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....