Monday, September 28, 2009


I haven’t been able to write, because I haven’t been able to feel. For the past few weeks I’ve felt numb. Detached, dazed, unable to accept the reality of what has happened. Perhaps I’ve helped this dreamy unreality by self medicating. Perhaps not; when I’ve gone days at a time without I feel no more attached to the world than when I’m floating above it. I’d also put forth the argument that the anti-anxiety medication I’m taking makes me drifty—but again, I go days at a time without taking any (sometimes I don’t need them; sometimes I withhold them from myself, forcing myself to breathe through a panic attack in case I might feel something when it’s over) and the sensation that I’m playacting my life persists.

I can’t feel your spirit, no matter how hard I try. I haven’t wanted to look at your picture; I haven’t touched your blankets or ached over your ashes. Half the time I haven’t even worn the little blackbird pendant that I say represents you. It’s like you never were.

It scares me, this detachment. It isn’t just you; I feel like I’m not really a part of this world. It’s as if there’s a blurry filter between me and everything else. Work feels like a daze; being at home feels like a dream. I can’t really keep track of time anymore—not just the minutes and hours, but days and weeks. Is it really Autumn? Has it been two weeks, or three?

Sometimes into this misty unreality drift thoughts—big, scary, existential thoughts. Or lack of existential, I suppose. Terrible thoughts that would make me weep if I could actually feel them. I thought that being an Atheist protected me from losing faith, but I was wrong about that.

Until lately, I’ve believed so completely in that Other-Place. I believe(d?) wholeheartedly in reincarnation. In the fact that there was some reason for everything. Not necessarily some Divine plan, some hand of a god steering us; my beliefs have been more along the lines that we each come into this world with a to-do list, and that we all agree to work together during our time here. The closest thing I can compare it to is the movie Defending Your Life—only less judicial and more cooperative. And I’ve believed that the spirits of our loved ones watch over us.

Nearly everyone in our family believes these things to some extent. Your daddy told his parents that he’d chosen them to be his mother and father when he was little. When I was about the same age, I identified a picture of my grandfather—who had died while my mother was carrying me, and whom I’d never seen a picture of previously—as the man who came to play with me when I was alone. I’ve been able to feel the presence of spirits around me my entire life.

Until now.

I don’t know what I believe now. We talk about how you died because all your work on this earth was done. We talk about what you taught us—the perspective your life inside me gave us; the way you forged, strengthened and tightened the bonds between people. Your daddy and I are closer than I think we’d ever have been without you. Our circle of family and friends has grown stronger and closer. Our patience has grown, as has our gratitude—we strive not to take things for granted anymore, to be truly grateful for everything we have.

And I believe all that still. I can see and touch that. There are letters, phone calls, hugs, conversations. Things I can quantify.

But I feel like I’m just paying lip service to my belief in anything that isn’t easily quantifiable. The worth of my life. That you exist (or even existed) beyond the imperfect body I made for you. Sometimes I can’t even believe you existed that much—often the dreamy detachment makes me feel like I was never pregnant. That this is all an elaborate game of pretend. Not just you, either; I feel like your daddy and I aren’t really married, that we’re just pretending somehow. That I’m going by this new name that I don’t really deserve. And the things I do to honor you—wearing the necklace, holding your blankets—all feels so empty that I feel ridiculous and absurd.

And the future—the future is so misty and dreamy that I actually can’t picture much of any of it. Anything more than a week or so away is unfathomable. The only thing I can picture at all is occasional flashes of having another baby—and that makes me feel vague stabs of guilt.

Yet I think of you almost constantly, and miss you so often. I don’t even know how that can be, when I feel like you aren’t-and-never-were. I miss you but I can’t cry; I think of you but I can’t accept that you were, that you are. I write to you but I feel like it’s just whistling in the dark.

I almost miss the anguish. At least that was real.

This doesn’t feel at all like depression, either. Depression feels like my heart being replaced by a floppy ragdoll. It’s a fine distinction to draw—when I’ve been depressed, I’ve felt like there’s no point to anything because there’s so much sadness. Now I feel like there’s no point to anything because nothing fucking exists.

The strangest thing, to me, is that I still have a full emotional palette. Happiness, joy, fear, anxiety, sadness, anger—it’s all there. Most of the time I feel normal—“fine” even—but like I’m not quite awake. Or that I’m awake for the first time and realizing that nothing is real to begin with.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two Months

Two months ago today you died. Two months ago tomorrow you were born. These are facts I can never quite reconcile.

All day long there's been a thrumming undercurrent. Two months. Two months. Its been so little time, but it feels like a hundred years ago. It feels like you never were. It feels like you still are. I feel outside myself.

I almost never admit how hard every minute is. Even to myself. I'm often tired, and life itself almost takes more effort than I'm able to put out. But I keep doing it. The house doesn't get too disasterous. I show up clean and bright and smiling every day at work. I laugh at movies with your daddy. I look fine on the surface. Underneath it there's darkness and strain and I can't quite reach it--nor can I quite ignore it.

Two months. How can it have been so very recently that I held you? How can you have been gone this long?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Music for the Journey

I've rediscovered one of my favorite composers today: Erik Satie. His stuff feels like the musical expression of how I feel about Isaac. I'm linking videos here (I picked ones specifically for their imagery).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hiding from my muse

I want to write about your birth, but that also means writing about your death. I haven’t been able to talk about those last precious moments with you. Only to your daddy and your grandmas. And even then, only a little, always with careful euphemism. I’ve sat down here just so I can write about that day, and I find I’m surfing to other websites, looking out the window, suddenly becoming absorbed in what’s on TV...anything but just write. Why would I want to write about this when I so obviously don’t?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Going to work is harder with you gone. For so many reasons. Surprisingly, dealing with customers doesn't make it worse--even when I have to explain what happened. That's healing in it's way; not talking about you is harder.

Its the little things I miss. Not just your movements inside me, not just having a reason to sing under my breath when I'm working. Sometimes it feels like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. I don't hate my job, but I was ready to take a nice long break while I got to know you. Now there will be at least ten months--probably more--before that kind of break is coming again. And you won't come with it.

Things just seem pointless some days. My life's work--smiling sweetly and serving coffee. My life has meaning, but my job doesn't. And without you, I question even that much.

I try to just get through it. It's not so bad, my job. My life. But it's so much emptier now. I ache inside and out. I miss you so much.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


We're starting to plan a little memorial for you. Nothing big like at the wedding. Just a few people--maybe just us. Don't know yet. We want to take your ashes to the beach. They look like beach sand. Your daddy wants to set off fireworks. They're special.

This fourth of july, just a week or so away from losing you, we set off fireworks in the driveway. The first loud one made you jump, and then you wouldn't stop! You kicked along with all the bangs, and wiggled and squirmed when the bright flashes came. You felt happy inside me, the way you bounced around. When your daddy took too long before setting off another one, you started kicking like you were fussing for more! I told you not to encourage your father, and he came over and put his hands on you and said "this one's for you, kid." We laughed felt like you were laughing with us. You liked the bright flashing ones best. It was probably the very best day of our whole life with you. We all played together. And that night your daddy petted my belly and talked to you. Kissed you goodnight.

When we talk about it now, his face lights up. When he describes it, he's animated and happy. In that moment I get to see him completely involved in being a daddy. That is priceless to me.

I'm so glad we had that wonderful, fun night. I'm glad that your little life was full of happiness and love.