Saturday, October 23, 2010

I need to post Josie's sunrise pictures...

...oh, it was the most beautiful sunrise last Sunday, on the 10th.  So many people got up for Josie's sunrise and I have been inundated with stunning photos that I must make into a beautiful photo montage.  Absolutely stunning. Here I sit, wondering how it is that so many people are willing - even enthusiastic - to get up before dawn to remember my little girl. It's never-endingly touching and you can be sure that as I watch the sun rise myself, I am thinking of every little baby who didn't make it, whether that be before or after birth. Thank you, thank you for remembering.

There are beautiful things in the world to see. Beautiful little eyes that would have loved it if they would have been able to see little grasshoppers on the ends of grasses, birds in the jumping out of the water at sunset. The legacy left after child loss, to the parents of the children, is a ropey one at best. Problem is, not only does grief happen, but the grief can tear through the family unit and lead to some behaviours that often destroy the family as it was before the tragedy struck. Long-buried alcoholism rises to the surface; living children suffer; mothers cry themselves to sleep over the new tragedies that befall her family after the initial loss.

It's very, very hard, being left behind. There are moments of utter desolation even years later. The little people lost were very important, and their importance only grows. Which has led me to come to the following conclusion:

Life is fragile. Life is precious. The fact that we can all get up on any given morning and look outside is a bloody miracle. We're run by basically one muscle - our hearts - and if that should ever spontaneously stop, we are completely done for. So we should seize the day...every day... Don't give yourself the leeway to not try to see beautiful things. That would be a waste, when there's so much beauty to see which would otherwise go undetected, caught on a breeze...fluttering over the horizon unseen...

It's funny. I woke up when Josie died - which effectively means living on the edge of your seat almost all the time. Emotions become acutely felt in both extremes. Actually, I feel everything more - the cold; the heat; the wind... The elements blow through me as though I am made out of material... Really, I think it's only because my outer layers have all been ripped off. The joys of life are all revealed - along with the sadnesses and the dreadful atrocities and the lonelinesses...

It's been like drinking from the cup of ultimate knowledge and then standing alone, realizing that the power people think it bestows is quite different than what they might expect.

So, please forgive me if you find me suddenly bursting into tears at 2am for no apparent reason; sleeping with a light on; not being comfortable in complete silence sometimes; needing to change the scenery simply because I need new visual input to break up the occasional flashbacks... Life is beautiful...and it can all come to an end in a second. This realization is brought to the fore in incidents like last night, when I dreamt that Bella had stopped breathing and then woken in a fright, to find her so fast asleep that I freaked out, picked her up and actually jostled her awake because for far too long a moment, her stillness meant death.

Sometimes I barely sleep at all. I long for the days of peaceful slumber... Maybe they will return at some poiunt. For the moment, it is only important that Bella achieves them. In that vein, let me share with you a recent picture of my little love...

Please, don't be concerned about me - I'm perfectly alright and totally normal given everything that has happened. There are always going to be aspects of losing Josie that will haunt me - as there are aspects of any child's death that will haunt a parent. If I do have PTSD over some aspects of the experience (perfectly possible, considering the way it went down) then that is not a "curable thing" according to the beliefs of modern psychology - just something to manage as best we can.

The main thing though, is that Bella is well - she is standing with help, pulling herself up - and crawling - and has five teeth. Tooth number six is right under the gum... She babbles away beautifully, and her first word has ended up being "hello" - which I think is very fitting indeed!

That is where I'll leave it for now, with the promise of more to come in the following days and weeks. Lots of love to you all - I hold you in my heart.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The night before...

There are some days that I wish time machines were real. This is one of them.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's almost been two years...

How bizarre. Two years ago I was running around madly packing and unpacking baby clothes, washing them, folding them into tiny little pink bundles and wondering with a smile whether this level of organization would be able to continue after I had my little baby girl. Up and down the stairs I went, sorting out the children's rooms as much as I could - though stair walking manic behaviour wasn't really within my ability too much, being so heavily pregnant.

Wait. Stop.

Two years ago. Two years ago on Sunday everything would shatter like a fish bowl dropped onto a marble floor. You can run around and try to pick up the fish in a panic, as they flop around, losing their lives... But it doesn't work, does it?

You have to lovingly sit there, rescue as many fish as you can - though some will die, then spread out the skirt of your young maidenhood on the floor in the sunshine. In the glass. In the water. And pick up remnants, remnants in sorrow, placing them on a collage in front of you. If you're lucky, eventually you can look at the collage of your new life and it can be beautiful.

Because the thing is, beauty isn't always happy, is it? It can be terribly sad. Sometimes the most beautiful things are the saddest things. Heart-achingly beautiful things can be so gutting. I think the word "gutting" is a very good way to describe some stages of grief, since they do feel like someone has come and taken your insides out. Inside your chest is a vacuum. A vacuum with a black hole inside it. Even light cannot escape... Amazing though, aren't they - these big feelings? A dual narration by David Attenborough and Stephen Hawking would be fitting: "See, the phenomenon of the broken heart there, spinning in the boundless void of space. She crumples in her agony as the pain threatens to overwhelm her every waking minute - but she knows she has to stumble on..."

Coming up to anniversaries is really...difficult. There's not too much else to say about that. I would have had a two year old running around, and I don't. It kind of takes your breath away at times... I hug Bella and try to assimilate her essence into me so that I can protect her forever. My eye sockets hurt. My throat feels tight and my head is like a balloon under pressure.

This Sunday it'll be it. Then it'll be over again and I won't feel quite as weak. A lot of people are coming out to watch the sun rise in memory of Josie, and I'm so grateful for the support. I have found that it's the people who continue to remember that I feel the most connected with. The people who continue to acknowledge her small life to have been worth something. It feels beautiful to know that she made an impression on the world. She certainly made a difference in my life - I wouldn't change having carried her for anything. She was worth it.