I was about to write about how I am feeling the wave come again. But I got here, saw that your Tio had written a comment and I reread the post to put what he wrote back into context. I forget what I write. I forget what I feel. I still have short-term memory loss. I still put one front of each other and get through my days, missing details and forgetting memorable, even enjoyable, events. So , I came here to talk about the wave that has hit but I already wrote that it hit. I wrote in March that the wave was coming and now . . . well, now, it’s here. Or it’s back. Or it’s getting harder to ride. Or it’s building up speed, and height and depth, as waves do.
I feel like I’m back at the beginning, newly bereaved, but without the benefit of shock and with the detriment of time, which brings the illusion that I should be “better” or “further along”, which brings a curious sense of regression, which has brought those around me more solace than me, that has left others tired of my grieving, ready for me to move on get back to normal or be happy or look on the bright side. I remembered last night how I used to long for that first week after you died. That week when the world’s grief was equal to mine. When people flew in from all over the country, when flowers were sent, funds to provide food for us were raised by friends and strangers alike, when no one need ask if I was okay or what was wrong because they knew and they felt it too, acutely.
I feel like I’m back at the beginning with the purity of the loss alive again, less confounded by conversations and circumstances and analysis. While, at the same time, confounded by conversations and circumstances and analysis. But there is a sweetness to this revived pain, to the sobbing, to the seeping. There is a sweetness to just the plain old “I want my baby back”, “why did this happen to me”, “maybe I’ll wake up soon” grief. I have more and more moments these days where I just purely miss you, which is the only word I can think of, “miss”, and which carries exactly none of the weight that this impossible heaviness deserves. There is a sweetness because this place, which has gotten stuffed down deep, which actual has gotten better in that, in the past few months, it has ceased rendering me nearly non-functional at worst and exhausted at best, this place: it is you and me. It is how I knew you the best after you born and after you died. We lived there together for awhile, I could feel you there, before there was dancing light and ladybugs and any scrap of meaning, there was pure, unadultuated grief. As it changed, as the early days/weeks/months of grief began to change, it was the first time I mourned my mourning process. How would I know you as my grief stopped being acute? If I changed, you too would have to change, but how could you? How are the dead able to change? You do. And I do. So, we do. You grow in my experience and my grief grows with you. It’s not the little ones anymore, it’s the almost walking, it’s the wobbly standers, it’s the starting-to-look-more- like-a-toddler-than-a-baby. In the best of these worst moments, I try to soak up that sweetness. It’s the worst consolation prize ever.
But there is all this convolusion now, as time has passed. Now there is the management of well meaning comments. There is the sense of isolation, even when among friends. There is the loss of the shock, the slow realization over the past nearly twelve months, that you are gone, that you are not coming back, that even if we could have another baby, I would just be grieving while having another baby. That this is not going away. My life has stretched out before me as an endless path of everyday without you. There is the nearly continual existential crisis: everything is so meaningful and important and yet absolutely not at all. It’s maddening. And truly, it’s only the beginning. It’s getting used to this “new normal”. It’s mourning that I will never be again who I was, who I am now, and who I will become. It’s that your absence touches everything that I see and do because I am free to see and do things that I never would be able to if you were here to care for and because everything I see and do is changed by your absence. It’s learning to live in the duality, in the gray area, in the place most people fear to the marrow. I hate this life now. I hate that life just goes on. That I get better or don’t or have such heightened awareness and such deep confusion. I hate that people talk to me about what I now call their “not problems” and when they don’t because my problems are so much bigger than theirs, I hate that too.
So here I am on the one year wave. Your family will start arriving. I’ll cry everyday from now until I don’t anymore. My friend said in group, as she came upon the second anniversary of losing her son, that at least she knew what to expect this year. At least, she knew that the weeks and days leading up will bring the grief in overwhelming waves. That her thinking would again become foggy, that she would end her days exhausted, that the dazed, half present, just get through the day lifestyle would return. That it would pique and the old but familiar grappling would resurge. That all of it would last a little while after and taper off as the wave let her down and by summer, she’d return to normal. Well, to the new, unfamilar, never quite comfortable like an ill fitting dress, normal.
Look at that. Look at all of that. All of those words, all of that thought, all of that shit just to say: This sucks. I miss you with a purity only matched by my love. You are both sides of the coin. You are my everything.
I’m back to this, back to the magical thinking, so I’ll tell you, I’ll implore you: if you ever want to come back, I’ll be here waiting.
I love you, son.