Only totally lost it once last week, for which I'm giving myself a small gold star. I would have found out the gender last Thursday, as I had scheduled the ultrasound for the last advisable week to find out whether it was a boy or girl so that family from out of town would be with me. So that was on my mind when I was scanning through my calendar and saw "May 1st: Autopsy results." And suddenly I'm just bawling mid-sentence into scheduling a mundane event with someone. (They were kind, if a bit confused.)
Grieving has been an interesting process, witnessing how the psyche separates the pain of loss from the memory of the one lost. Seems to try again and again to get it just right, balancing back and forth from too much and too little of each: the odd and necessary pairing of pain and memory. Whenever my mind seems to create a thin layer of ice by getting harder and colder to protect itself from the grief, my heart discovers this deception, smashing the ice through some trigger to preserve the memory, but a little less painfully every time...
Another noticeable aspect of the process is that there are no rules to refer to. Like when do I take the sympathy cards off the mantle? They're pretty and they're like hugs on paper so.... Also weird: I-Phone. Do you know when you try to delete the "My Pregnancy" app it asks: "Do you want to delete My Pregnancy?" And you are supposed to click yes or cancel. Yeah right. That app can just gestate a bit longer. Whatever.
And there are my odd tiny joys. Like finding the baby cow. At least all is right in the bovine world of our toy box. Moo hoo!
Another weird thing: anniversaries. Heard about that trigger but never experienced it before. With only noting a calendar briefly beforehand, I cried myself to sleep last night and was crying before I woke this morning. And after a couple weeks of pretty close to normal, today hurts like crazy.
It's been exactly a month. Yesterday was the day I found out: The 21st is the date of death on her remembrance card with the passive looking pastel angel-child and the nearly incomprehensible prayer. The funeral home was kind enough to make them, though I didn't get to choose the pictures nor the prayer, both of which I find on the line between disturbing and humorous, highly desirable qualities of remembrance cards. Dost thou observe them forthwith? And "without any desert o of other"? Say what? Ah, I want to edit... ack. :)
Well the bird one isn't truly terrible. :)
So I had the D&C March 22nd. At the time in the morning I'm writing this, my parents would not have made it over yet... I remember how their unusual arrival started the day, turning it from totally normal to something strange and then nightmarish. That incomparably horrible day that seems like a century ago, and yet only yesterday. It is the hardest day for me to think about, so I don't if I can help it. Because even though she had died some days before then, today was the day I really lost her.
I plan to go to her grave today. I'll admit I don't go often. Not that I don't want to; I certainly care, and will feel more complete somehow when I get that headstone. Unfortunately, it's not on the way to anywhere we usually go. St Ann's Cemetery is in my hometown, its entrance guarded by not one but two beautiful churches of mother and daughter: St. Mary and St. Anne. Funny how a section of the state I never particularly cared for or paid attention to has become such a beloved little spot on this planet. So while I've wanted to visit more, business and forgetfulness and distraction have interfered. Moreover, it just doesn't seem like she's "there." She's an angel beside me and a presence in my heart. Smiling over her sisters while abiding with Our Lord. I blow kisses in the direction of her grave sometimes as I have to turn home again without stopping by... But then I blow kisses up to the sky too, and sometimes cry because the sky is so big and she was so small.
There seem to be no rules on how often to visit graves or instructions on how to spend these little "anniversaries." So I spent yesterday on a family outing, our two angels surely in tow somehow, and thought of her among the daffodils, and remembered her as I looked at the sea.
I love you baby girl, and I really don't know how to deal with not meeting you this summer, taking you home to your adoring big sisters to hold you, and maybe then have you spend time in the new white crib we just bought weeks ago. I don't know how to go on without you, my youngest and smallest one. And yet I am.
"Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
I can see that verse in this photo: Can you look at this and deny there's a kite? :)