried about that. Maybe I am still worried I will be emotionally triggered by eating the same cereal I did that morning.

But I think the "fear" of having a bowl of Cinnamon Harvest has evolved. Right now being pregnant there's that irrational thinking that if I do something I did while in labor with Marcellus maybe I would end up in labor with Baby Cranberry. Crazy, I know. I do. I know that sounds absolutely fricken crazy. A bowl of cereal can't send me into labor. I was most likely already in labor with Marcellus that morning when I poured myself that bowl of cereal. But grief is crazy like that.

When I really think about it though, at this place that I am in almost 4 years later...I'm not so sure it's about being a trigger or a flashback anymore (although I'm sure that would depend on the day). I think it is now something I see as a way to honor Marcellus. To keep that cereal to be "his" cereal. To have it be something I won't ever do again since the day he was born. To have some would be like betraying him. If I were to be okay with pouring a bowl of that cereal, would that mean I am not grieving him enough?

I don't know if I'll eat it. I've been going back and forth for awhile now. I think it's been in the cupboard for well over a week. Mike didn't realize it when he bought it. How could he. He wasn't up that morning with me when I ate it. I don't hold it against him in any way for buying it. I just honestly don't know what to do about it. Do I have some? Do we donate it and I stick with never having it every again? How will I feel if I do decide to have some?

It's so confusing. And all over a damn bowl of cereal.

Marcellus, I'm sure this seems absolutely ridiculous to some people. It's just a bowl of cereal, right?! But for almost 4 years that bowl of cereal has represented the start of labor with you. It marked the hours just before you were born. And now that that same kind of cereal is sitting in our cupboard, I don't know what to do about it. The back and forth. I don't want to betray you. To have that bowl of cereal would mean it's no longer special to just you. I will have turned it into just any other cereal. Am I crazy to be making such a big deal out of a bowl of cereal? It's just there's not much on this earth that is yours, that is special just to you. I love you right up to the moon and back my sweet boy! xoxox.

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