All weekend I was trying to figure out why I was in a miserable mood. I couldn’t put my finger on it. There was talk about going to visit her but we didn’t make it for two days because of the rain. Not just sprinkles.. RAIN. Well Vinnie said in conversation “I realized you wanted to go to the cemetery because it’s the 23rd..”… “No really it is?”…..It was the 23rd and I had no idea. Really? That made me feel like I was forgetting her. To want to forget the day she died is all well and good but to forget the day date she was born… I don’t ever want to forget that. At that moment my terrible mood made sense. It’s the block of days I hate every month.
I had a doctors appointment today that I made Vinnie come with me to. Our children got to drive Mimi and Pa crazy. After the doctors I made the executive decision to go look at monuments for her. I’ve been hearing about it from all ends since this was our life. I also wanted to get it done. When this first happened I wanted it all done in one big swoop. Get it done and taken care of and then we don’t need to torture ourselves later. Reopen the wound if you will. Well. Just like I knew then I found out today that it isn’t just as simple as “getting her a stone”. It’s hard. Emotionally. Mentally. I swear towards the end of the meeting my brain was actually tired. Between talking money. Anytime money is talked about I instantly feel frazzled. By the way… Side note… Monuments are totally customizable. Maybe that’s obvious to some people but umm….up until December 27th I wasn’t really thinking about monuments at all. After talking about this and designing the one we wanted I realized… What is the big issue? What’s the big deal? It’s a rock. All that rock does is mark where half of my world stands still. Where half of my world doesn’t change. She doesn’t care what marks her. She doesn’t care if she has a black stone or a grey stone or a red one. See I’m happy we did wait as long as we did to get this ball rolling because really….. There isn’t anything else I can do for her. All I can do is make her resting place look nice with the things she has there now. Once she gets that stone…. There’s nothing else for us to do. The cemetery obviously cuts the grass. It isn’t over until it’s over right? Well for me this stone signifies that it’s over. It’s done. Chapter 4 is now over. Now it’s a place where we go to visit her. There’s no pruning anything or weeding or rearranging her decorations. Her spot light will be staying though. In a weird way this stone finalizes her. It’s the last thing to do as far she goes. Its the last thing we can give her. A little ways a away from her there’s a little boy. He doesn’t have a monument. He has a garden stone. I didn’t understand for a while why he only had a garden stone. I always wondered maybe it was a money issue. Well today made me realize…. Maybe it’s not a money issue as much as it is the feeling of the end. As long as there is still something left to do it can’t really be the end. Like… Ok. We all know her life ended. But with that came things to be done. Funeral. Getting a plot for her. Wake. All that. The monument is the last thing. That’s the end. We are made to take care of our children. As long as we have decorations to rearrange every once in a while then there’s still something to be done for, and with that child. There’s always a reason to go back. Not that there isn’t already but you have to go back because you have things to do there. Cut the grass around all her decorations or take them up for a week so they can cut the grass. You can’t take a monument out. Or rearrange it.
After this was over we did have go to the cemetery and trim her grass down. When we pulled up a bunny came hopping through. It stayed around for a little while and then Remmie ran towards it and it left. They spent a few minutes looking for it and it was gone. We left and went to the coffee shop across from the cemetery, which we almost didn’t stop. It was like a game time decision. As we are in the drive through we look over and what do we see… The bunny eating grass. Vinnie had made a remark saying something to the effect of it being her. I didn’t really think much of it because that’s not how she comes to me, but then the bunny did a stretch and it reminded me of a certain way she used to stretch. I mean its really no surprise to me that she would come to him in that form. He would notice those kinds of animals. As to where I notice the butterflies and my cardinal and the feathers. After that was finished I NEEDED quiet. My kind of quiet. Alone with loud music. I needed my mind to be quiet. Sitting in a quiet room for someone like me is torture. It always sounds like a nice idea but then my thoughts just get louder and sometimes the background thoughts creep to the surface. When I’m alone in Mini Bus and the music is on my ideal volume which is when it says “vol max” my brain stops for a minute and then I can sort my thoughts out.
Here’s the thing… It’s really easy to say “she needs a stone. Go get her a stone”. It’s real easy to say. NOT real easy to do. For some dumb reason I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as it was. When we do put that down payment down….. That’s the beginning of the end. I’m not ready yet. Then again will I ever be? No. No I won’t. As if being an adult didn’t suck enough… Being this certain kind of an adult sucks so much more. I suppose I could look at forgetting it was the 23rd in a couple different ways. The way I chose to view it is that numbers and dates are not running my life. I’m not looking at the calendar just waiting for it based on how I know I’m going to feel. Instead I’m just feeling. I’m feeling what I have to feel in a natural way. I’m leading with my body. It’s amazing. My body knows when I gave birth. My heart knows that this day brings on conflicting emotions. It’s almost like my body says “hey 8 months ago you had a baby” and my heart says “yes but that baby isn’t here anymore and it hurts really bad.” Then on the 27th my heart says “hey body, remember that baby u said we had? Well today is 7 months since she left and the brain sent us into immediate shock”. I will not let numbers and dates and times define how I “heal”. Heal. What the hell even is that? How the hell do you “heal” after this? I’m not sure. See though the wound never closes. It will always bleed. There is no healing there is just perspective and how you look at it that helps. I know it may be hard to think but some days if you have a decent perspective it doesn’t hurt as bad. Once the fog clears it’s easier to find that. In the first few weeks you aren’t thinking about anything else. Eventually your new normal comes. Ours in a way kind of went back to what it was before her. She wasn’t here very long so we didn’t have a whole lot of time to get a solid “system” down yet. We were still figuring it out.
It’s really important to remember your baby lived. Instead of getting stuck on the fact that your baby died, remember their beautiful life. Even if it was short. This sounds nuts but embrace the pain. In order to speed things up you need to feel. It won’t go away. If you run from it…. It will catch up and knock you right on your ass. Allow your self to feel these nasty feelings. This dark sadness. Once you have felt all of that at its absolute worst you will be able to see the top. Or at least midway. Find the beauty. It’s there. I promise. No it’s not beautiful that your child is gone. Watch what happens around you. That’s what’s beautiful. Don’t allow yourself to be so caught up in debilitating pain that your forget about all your joys. Especially if you have other children. Appreciate them more. Give them an extra hug. Remember that they are hurting also. Validate their feelings. Remember that them coming out of this healthy is the goal. We are still their parents. They look to us for literally everything. Don’t show them that this has to be the end of everything. Yes show them that this sucks for you also but don’t let them see that this has to be the end all.
You know what keeps me going? When I woke up this morning I woke up to my four year old giving me a tight sleepy hug and the first thing he wanted to say to me was “I love you so much” in a tired whisper. If I gave up I wouldn’t be able to hear those words from some one I love most.
There is NOTHING better than those words.
“I love you so much”.