This time I know what’s happening; unlike the past 4 times, I can see it and recognize it for what it is. But it doesn’t make it any easier to navigate through.
I just got off the phone with the local car wash; making an appointment to detail my car. This morning I went through my refrigerator throwing out things that I don’t want in there anymore. Last night I layed in bed and stared at my curtains deciding that I need to change them, to what I don’t know; ANY other color, design, texture than they are right now. I’m tearing apart my house room by room deciding what I can change, how I can make it look better, smell better, feel better. And that’s it…. I remember now: I want to feel better. In between doing all these things around my home and car, I go and sit in the cemetery staring at the stone that holds my daughters picture. I don’t even cry while I sit there, I just stare and think about nothing, but her. Sometimes about her last days, sometimes about what it felt like to hold her, sometimes scrutinizing things I wish I had done to allow me a few more days or hours with her. But it all ends the same: me getting in my empty car and driving away without her.
It’s not even July yet, and these feelings of anguish have already gotten ahold of me, nestled under my skin and made me itch to climb out of it. How do you describe grief to someone who has not yet felt it? You can’t. And to those who have felt it? I don’t even need words. Just a look into my eyes and they probably can put their finger directly on the place where it hurts the most.
Last night I was on facebook looking at the pictures another momma with a broken heart posted of her precious daughter as she prepared to say goodbye to her. When I looked at the picture I know I was supposed to be looking at the face of the beautiful young girl lying in the hospital bed, but instead my eyes were drawn to the face that was drawing in every possible second she had left with her child. I stared at her and I felt her pain. I remembered every feeling that I had swirling around my heart as I sat in the same position soaking in my own child. There is no way to describe it– and yet, here I sit trying to use words where they will always be empty, needlessly trying to make sense of something that will always be my exhausting companion.
Her face; Rebecca’s face, holds the expression to what words cannot explain—the feelings that a grieving mom carry’s on the day her child left her, and which will return with the same vengeance at the approach of every anniversary and milestone. Each passing day that I move closer to that date in July brings me a step further away from Naomi as I wish she was. Here.
And so I flail about in this sea of sadness; trying to grab onto anything that will give me a moment of relief. The distraction of redecorating, the superficial thrill of a shiny new bauble that I say I will buy in her memory, cleaning out the dust in my house which remind me how cluttered and discombobulated my life feels with one of my children missing from it.
And when I need to stop fighting it, I’ll take a break. I will get into my newly cleaned car and once again drive to the place where I can sit and fight no longer. I’ll water the flowers, and pick the occasional weed from her garden—I’ll brush the pollen off her stone and clean the glass that covers her sweet little face and then, at last, I’ll just be still with my memories.
And Tomorrow? Well, tomorrow I’ll start fresh.