When Calla died, like right after she died, it felt like my life had a reboot. Suddenly, tasks that were rote, routine, were complicated and foreign. C started making the coffee in the morning for me, despite him not being a coffee drinker. I often would forget which way to go when driving. I, for a little while, forgot how to cook and, more alarmingly, how to eat.
My entire life was shadowed by a thick fog of grief. I felt as though I was wandering blindly through it. In those early days, we got a new computer and had the house set up for Wi-Fi. C also treated himself to some wacky video game that required the player to slay these awful, screeching things. After E would go to bed we'd sit, in our television room, and exist through technology. C would play his game and I would dive into the blogs. There was one particular blog I found, and whenever I check it these days I can almost hear that screeching, shrieking sound from the game--so linked are the two in my sensory memory. The background color seems to just elicit those screams. E now has a little game for the wi.i that has a similar sound. We don't allow him to play it all that often.
And then, well, when I found myself pregnant again so soon after she died, the blogging life kept me alive. Reading about healthy subsequent babies, and the emotions attached to all that baggage, was a stronger jolt than my morning, C-made coffee. I maniacally checked my reader, often several times an hour, looking for some glimmer of hope.
When O was born, alive and kicking as he was, again my life took this crazy turn. And suddenly I had run out of time to write. Despite all this grief and sadness that still existed, exists still. Except now no one wants to hear about it. Well, that's not true. People do talk about Calla and ask me how I'm doing and most people acknowledge that things are hard sometimes. And listen honestly and unflinchingly when, on the rare occasion, I choose to open up about it. But life, now, is more complicated. I've relearned how to drive and eat and cook, but I am still, dammit, stymied by how to fit my dead daughter into my life.
If I talk about her too much--which, frankly, I rarely do, it's just too hard for me--I feel like the wailing banshee parading her dead daughter's body through the streets. If I don't talk about her often, I feel like a neglectful mother. And like I'm putting myself out there as completely FINE! I'M FINE! Can't you tell I'M JUST FINE?!
I am in a place that I, two years ago, never believed I'd be in again. I function mostly like a normal human being. This past weekend I went away with my friends for a crazy-insane-whirlwind-beyond fun weekend--without C or the boys. What? Who does that? And! I'm doing it again in a few months with another group of friends!
But then it turns, in my head, to this:
So, what you're saying here is you, lady, have not one but TWO healthy boys, a loving, caring husband, a roof over your head, you can stay home with your kids, and have not one but TWO groups of good friends who can just pick up and go away for a weekend of fun? AND! Also you manage to have people stay with your children when you want to say, go for a run or yoga class? Who, exactly, do you think you are? And by what right do you think you have to be SAD?! Like, ever?!
But see, that's just it. All these wonderful things in my life mutually coexist with this crushing sadness. All it takes is a stray noise, a click in my Reader, a picture, a memory and I'm back there, more than two years back. And I keep coming back, now to just one word: HOW?