Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Remembering Whether You Like It Or Not

I am now officially the worst blog poster in all the land. Or, maybe just the laziest. Or something. Time just slips away and there I am at the end of the day, a blog post fully composed in my head and completely trapped, unable to get HERE.

This past weekend was the Remembrance Day; its official title escapes me but you know the day of which I write. We lit our candle. We thought about all the babies so  many of us are missing. I posted some words on the Livre du Visage, and well, if just felt a little hollow. My friend Sally wrote about this a bit, and I'd been mulling it over in the meantime, too. I have a lot of friends who are truly excellent babyloss friends. They remember Calla and are not afraid to talk about her, to ask me how I'm doing, to let me know they're thinking of her. That's not to say friends who don't ask or talk about it are NOT excellent--you know what I mean, right?

**OK, clearly my writing skills are diminishing. Twice I've asked you if you know what I mean without actually writing what I mean. Again, worst poster in the land.**

So when I was posting these little snippets, 140 characters or less of babyloss wisdom and wishes, it felt a bit like, oh I don't know, I was RAMMING it down everyone's throat. HEY WORLD! Look at me! I'm STILL SAD! And HERE'S WHY! And by Saturday night when I was lamenting blowing out her little candle . . . it felt like I'd pushed the limit a bit too far.

But hey! Everyone else gets to write about their kids there, why can't I, right?! I mean, just because my only daughter is DEAD doesn't mean she doesn't matter. I have to read about everyone else's kids' soccer games and first words and first days of school; the least I can get (and I do mean the least) is one day to remember that my child was alive once, and mattered and was loved. Is loved. Does matter.

I don't want a stupid candle or balloons or ribbons or anything else but her. My challenge is to not call the candles stupid out loud, to not roll my eyes and feel like I'm being thrown a bone by one lousy day. Because it's a beautiful thing. It's a day for parents like me, us, to make something collectively wonderful out of the collective awfulness. It is, apparently, too much to ask that she could have lived.

If my tone seems a little brutal, it's only because I am so missing that girl these days. You know, the whole stages of grief thing. It's funny, you don't experience those stages in a linear way--it should be called the Mobius strip of grief. Just when you think you might have found a way out, you're right back where you started--angry, sad, confused, or maybe still in denial.

And I'm not just pissed off for myself. Mt pissed-offedness extends to all the babyloss parents who are right here with me. It sucks and isn't fair and I don't give a SHIT that life's not fair, it's still not fair.


  1. I hear ya lady! It is how I was feeling about the memorial I went to...I think I referred to it as cheap and cheesy and I know that sounds rude and ungrateful. The "one" day we publicly remember...I do appreciate it but well it's just not my daughter and anything but her feels less than and unacceptable.
    As far as Livre du Visage goes...I hadn't posted since I "came out" about Camille's death. I posted several different things. I appreciated the response I got. I wonder if I will continue to get people remembering with me as time goes on...the other thing is, the response was prompted by my post. Do people feel obligated to respond because I don't get candles or special notes on other days....humph. I am in a weird numb space right now about my daughter's death. Reading your words about how it all comes back around. The grief comes back in full force. I keep thinking to myself that I am just waiting for the ball to drop on that one. Just waiting....cuz I know it's coming.
    People post all kinds about their kids on their wall. I know, I did it too. I wish I didn't feel like it should be any different for Camille. Thoughts and feelings out their for people to read. BUT here is the thing. FB does not feel like a safe or supportive place to me. Even with the kindness I have received. It is super fake land where happiness, rainbows and unicorns abound. People are either super jovial or pissed off. Very rarely is there ever truly sadness expressed. I guess for me I just feel tentative about putting my REAL feelings out there because people don't "Get It" and the people in blog land do. That being said, I am still negotiating how I talk and deal with my daughter's death in real life, let alone in computer land. My big thing about FB is I am jealous and pissed that everyone is living the charmed life and for NO PARTICULAR REASON~ I am the one who's child died. It doesn't make sense. I don't deal well with "it doesn't make sense." Anyway I could write a blog and the only thing written would say "you know what I mean" and I bet I would get about 10 comments saying "yep I do" because you know what Mary Beth, we do know what you mean. I am so glad you post when you do. You are like a little light in the dark to me. I wish you didn't live on the other side of the world (NY).As far as ramming Calla's death down people's throats~ it was rammed down yours. You certainly didn't swallow it easily. So post it if you want, and FUCK those stupid assholes that feel rammed upon haha...That doesn't even make sense but I think "you know what I mean." Sending you a giant hug.

  2. "I don't want a stupid candle or balloons or ribbons or anything else but her. My challenge is to not call the candles stupid out loud, to not roll my eyes and feel like I'm being thrown a bone by one lousy day." Yup, yup, yup.

    Last year I told everyone what October 15th was and this year I didn't say a word. It is good to have an official day of acknowledgement but in the end it is our day, not a day for people who have never lost a child.

  3. Oh ick. I just hate that stupid Livre. I feel stupid for mentioning her, I feel stupid AND self loathing for not mentioning her. As if G would care about being mentioned in such a stupid context. As Renel says, it isn't a place for real feelings.

    I think that the difference is that we KNOW you don't want the candles and that the candles are stupid and not really the point. It is what they stand for that is important. It is her, your Calla, and your love for her and that you want her back so, so much.

    And yes, sometimes it just chews you and up spits you out and you think to yourself, "geesh this part of Grief looks darn familiar, wasn't I just here?" Sigh. It isn't fair.

  4. "Everyone else gets to write about their kids there, why can't I, right?!"

    YES. RIGHT. THIS IS HOW WE PARENT OUR DEAD CHILDREN. There are no cute videos or little gems of sentences or taking them to school or playing blocks. So how the hell else are we supposed to parent these dead ones?

    I go to preschool for Stella.
    I go to support group for Margot.

    I take pictures of Stella.
    I write about Margot.

    Parenting the dead is a tricky business. The folks out there are just going to have to deal with it, whether it's every damn day or once a year or whatever.

    Love to you, and to Calla this afternoon.



  5. I couldn't even bring myself to mention the remembrance day on the FB. I think I reposted the link for our local MISS Foundation walk for people who may be in this club but not mentioning it publicly.

    After 4 years I think I've arrived at a somewhat static position on this issue. I mention R publicly every so often just in case there's a connection to be made but, I'm officially out of the stage of giving a crap what other people think about her or my relationship with her. It was not an easy transition. It wasn't easy to let go of my last shred of hope that the non-babylost people in my life would be able to understand or that they would even attempt to respond to the things I said about her on FB and other places.

    Regarding remembrance events, I attended my first one last weekend. That's right. It took me four years. I didn't really think about R at all during the walk I attended. It was more about this community and making this particular struggle more visible.

    I'm pissed off about this shit sandwich of parenthood that we've all been handed but, if I have to eat it, I'd rather not do it alone. And I don't want anyone else to do it alone either.

    Best to you and your family.

  6. Think it goes without saying, but yes. Yes. And oh yes.

  7. Oh, the anger. And the stages of grief. I really do honestly and totally get that. Especially the denial bit. Or maybe the bit where I think I'm progressing but then WHAM! Back where I started. It's bloody exhausting. It's absolutely shitty. And it's all so fucking unfair. I want him too. I don't want to be lighthing sky lanterns and making a cake for a dead baby in 8 weeks time. I just want him. And I want Calla here for you. And EVERYONE'S babies back with their Mama's and their Papa's, right where they should be. Thankyou for the angry post. It's right where I am and I needed to read this tonight. xo

  8. Sometimes I try not to think.

    I have been to more than one event that is lovely and supportive and makes me feel part of a community, that is about or somehow honors my baby, but when I actually think—and remember—why I'm really doing it it feels so small and useless. So sometimes I try not to think.