June 27, 2011

Today turns into tomorrow

Today she has been gone 7 months and 15 days.. her age when she left this world. Tomorrow she will have been gone 7 months and 16 days... Gone longer then she was alive.

In the past couple weeks I have been moody, anxious, emotional, and just all over the place. J receiving the wondrous benefits of all the leftover emotions.

I'm not sure exactly what to think. This moment has been haunting my memories probably since her birthday. Next to watching her breathe for the last time, planning her funeral, seeing her in a casket and laying her to rest... this day I have dreaded most. Even more so then the one year angel-versary. Mostly I think because by the time that big one year comes around I would have lived through and 'survived' the most heart breaking and gut wrenching milestones without her. And now we come to a point that she will have been dead longer then alive.

It's today that I try to hang on to the notion that she lived. That she was alive. That she continues to live in my heart and in my memories. It's tomorrow that I try not to dwell on the fact that now we are making new memories. More memories without her then with her. It's a realization of the reality of this life without her. Family vacations we had planned, birthday parties to organize, first days of school and brown bag lunches, PTA meetings, teenage rebellion, the birds and the bees talk... all ripped from my fingertips. I barely got to get a hold of any of it. I got a tease.. a small taste.

How I wish so deeply she was here. And how I wish so whole heartedly that time would stop. That the Earth would stop revolving, that the season would cease to change. Change means time is passing.. passing without her. I still can't seem to wrap my brain around the rest of my life without knowing her. Without loving her the way I want to.

Everywhere I look I see her. Each day I am asked about her. Each time someone new learns of my ill fated destiny as a forever heart broken empty armed mama. Life always made so much sense.. I always knew what I wanted. And I had it all. Until November 12th.

7 months and 15 days. Seems so long in a linear perspective.. but when I think of the memories and the moments created in those 7 months and 15 days they hardly seem enough.

Although I have laid her death day to rest.. I cannot lay her to rest. I don't ever want to let go and I want the world to continue to remember who she is. Yet, I feel as I remind them, I am burdening them. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my feelings around my neck. Always watching what I say.. taking it all with a grain of salt. I hate the look and the awkwardness.. the uncomfortableness and the sympathetic 'I'm so sorry' Although most I know completely and whole heartedly mean it.. when you hear it every day for 7 months and 15 days.. it seems to lose its light, its meaning, its worth. I can almost guarantee what they will say next.

I must make a confession. One day about a month ago... I denied her. At least that's how I felt. I went to the donut shop across the street from my job to get a bite to eat. The owner (a very friendly man.. who has come to know me as a regular now) asked me where we were from.. were we military... and the ill-fated question.. do you have any children. I said no. And carried on the conversation. Many of you may gasp, may look at me differently, may think how could I? In that moment.. I didn't want that look, that awkwardness, that empty apology and pity. I thought, maybe this is easier? As I left the shop I felt broken. I felt like I betrayed my daughter's memory. All to save myself the monotonous rig-a-mo-roll of the same conversation I've had way too many times. I sat outside my building feeling like I was crumbling into nothing. I was ashamed and still am. I apologized to her continuously as I sat alone on that concrete slab. Wishing I could take it back. Much as I wish I could take back her death. But if there is one thing I have learned there are no backsies in this life. You are given what you are given and you either take it like a champ or you take it and turn from it. Either way.. it's still going to be there when you turn back.

I didn't go into that shop for a couple weeks.. Finally I mustered up the courage to go back. He remembered me but didn't remember that conversation. He proceded to ask me the same questions. This time I said yes I have a daughter. How old is she? She was 7.5 months when she passed away. [Insert all the awkward looks and sorry's here] I left.. still feeling broken, still shattered still heart broken. Still guilty.  Almost as if I could make up for what I did. Somehow trying to make a wrong I did a right. I found myself again sitting atop the concrete slab. Still questioning myself. Wondering what kind of person am I becoming?

I'm still trying to figure it all out. What I did find after my conundrum is that regardless if I tell or I don't tell.. It still hurts it still sucks and those people will still continue on with their lives. I will either be the girl with no kids or the poor girl with the dead daughter. But ME, I will still hurt. So where do I draw the line? It hasn't gotten any easier to say that my daughter is dead. I don't think it ever will. But today.. today I met a patient at work who lost his 10 year old daughter to bone cancer. She would have been 40 last week. We shared a moment. I didn't have to get the hollow sorry or the wondering eyes. We sat there for a moment quietly and held hands as we both said a silent prayer. From that moment I knew, I would never deny her for who she was ever again. The moments of awkwardness and the many unnerving looks are worth it for those moments. Where you seem to connect with another human being in a completely different arena.

And so I am left with my thoughts and my wondering. I'm not really sure where I was going with this post and realize it is completely all over the place. But I just had to write something. I had too much on my heart that I needed to detox from. Perhaps there are others that have experienced my situation and yet are scared to admit it for fear of being ostrasized. That's the thing about grief though.. it's unpredictable.



Today I miss her, tomorrow I miss her. Everyday I miss her....

16 blessings, thoughts. &. feelings:

LauraJane said...

Such a beautiful girl. I hate that you're facing yet another anniversary without her. Or that these anniversaries exist at all.

I hope tomorrow is gentle to you.

Kelly said...

No matter what you say or do, Savanna loves you and will always be proud of you. She knows your fears and will understand. When the sun shines, just think of her smiling down upon the world, warming all of our hearts.

Tiffany said...

I have many tears for you, for us, tonight after reading this. I have only said once, that I had one child. I will forever feel the guilt of the instant. It was a moment in which I didn't want those looks either. That awkward turn of conversation. But the way I felt afterward was worse than any uncomfortable silence.
You will be in my thoughts all day tomorrow. I dread this day too. In fact, it literally makes me sick to my stomach to think about. I'm so sorry.

Malory said...

My heart hurts for you, my eyes filled with tears...

Once, just once I "denied" my daughter. I felt awful. Gut wrenching awful. I have never done it since. I think this grief is trail and error. For a split second I also did not want the pity look, the awkwardness. It wasn't worth it. I still hate thinking about it.

I am so sorry you have to live without your babygirl. xoxoxx

crystal said...

Tabatha,
I am so sorry. I have been in your shoes where when people ask me how many kids I have, I tell them two but when truly I am a mom to three. Two on Earth and an Angel in Heaven. Thank you for opening my eyes to that. Praying for you!!!

alissia said...

tabby i couldnt imagine life without my little girl now that i have her...reading ur blog i was in tears the whole time...im so beyhond srry...i jus cant believe it, i feel for u once again and always.its so unfair sometimes and we will never know why these kind of things happen..but i still hope for ur strength and your husband to move on with your lives..

My New Normal said...

I don't think you denied her at all. Sometimes the reality of the situation is just to much to deal with. She is always with you, no matter if you tell people about her or not.

Karen said...

Praying for you this morning.

Brooke Slusser said...

Seriously I have experimented with words too. Sometimes it IS just easier to say nothing. But like you, I almost felt guilty, and the awkwardness and looks, and just saying it out in the open to other people, just makes it more real. I know that it is real, but saying it in public, for other people to mourn, JUST for that ONE second, is like a ton of bricks. I am in the process of letting go of Max's death. I just can't seem to stop the questions. and the dreams are killing me. Last night I had a dream that he was fine, he had surgery and he was smiling and playing and everything was perfect, then while still in my dream, I realized it was just a dream and that I was going to wake up! I really just wanted to die. I know what you mean but not wanting more time to pass, I am barely surviving but I just don't even want to do anything without Max. We had so many plans. My life seems ruined.

marisa said...

I recently started following your blog and felt that it was time for me to write a comment. My daughter Isabella passed away at 18months old on March 10 of this year. I am so sorry for your loss. Your daughter is beutiful and her eyes glitter like the stars. I am thinking of you and your family and I pray for you to have the strength to get through the days.

Marisa

Natasha said...

You brought me to tears with this post on so many levels of feeling so much pain for you and also sadly being able to relate to everything you said. The words to use when speaking to someone about losing a child are never easy and the reaction is one that can not be predicted. I now choose to talk about my daughter Grace to people I feel comfortable with and those that I don't I make sure I acknowledge her within and even if I have not said it outloud, I have thought of her and remembered. Thinking of you especially at this time.

Rebecca said...

Tabatha,

I am thinking of you and Savanna especially today. Not a day goes by that I do not think of you both.

Much love,
Rebecca

Christie said...

She Lived....and continues to live on through your words and in the hearts of everyone who hears about her life. You are an amazing mom to Savanna and she is so proud of you. Just keep doing the best you can do, and no one should expect any more or less. Thinking of you...

ASHLEY ELDER said...

She is so beautiful, I remember that being a hard day for me as well...gone longer than alive...thinking of you today ((Hugs))

Carrie said...

My younger sister left this world 34 years ago and for most of my life I never told anyone the correct number of siblings. There were five of us but it was always easier for me to just say four. I too hated the empty I am sorries and blank uncomfortable stares. Recently I made amends with my sister, asking her to forgive me. I never intended to deny her, it was selfishly easier on me. I don't think our angels begrudge us, they love us and need for us to be happy. Although your heart will always hurt until the day you reunite, you will find a new type of happiness simply because she would want you to. God bless you and your sweet Savanna.

Teodor Constantinescu said...

I believe you don't owe nobody any info about your past as long as they're not willing to sincerely befriend you. If somebody shows you they really care then you probably should. But as long as they ask only for the sake of a pointless conversation, you better omit it. It's 'counterproductive', emotionally speaking, to carry on deep conversations with people that don't really care...
I pray that God will give you (even more) peace and joy and that someday you will get to see Savanna again! :)
Please continue to count on God, He does have a purpose for everything you're going through...

In Him,
~Teodor C.
Bucharest, Romania