Okay now, really: where are hundreds upon hundreds of new people coming from? I can’t believe (though I’d love to) that it’s from something I’ve said- it must be a change in FB algorithms or something? I mean, to what end? How and why and whom from where and wence? I’m confused…
To that end, hello, welcome & make yourselves at home… I have lots of photo albums on FB and types of posts here to sift through, if you feel so inclined. I haven’t updated my about section in over a year, so it does not include the information that I lost my 14 month old son just over 8 short months ago.
Grief is unfortunately a heavily underlying current to most everything, these days. What I’ve written before February 8th of this year was written by someone in much different shoes. I guess I’ll have to kind of make another one up as I go, much as I do with my life most days.
Patrick died of Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) which means I still have no answers or explanation, just the knowledge that I went to him one night and he was gone- a moment it feels I’ve spent lifetimes in, ever since.
It doesn’t mean I don’t laugh and feel genuinely happy sometimes, that I don’t laugh and feel genuinely guilty others, that I cry all the time and/or do or don’t go through “dry spells” only to be interrupted by the sound of a laugh, cry, or siren, the sight of a butterfly or one of his things, the smell of Cheerios or of Burt’s Bees shampoo. I just try to stay with it, I guess. That’s my best right now and I don’t even do very well at that, half the time.
Lately, I’ve been stuck on remembering the feel of his cheeks, remembering that little triangle of space between his ear, neck and shoulder that was the most intoxicating scent of clean baby and clothes, sweat and milk-induced sleep. I don’t care how strange that sounds, that smell is what I lived on in the days after Patrick’s passing- every mention or photo I know of involves me holding his duck- I guess I am fated to be an adult who always has a stuffie in their room. So be it.
I often seek places where I carried his body against mine to feel connected to the places where I carry his spirit and maybe his spirit can carry me for a while, instead. Kaya and I frequent local state parks, the redwoods, the sea, the lake, the river, and sometimes I visit the site where he is buried.
Walking in nature ends up being soothing and balancing, mostly. (Um, except last time) It helps my heart and mind to move forward when I insist that my feet do- I find a lot of zen in the sunshine, air and trees. That paired with the company of Kaya is responsible for the larger part of any healing I’ve begun, I’m certain.
Kaya gets me outside and moving, and tells me You will! even when I’m stuck on I can’t! Okay, so it helps that she’ll have to find a place inside to relieve herself if I don’t get off my butt… Thoughts of finding/touching/cleaning up surprise excrement is enough to get most people going, I think. Nevertheless, she sits with me when I need to sit, and reminds me when it’s been long enough. Or when there’s a lizard. One of the two. I love and appreciate her so, so much.
Visiting Patrick’s earthly body hits me differently- it is the saddest, lonliest rectangle in the world. I have to go there sparingly, and alone for the same reasons I needed to be alone when I was in the hospital last week. It gets messy, and I’m not ready to have anyone else be present during that process until I can remain present, as well. This much, so far, I understand.
I’ve never planned to visit him so much as needed to, and ended up there. It always feels like wrestling with dementors- it’s like I can physically feel my heart being pulled down the distance in the darkness between our bodies and worlds. My solar plexus feels squeezed and my insides go cold and dark and clammy, except for the the part of me that ignites and reminds me of the Red Bull in The Last Unicorn with the powers of The Nothing from Neverending Story.
Without fail, I sit and cry and (have to) let it flash and rage and stomp and charge all it wants on my insides until we’re both exhausted and resigned to the fact that we exist in this world in the way that we do because of someone who doesn’t, inasmuch as body is concerned. It feels like that every. fucking. time… I have slept in my tears there more than once.
You know the quote:
You know what that means to loss parents? Our hearts are inextricably buried. Gone from this earth. Our hearts don’t go walking around anywhere, they sink on a very specific day and time and never come up again. That part was never even mentioned as a possibility, nevermind a reality. Somehow, I have to wrap my fingers and eventually my life around the fact that it’s mine, and I’m honestly not sure it’s possible.
I’m still trying to find the shape of that sadness for me, and remind myself that
It hurts because it matters
The Nothing is so vast and powerful because Patrick’s Something to me is fucking everything. The love I have for all four of my children is what gets me up in the morning. (Okay, let’s touch reality a bit with the fact that I have an automatic coffee maker: it’s a good thing.) That indignant raging bull-feeling comes from acknowledging that what happened to me, to Patrick, to our family was as unfair as it gets, that if love could have saved him, he would have been the healthiest babe ever.
The thing is that he was healthy, dammit. He was healthy and perfect and I loved him with every ounce of myself, and it did nothing to protect him… It’s part of what eats at me every day.
I don’t know what I could have done, I still don’t know what to do. I just babble here to the random increasing number of people and try not to give into being trapped by the marauding monsters of grief on my insides or the people who judge my outward choices, either.
This seems like the place to segway to the fact that I avoid all forms of pain/antidepressant/anxiety pills in lieu of cannabis. Yeah… Some people think that’s not a good idea… It’s certainly not a popular one. I live in California, where I can go to the store and buy the strains in the forms that work best for me (vaporizing sativas, mostly) because I have my medical marijuana card.
I hope to break the taboo by talking about it honestly and openly. If you find yourself raising your eyebrows, perhaps you will consider starting here or checking out Moms for Marijuana for more information on parenting and cannabis, if the combination alarms you.
I’ve lost friendships and (potential) relationships in various capacities because of my choices, and I have to be okay with that. It hurts every time, though. I wonder how they’d feel if I stopped being their friend because I thought taking advil or drinking wine in front of their children were uninformed, immoral or reckless. It adds insult to injury, without a doubt.
At the same time I am able to recognize my true friends that don’t agree with everything I (have to) stand for, but support me because they’re my friends. We aren’t here to judge each other and never were. You know who you are and you’re fucking awesome, even if you haven’t said fuck or awesome in years, or ever.
We love and support each other because we have the hearts and minds to recognize we’re all just trying, here. We try and treat ourselves and each other as gently as we want to, our children. This is in one big (largely) virtual village, sharing information, ups and downs as they come so that we can all laugh, cry and learn together.
Perfection is an idea that went flying out the window ages ago. We recognize that our best (and whereby, everyone else’s) is going to change hour by hour, and should only be compared to one’s own best, based current situation, privilege and experience.
I guess that’s kind of my point here. We’re all just trying to make progress, constant improvement, baby steps forward. I’m just trying to gain my footing, most days. I try and maintain balance between processing all the things along my path while trying to gently parent and guide my children through their own lives and processes, as well.
Holy fuck, who signed me up for this?