Monday, April 4, 2011

Once More...without Feeling

You know when you throw something together using whatever you have in the cupboard and it doesn't turn out so great but you choke it down anyway so that you don't waste food.

Maybe not.

Just imagine something unpleasant that's lurking around making you uneasy.

I don't think I made the point I was trying to make with that last post. Or maybe I'm not sure what the point was.

I'd like to just wipe it away...except for the part about the three A's (angst, accents, acoustic instruments). I won't apologize for my little fetish. I could pour that whole situation into a glass and drink it.

Ok, so maybe I'd just sip at it...demurely.

And then, about halfway through, I'd start wondering how I could dare enjoy any aspect of my continued existence. But I'd be proud of myself for making it halfway.

The 2007 version of myself who paces around in my head finds none of this amusing or encouraging but she seems to be taking a lot of naps lately.

Happy is easier than sad--maybe it always has been for me. Or maybe I've just covered my sad with a scab so thick that I can hardly feel anything anymore.

Grief hasn't changed me as profoundly as I thought it might. I've not been engulfed in a swell of magnanimity. I haven't been compelled to help others or to do something meaningful in R's memory. I've made friends here in the land of babyloss grief but lately I keep forgetting how I met them.

Acceptance has invaded every corner of my heart. The muck has settled to the bottom of the glass of water. I can take the stone from the master's hand. Etc...

Scope, immediacy, violence--these things don't register on my scale of reaction anymore. Death is death is death. Doesn't really matter how it happened. Respect the pain and then file it away for later. Misery keeps.

Good and bad are a package deal. It's possible to fit them both into your head. Trust me on this one. Look up from the 24-hour news cycle. Have you noticed that the daffodils are blooming?

Let the neighbors and co-workers think that this is easy or that I'm cold and unfeeling.

For so long after R died I had to fake happy. I don't have any energy left over to fake sad.

But I'll spare you the banjos this time.


  1. I get this, I really do. I feel this way with my posts all the time. It sounds one way in my head when I'm lying in bed awake at 2am, but when I put it out there and the comments roll in, suddenly it all looks like a mess and I want to take it all back.
    I'm not where you are. Not yet. My sadness is palpable and I'm not even close to acceptance (I think I suck at grieving, especially in the eyes of other people). I also still spend most of my time faking happiness, as my sadness is never far from the surface. I don't have to fake that.
    But I still get this and I feel for you being in this awkward place.
    I just wish R was here. That's all.

  2. @ Hope's Mama. Thank you for all of this. I'm not sure that anyone either sucks or doesn't suck at grieving. For the record, I think you're actually quite good company--direct, honest, open. Of course, I would rather that Hope was here and I didn't know any of this about you.

  3. My urge to end every sentence or conversation about good things with a disclaimer seems also to be subsiding. Not that the Absence isn't palpable, the grief not there, but what you've said:

    "Happy is easier than sad--maybe it always has been for me. Or maybe I've just covered my sad with a scab so thick that I can hardly feel anything anymore."

    It is a lot of work to wear that hair shirt every damn day. Some days, I just want to run, and look at daffodils, and not think of the horrors of the world, of which my grief is such a minimal piece.

  4. I think I got your last post. Maybe not. I tried to comment, but blogger ate my comment, and I felt too emotionally drained to rewrite it. But essentially, I feel like in the outside community--outside of the babylost community, people look at me or actually say, "But it was two years ago, and she didn't even breathe, and she was saved the misery and suffering of a whole life of misery and suffering, perhaps." And inside this community, if you happen to say something like, "I feel better" That isn't cool either, and so we reside in the weird liminal state of fitting in, and fitting out. Or something. I am too emotionally exhausted to think it through. xo

  5. I was just thinking this the other day, that I should be magnanimous, or bigger than I currently am, or more giving. I should be organizing something, or saving someone, or writing letters, or, I don't know, something.

    But my husband always says, "You have to save yourself first." And I think that's what we do. Get ourselves to a place of OK-ness, find the happy and acknowledge the sad, and just get through.

    I agree with Angie, it's a strange, difficult place to exist.

    This is life, now, as we know it. And while I'd give up nearly everything to have Calla back, it's a comfort to know I'm not alone out here.

  6. I sometimes feel that if I tried to cram any more happy into my head it would come off. I also feel that if I tried to cram any more sad in there, the same outcome would result. But yup, they are both in there, co-existing, peaceably enough for the most part.

    Bring it on, banjos and all. x