Sunday, September 9, 2012
I'm back to feeling mostly functional again. I didn't take time off work because medically there was no reason to, and the first few days were rough as hell. I'm not usually much of a crier, but I think some combination of grief and hormones made me break down constantly in tears. I don't think the hormones made me any sadder than I already was but I do think they changed the outward manifestation of the sadness, and at work I had a few close calls. But I held it together, thankfully, and now the pain is quieter and less immediately visible. It feels bearable again--a new layer settling over me.
I thought I'd feel more anger. Maybe that'll come later, but so far the anger I've felt has been misplaced--a kind of desperate rage one evening watching the Giants lose, that kind of thing.
I can tell already the song "Some Nights" is going to be the one that'll flood me with memories when I hear it on the radio--less for the lyrics than for the fact that (maybe embarrassingly) it's what I've been playing on loop. But I like the way it feels like it's searching and unsettled, and the way it allows for pain and flux over something that doesn't necessarily feel like tragedy. Also I like the lines "But I still wake up/I still see your ghost" and the part about looking into the nephew's eyes and thinking how good things come from terrible nights. (Little one: I'm sorry that a top-40 radio hit is what I'll remember you by. But you would've had a sense of humor, I think, so maybe it'll amuse you. There are some questionable lines in there.)
Someday, God willing, I'll be a mom to a baby we get to actually hold and raise and share our lives with, and I hope I'll be a better mom because of this. I hope I'll appreciate my child more and remember to be grateful more often, and also, I hope I'll remember all the ways that people were so good to us. Friends who brought food, who sent flowers and cards, who wrote emails, who worked at finding just the right thing to say. Friends who took time to just be with us and help us process, who didn't shy away from the pain, who let us talk and cry and who asked about the painful parts instead of pretending they weren't there and who tried to imagine into the experience to share with us. Friends who dropped by with cookies and cards, who called and sent messages, who drove in on a weekday to see us, who acknowledged the loss and the pain. Friends who opened up about their own similar losses. And, of course, our families. We have such good, good people in our lives.
Two quieter things I'd like to remember, too:
Last week at a dinner with friends, the conversation turned to an innocuous discussion about labor and birth and moms that, in the moment, was too much for me to handle. And I could've said something, maybe, but I didn't quite have that in me either and anyway, what are you supposed to say--please don't talk about any of the things that might potentially remind me how sad I am when I'm sad all the time anyway and nothing really changes that? But I could feel my friend next to me recognize it--I wasn't looking at him, but I felt it--and after a little while he broke in, gracefully, to change the topic. I doubt anyone else even noticed. But I did, and it helped, and it was a kindness.
This weekend we saw someone J works with at a get-together at a colleague's home. I knew J had told him what happened, and as soon as I saw him I could sense him wanting to say something to me. There were others around and it wasn't the right time or place and really we don't know each other well enough that I think he'd feel comfortable with it, and also I knew he didn't know if I knew J had told him. Neither of us are huggers and he's never hugged me before, but he did twice this time--once hello, once goodbye. I understood it was the most he could do; I understood, too, that if it had felt right, he would've said and done more.
I don't know why those things meant so much to me, but they did.
People are kind. And life goes on.