The first line from Peter Gabriel's "I Grieve" to which a link is below. I remember thinking that after Josie died. Racing into the sunrise, knowing in my heart she was gone and unable to do anything about it. Leaving the shreds of youthful innocence behind us as we sped down the freeway. All gone; never to be recaptured.
I think we hang on to the hours, the days, the minutes...since...because they make that event, that life, everything real. A few tiny bones in the ground that we can't see any more doesn't help. A big piece of stone over them, and soil - these things don't help, but remembering in minutes, hours, days, months, years - like a thread... That's all we have now. It's almost obsessive compulsive but it's a part of me that won't go away - and probably shouldn't. I map the passage of time after each of my children was born; one living here with me, the other stardust, as Joni Mitchell so beautifully puts it.
"We are stardust...we are golden...and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden..."
The day of the bath, today. That day I decided to have a relaxing bath in the fall sunshine because I knew it would be the last time I'd get the opportunity to do that. The day sticks out in my memory because it was also the first time I felt what I thought was a contraction but really wasn't - that pain that comes when something is going wrong with the placenta. I had no idea. I think I told people I'd had a strong contraction. There I was in the bath with Clannad playing on the laptop, candles burning and so on...
(Incidentally, I spent a lot of time in labor with Bella in the bath both at home and in the hospital. Funny how I threw myself into conquering my fears by repeating what had happened, in a similar fashion.)
You know that feeling you always got when you were little and you broke something valuable? That sinking feeling - you knew you were in trouble? Times that by about a thousand and it's one facet of how it feels to be the parent left behind.
I am going to curl up on the sofa now with a blanket and some hot chocolate...Bella is already sleeping. Down into the underworld I go for the third year - but not alone, because there are parents out there who know or can empathize with this. Thank you for remaining with me in my tired, aching, exhausted state that I get into this time of year.