It is Misery To Want What You Can Never Have

It is misery to want what you can never have. #grief | The Destiny Manifest

My weekend didn’t go exactly like I’d planned. I have a recipe post in progress {delicious, can’t wait to share it with you, maybe tomorrow}, as well as this past week’s edition of 10 things to be thankful for. My plan was to post my 10 things yesterday… but it turns out that I wasn’t feeling thankful at all yesterday.

Yesterday’s emotion was depression. Sadness. Grief in overwhelming amounts.

Yesterday was misery.

I think I’m doing fine, managing so well, “better since her birthday passed, thank you for asking”. And then a day like yesterday hits me in the face, and I realize that I’m not over it, not even a little bit, and in fact, I don’t want to be over it, ever.

I want my baby, who should be a toddler now, learning to walk and say “mama” and “dada”.

It is misery to want what you can never have.

I’ve noticed that newborns and little babies don’t make me as sad and anxious as they used to. David and I attended a barbecue with our loss support group last week and there were two little babies there – 2 months and 4 months – chubby and sweet and chewing on their fingers. I didn’t have a meltdown.

It’s the one year old babies babbling sing-song noises in the stores that make me want to collapse into the ground and never get up. I wonder if it will always be this way… if Clara will continue to age in my mind, so that in 10 years, sixth graders will make me feel like crying.

On days like these, I wonder how I could have felt so fine last week. How could there have been several days when I thought of her only in passing? Am I starting to care less? Why do I keep picking at this healing scab? Why can’t I just accept that this is how things are?

This is my life now. Days of better, then days of worse, because my baby died, and she’s never coming back.

And it is misery.

It is misery to want what you can never have. #grief | The Destiny Manifest

And Still, I Hurt

And Still, I Hurt

It’s one of those weeks.

Nearly every time someone has asked me how I am doing, since Clara died, I have said “I’m okay, I guess. Some weeks are better than others.”

Well this is one of the others, the bad weeks.

The bad weeks have gotten a little further apart, allowing me more days when I can do more than just go through the motions of a productive life. I’ve had more days when I catch myself belly laughing at one of the girls’ silly jokes, or planning what we’ll do for vacation over Spring Break. There have been more days when I don’t realize until I’m going to bed that I only thought about Clara once or twice all day, or that it’s been a whole week since I last cried.

A couple of weeks ago, I was running errands and I sang along to more than half of Semisonic’s “Closing Time” before I remembered that it was the song that was playing when Clara was delivered and it was confirmed that she had died. I think maybe that was the beginning of my current state of depression, the realization that I had almost forgotten, just for an instant, and the suffocating guilt and despair that came with that realization.

And now the world is full of seven month old babies, everywhere I look. They’re giggling at the grocery store, hanging over their mama’s shoulders at the post office, gnawing on their fists at the yarn store… even gazing at me from the backseat of the next car over when I’m getting gas. They fill my Facebook feed, their beautiful chubby cheeks and bright eyes making me smile while my heart is breaking and my eyes are overflowing with tears.

So I stay home. I avoid the computer. I blog in my head, but can’t bring myself to sit down and type some days. I help my husband rearrange furniture so that we have a small TV in our bedroom, and my first thought is, “now I don’t even have to get out of bed if I don’t want to”.

This week will pass, and hopefully the next one will be a better one. Hopefully I will feel more like engaging with my daughters, and my husband, and even my neighbors.

Hopefully next week, everything won’t hurt.

I Lost My Child Today by Netta Wilson

She’s Faraway {So Close}

I’ve started 2013 off with a lot of knitting… and my first project is very special to me.

I’m about 85% finished with a beautiful shawl for one of the daughters of a dear friend, Stephanie Ann Schrom, who took her own life right before the New Year. I worked with her years ago, and we became very close during the dissolution of our first marriages. She was a very talented woman, with an eye for capturing amazing photographs, and a passion for Egyptian culture. Stephanie fought with depression for a  long time, and she lost her battle on December 29, 2012.

Faraway {So Close} - Stephanie Schrom

A group of women who have known Stephanie for many years has gotten together and decided to shower handmade treasures on her six children, so that they have something to cuddle and wrap up in when they’re missing their mom. I am making one of three shawls for her daughters, two other ladies are making the other two shawls, and three other talented ladies are making blankets for her three sons.

This shawl pattern, Faraway {So Close}, is designed by Carina Spencer, and I am really enjoying it. It’s a very simple pattern to follow, yet still looks complicated. I mean, you can’t get much better than that, you know?

Faraway {So Close} - Shawl

I’m using a washable wool/acrylic blend yarn in bright (hopefully teen-friendly) shades of red, pink, green and blue. I love watching the colors shift into one another and find myself looking forward to the bright royal blues and lipstick reds the most. I have noticed that I knit faster when using yarn that color shifts from one to the next… I’m always hurrying to get to the next color.

Faraway {So Close} - Yarn

I feel honored to be knitting this lovely shawl for such an important reason, and I hope that it brings comfort and healing to its’ recipient. My wish is that this girl will know how much her mother loved her and how much her mother meant to so many people. I know (all too well) how much anger, blame and guilt is left behind in the wake of death and suicide, but I believe that anger and blame should only be directed at the terrible depression (fucking depression!) that makes things feel so hopeless, and colors the decisions that we make.

Stephanie was a beautiful woman, inside and out. I am grateful to have known her, to have been close to her for a time, and to have had her friendship in my life.

Rest in peace, Stephanie. Nothing can hurt you now.

Grief and Anxiety at the Grocery Store {Scriptic}

The simplest of responsibilities and tasks have taken on momentous proportions, since Clara died.

I have social anxiety and it can get pretty intense at times. I’m not a fan of crowds or loud noise, and when you combine the two, in a Christmas shopping expedition, for example, I become grumpy and short-tempered. I shut down, in a manner of speaking, and must get out of the store NOW.

My anxiety is not one of my prettiest traits, that’s for sure.

Today is the last day of school/work for the kids and David until January 2, 2013, so I had grocery shopping to do, to prepare for everyone being home for breakfast and lunch. I really didn’t want to go shopping. The traffic was awful at 10 on a Wednesday morning, which is never a good sign. I have had a bad couple of days, emotionally, and grocery shopping had taken on this huge and scary dimension. It was quickly becoming something I could not do, in my anxiety-ridden mind.

Honestly though, it had to be done.

It doesn’t matter whether I’m tired, emotionally tearful, scared to death of simple tasks like picking out chicken, bread and milk and paying for them at the register. And what if there are babies in the store? Surely there will be at least one tiny baby, snuggled in a sling on their mama’s chest, or riding in their car seat at the head of the cart. Maybe they will cry, and then I will be paralyzed with the desperate want to scoop them up and comfort them, coupled with the wild need to get as far away as possible, to shield my hurting heart from the grief and the constant reminders of what we have lost.

All that aside, my kids have to eat. I don’t have the luxury of sending the housekeeper to do my shopping (wouldn’t that be nice though!?), and I won’t send my husband into the store after he’s been working all day. Don’t get me wrong — I have done this, many times, but I feel guilty when I do, like I have reassigned one of my responsibilities to him, when he already does so much.

Plus, I had already sent him a text to let him know that I was off to the store, asking if he needed anything. I didn’t want to disappoint myself. I didn’t want to disappoint him, though he would never express disappointment. No, this would be self-judgement of the worst kind, if I didn’t make myself do this chore.

So instead of giving into the urge to drive right past Aldi’s and head for home, and the warm comfort of my freshly-made bed, I pulled into the parking lot, parked the car, and after many deep breaths, headed into the overflowing store.

I did survive. There were no babies in the store this time, so I didn’t have a meltdown. I got what I needed and I even managed a brief conversation with the cashier. I was quite proud of myself, to tell the truth.

But that won’t make it any easier, the next time I need to go to the grocery store.

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Diane Trujillo gave me this prompt: “I’m off to the market. Do you need anything?’.

 I gave Tara Roberts this prompt: Write a letter to the first person who ever broke your heart.