Thursday, March 20, 2008

So tonight is a bit melancholy. We're busy getting ready for Easter, my parents are coming to visit. Evan's totally excited about the Easter bunny, we're excited to see our family etc etc.. and it just amplifies what is missing so much. Isla should be here also getting ready. She should be wearing a frilly pink Easter dress, tights and little buckle shoes, like I always imagined my daughter would. It's so unfair, how this has actually happened. It's like I am a little girl, and I had a dream that I got the most amazing doll ever. One that I'd always hoped and dreamed for. Then I woke up, and I didn't actually get her at all. No pretty dresses, no barrettes, no buckle shoes. Not for me. I miss her so much these days. Tim and I have started writing to her in a little book we have with angels and roses on it (bought years ago, never used, eerily enough)...
No real point to tonight but to say hi to my girl out there, and tell her how much I wish I was holding her in my arms, instead of my heart. She is so incredibly missed.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wow, two posts in the same week, I'm on a roll. Actually, I'm up early so thought I'd take advantage of some quality me time. So, the six month mark came and went. I feel a sense of relief at having survived it. It was a reflective day. I felt a lot of things. Pain, of course. I relived the day as the hours passed, through her delivery, the hours beyond, and her death. I allowed myself to feel her, hold her near my heart. We put out her things, and cradled her ashes. We put the new lock on the urn. I relived some of the 'why me' feelings, and allowed them to come.

I've been reflecting a lot on the people in my life to whom I am so grateful for their friendship and love. I'm trying to thank them in an unscripted way for their tenacity, their willingness to stand by when I have defaulted on them time and time again, in some manner. In spite of my horrifically unlucky loss, I am a lucky person for the people I am blessed to have in my life. My parents are unconditionally supportive in my endeavours, never judging or berating my choices. My friends are unwavering in their loyalty. Though I *often* forget to return phone calls, chronically forget anniversaries, birthdays etc, I am forgiven without fail. I am lucky to have not one or two, but several very close friends who I know with certainty I could fall on and be sure of being caught. I have a lot of love in my life.

I think I am trying to find a way to blend Isla's terrible fate into my life in a meaningful way, without it feeling like I'm making light of her death, or diminishing her value as a person. Through Isla, I recognize that life is so very precious, and so finite. Isla had no chance, no life to build and develop. She had no opportunity to forge deep friendships and fall in love. I have these blessings all around me and it discomforts me to think of it all falling away, or atrophying because I did not care for it all.

When I fall deeply into grief, which I still do, it is hard to maintain that optimism. Yet I am trying. I am trying to connect. Trying to build meaning in the relationships I have with the people I love. I don't know if this is part of my healing, but I feel the need to reach out, and feel love from others again, feel connected to the living world, feel alive. I realize this could be the coffee talking, or the early morning which always brings a feeling of newness and vigour. But, whatever it is, I'll take it. I like feeling hopeful. I like feeling love for Isla, in my heart, and not being overwhelmed by pain and loss and loneliness all the time. It is a good feeling, being more in control. I hate floundering about, trying to get my footing, and leaning heavily on others for stability and reassurance. That part of grief is so chaotic and unpredictable. I like feeling powerful in my own right.

I guess what it comes down to, at least for today, is that I am grateful for the love in my life. I know there are many people who do not have it, and that saddens me. Most people also haven't had their child die in their arms either, but even some of those people are alone, and that devastates me. There is sun amidst the clouds for me and I am so grateful.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dear Isla...

So, it has been six months since you quickly came into, and exited our lives. I've been dreading today all week. It's been hanging there, like a cloud in the distance, getting bigger and blacker, filling with rain. I watched it, seeing it get bigger before me, knowing a storm was coming, and I simply embraced it. There is no running away from this. No shielding with an umbrella. You are real, you existed, you get all of me tonight. I honour you, my sweet daughter.

So we opened your memory box tonight, a Huggies box, no less. We brought out your ashes and cradled them. We placed the new lock on it, and each kept a key. We looked at your picture, and I cried for you. Pain I haven't allowed myself to wade into lately, I plunged headfirst into. I sobbed for you, and the life you should have had. Six months. You might have been sitting up. You might have had a bottle by now... I don't know. I do know you'd be in the cutest, frilliest bathing suit at the pool. You'd have had bows, ribbons, barrettes and curls to hold it all in.

We opened your mementos, and read the sympathy cards from loved ones. Now that a few months have passed, I can read the cards with the sympathy and kindness intended, rather than the anger at the lack of any real emotion in them. I mean, how empty "my thoughts are with you" and "keeping you in my prayers" seem after you've heard them a thousand times. I had thought that no one realized just how devastating and tragic this is, because the words all ring so hollow. I know now that in fact, they do know, or at least, can imagine it, and that's why their words are emtpy. They know how unbelievable the loss is. They have no idea what to say. What can you say? I don't even know what to say.

We lit the candles from the memorial. Evan's candle of hope too, it made me smile. The smell of your tea rose candle brought back memories from the memorial service, and that was difficult. I remember crying on dad's shoulder, just drowning in crippling grief. Unfathomable grief. I find I still say to him "can you even believe this happened? How does this even happen?"

My sweet girl, we miss you so much. I wonder if people who've not suffered a loss like this read blogs like mine and wonder how we can dwell... figure that they've recovered from the loss of loved ones, and why can't we mothers do the same? I might have asked the same question 6 months ago. But not now. I realize all too clearly just how much you have impacted my life, and how your short but powerful presence has changed me forever. I will never 'get over you' dearest Isla. I will always yearn for you, wish for you, grieve and mourn you. I will always know that life would have been far better with than without you. I walk with a limp now that is damage to my heart, irreparable damage that I must carry with me to my own grave. I walk on, like everyone else, but with a slight defect, some may not notice it at first, but there it is, just below the surface. I am vulnerable, yet strong for having had and lost you. I think my resilience must have increased, because I'm not dead... and you know how the saying goes....

So on your six month birthday my sweet angel, I wish you were here, I wish we were celebrating over a tender cuddle and a lullably, not through tears, an urn and words on a computer screen. But it's what we have. For some reason, I am meant to carry on, and in that existence, I honour you. I miss you terribly, I hope we are reunited one day. I love you my sweet beautiful daughter. Know how very much your dad and I wish you were here.