Yesterday, our first red poppy bloomed. There was a black summer storm and it was crushed and bowed by the weight of the rain. It hurt my heart to see it. Everything hurts my heart at the moment, I look at the world through the eyes of a mother who’s child has died and nothing I do changes that grief or reconciles me to it. I wake trembling with guilt and sorrow throughout the night, find myself grieving for people I have known, people I still know, even for dead characters I have loved in books. There’s no sense to it and I cannot stop it. Cannot catch my breath, except in small windows. I feel Leanne close most days and I know she is only a memory because we understand each other perfectly and never argue. I find I am briefly comforted by the thought that if there is some kind of peaceful afterlife, Leanne, and my Grandmother, and Amanda will take excellent care of our dead babies.
Each day I dress and eat and sit in the sun and go for walks and take myself to places where people are kind to me. I tremble in hugs and hold hands with people who try to help me feel loved and safe. I can’t, and they forgive me for it. I wash dishes each night and feel a small sense of pride, I am useful in some way, contributing in some way to my world. I can eat and I’m not caught in obsessions or strange cravings, I eat simple meals of fruit and bread and porridge and pasta and don’t wish for the comfort of indulgence. I’m near neither self harm nor suicide. I feel closer to the animals, oddly, a little more able to let them in and let myself feel something for them. Sometimes, patting a cat while weeping, or holding my dog with my face masked in tears I think to myself how little they are in the world and yet how much they mean to me, and I hold myself to that scale – so small in the world and yet without meaning to do or be anything at all – so important to those near me. Just by existing. It’s a small comfort.
Today the sun was golden and I wept on and off most of the day, feeling like I was locked out, just out of reach of a feast I could smell and see but not touch or taste. I wept because my life is so utterly beautiful, my beloved who reaches out to comfort me in her sleep, my beautiful home and lovely animals, my dear friends and loving tribe. I wept because I want it to be enough and I want to be at peace. I wept because the pregnancy tests were negative today and in a way I was almost relieved because I can’t believe the next baby will survive either. Today was full of weeping, and it doesn’t make me feel better or worse. I can’t find a bottom to the rabbit hole I’m in.
By evening, most days, I’ve found some calm. I can breathe. The catch in my throat has eased. The hole in my chest is not so intense. Sometime in the night, it all resets. It’s like living in groundhog day. It makes it hard to go to sleep, a little.
Today the sun was golden and I was surprised to walk past the poppies and find the one crushed yesterday and drowned on the pavement had dried out and lifted its head and was glowing with golden pollen. Not such a brief life after all. It was beautiful. One day soon, please let that be me.