Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2 years

Two years ago we laid you to rest. It was the day of your funeral. Your Birthday came, I was sad, but not nearly as sad as I am this day. This week. Seems the further away your birthday gets this year the sadder I feel. Maybe because I also feel a little guilty that I didn't do more or grieve better this year.Maybe I'm feeling this way because the more able I am to move through life without you the further away you become. Sometimes it feels like a lifetime since I saw you, felt you. Felt your realness.Am I in this funk because I've learned how to not be so consumed with your death? Do I feel bad about that? I think so. I think I should feel worse. I'm stuck between two worlds.
I was just thinking about the days between death and burial. I remembered wondering how the funeral home could allow us wait 15 days to bury you. I was afraid of how you might look. I asked the director if  it was out of the question to open the casket, imagining you'd be too 'decomposed' to look at. I will never forget how gently she said to me
We can do things with babies that we can't with adults. She's so small that we are able to submerge her. She looks like she did when she came in, except for a small spot above her lip that is a little discolored from the fluid. She really looks good.
At the time she said it I was relieved. It was said with such professionalism and respect that I didn't go to a dark place. I wanted to hold her again. I wanted people to look at her, especially those who didn't come to the hospital.
Today though, a different thought grabbed me by the ankles and rendered me immovable for a bit.
Imagine that.
My baby floating in fluid preserving her dead body.
My baby.
Lifelessly floating.
Like a science project.
Like a museum body part.
Did they just drop her in a jar like a fish. Like a fish I once brought home from a pet store?
How fucked up is it that part of my thinking not only involves my dead daughter, but that she was submerged in fluid to preserve her body!?
I hate you Satan, you're an asshole!! No. Worse- you're a... well, just..pfft.

I have images that sometimes pop in my head that take me back to those days. For a long time I thought I had said everything there is to say here. About Audrey. Maybe about how her dying made me feel, but I realized with this thought that there really are a lot of facts I didn't talk about. A lot of other events surrounding that I haven't shared. Many many dark, haunting thoughts that I sit alone with. Thoughts that people are just better off not knowing. It's bad enough I and many other baby loss parents have experienced such darkness. Sometimes I wish I could paint them, then maybe they'd leave me alone.Who would want to look at them though?
Sorry to be so grim. I had to get this out. Out of me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Right Where I am: 1year 11months 3weeks

 I'm late hoping on this project, but better late than never right?

So, Audrey's birth and death days are approaching. As expected, the sorrow creeps in. I've become very good at compartmentalizing the grief. It no longer swallows me up for hours or days at a time. It comes in moments. Like when I hear a song in the car, I completely lose it for 5 minutes then I pull it together and walk in to meet friends with a smile on my face. And that smile is genuine, not forced. Seems strange that I can just wrap it up like that now. It comes when I look at my rainbow in awe of all that she is becoming, then I think of who Audrey might be if she were here. Those are the moments that happen most, just being a mom to her little sister. Sometimes I imagine them together, Audrey with her dark brown hair and Naomi with her red, playing together in the room they would have shared, that is currently ours. How we would move into the smaller room and give the girls ours. How we would arrange the beds, the toys ect. For months I said all this to myself as if it is how it will be if we have another living girl. One day I realized it's really because I'm trying to fit Audrey into our house. I feel crazy sometimes.

She is not here.

I also feel less self-conscious. I remember in those first days I felt like everyone knew there was something wrong with me, like I was the only women in the world who failed in the worst way. And if they didn't know part of me didn't want them to find out because I can't stand pity. I just wanted to be 'normal' again. Another part of me was desperate to tell them why I was so effed up.

I still can't think straight though. I know that comes with being a mom, but it's certainly hard not to be all over the place when someone says something unassuming like " Is this your first?" or "Is she your only child?" and my thoughts fly to the sky. Then, I lose my keys, forget to call someone back, can't remember where I am supposed to go next- that's right, to the store. Oh, I forgot my grocery list, all because someone interrupted my day with a simple question. Now, I may not be crying about it but my brain just flips a switch and I get lost sometimes (mentally). I no longer sit with the grief, I'm busy with it- maybe that's worse cause I do some really stupid stuff and say some really stupid things.

I'm so different now. It's hard to find words.
The pain has subsided.
I've healed.
I've learned.
I love better.
I can't write though- as you can tell. I've disappeared. I don't do happy writing. Pain inspires the writer in me. I just don't need this space like I used to. That makes me a little sad because I don't want to let go of it  either. I've been torn about it for months.There are days though that I wish I felt as comfortable as I once did in expressing myself here. I think in terms of the blog post, but can't make it happen when I sit down at the computer.Angie has stated it perfectly:"I have read about this happening to other people. I remember from my early days reading about it with people years out. When their real life peeps into their online diary, and then have things held against them. They went private or password protected or went anonymous with a new blog name. I don't know how to deal with it, because I never thought I would care or not be able to just ask someone if they were reading my blog. I don't want to ask now and draw attention to my blog, and on the other hand, it feels like a violation if someone is reading about my emotions on a day to day basis. And that is just it. In the beginning, I didn't care if people read because I knew that grief was trumping everything. Now that people expect me to be normal again, I can't quite figure out why I ever thought telling anyone about my blog was like a good idea. And yet, I have come to rely on this space. So, that is the awkward grief place I am at now. I don't mind if people in my day to day life comment, or let me know they are reading, it is the awkward place of me not knowing what everyone knows. If they read here, they know way more about me and my weird hiccups in life than I know about theirs. It feel unsafe sometimes. It makes it sound like I dwell in grief, but this is the place I process that part of my life. And it is so important, I can't give it up. Blogging is strange, because the temporary feelings become permanent, and little dalliances with the annoying take on the gravitas of epic angers. Nothing is ever permanent with emotions. Nothing, except people can pull up a specific blog post and say, "But you feel like this."

Plus, I've been up to my neck in the everyday. Sometimes it's the keeping busy that keeps the grief at bay. This last week I've laid awake many nights, it's in the silence that I find what's really in my heart, the longing for my two daughters. 15 months apart.

She's a little piece of heaven that came to call. I am full of joy when I think of the day our whole family can be together. That was much harder to do when the grief was new.