Date: Weds, May 11, 2011
Dear Bereaved Mom,
Bereaved. Bereft. I hate that dumb-ass word. No one in the real world uses it. Just us. Just us “bereaved” people that can’t find a real word that doesn’t suck. Just us that live just beyond the real world, where the sidewalk ends. Anyway, I read your words about R’s leaving and all. Oh, how I felt them. Did I write them? I read them and I wanted to tell you that at 2 years and 4 months, I’m still looking for her. I wanted to tell you that at 2 years and 4 months, the same amount of time that she spent on this planet, I still freak out when I only spot 3 in the crowd and not the 4 that I know I have. I wanted to tell you other things, too.
Did you imagine that you would make a hair appointment right after your child died? I sat in that chair some 70 hours after she died and had all my hair cut off. That girl with long hair had a dead kid. I’d like my short hair back, please. I sat in that chair and thought, “She must think I’ve lost my fucking mind.” I’m still not sure that I haven’t.
The gift of shock. I re-did Piper’s room from top to bottom the next day. Went shopping for new bedding. Didn’t want her to look over at her twin’s empty bed even one more night. When they wouldn’t sell me the floor model of the quilt I wanted, the one with the two little birds, I wanted to scream, “Her twin sister died yesterday! Just sell me the mother fucking quilt!” Wouldn’t that have been awesome?
Did you sit at that baseball game feeling like you were doing it all wrong? Like they all knew how to have a newly dead kid and you didn’t? My God, are they seriously at the School’s Winter Festival less than 24 hours after their kid died? I would have to be institutionalized.
I don’t know. I still don’t know much of anything. These are a few things I know:
1. Time does not heal all wounds. This is bullshit that makes other people feel better.
2. You are still capable of laughing so hard you cry.
3. Your children (and your husband) (and you) will be pretty much ok. This might piss you off. Your Brother Is Dead! Act Like It!
4. Everything is more beautiful and precious.
5. SIGNS are real. Don’t question it.
6. You will be pissed off a whole lot more. You will still be happy a whole lot too.
7. You will think that you, and everyone you love, have cancer.
8. They probably don’t.
9. You are insanely strong.
10. You don’t want anyone to tell you that you are insanely strong, because, fuck off, I’m not strong, I’m weak and broken, can’t you see that?! Why the hell am I grocery shopping?
So, there is a weird little list for you. It’s not official or anything. I just made it up on the fly. It might change tomorrow, but that’s what it looks like at just shy of 2 years and 4 months and a couple glasses of wine on a snow day in May.
Oh, yeah, I also wanted to tell you, that although everyone will say stupid things, it’s because they love you guys and love R. Or, maybe because they are stupid. People will reach out to you and try to offer advise and insinuate that they know a thing or two about how you feel or what you’re going through. They mean well. (I mean well) And it’s true, it’s the worst thing that you can live through, but you will think up even worse. He’s missing, but someday you will come to a place where you know he’s not actually “missing”. He’s got to be somewhere, because you can still feel his presence. It’s the parents of the actual “missing children” that I pray for the hardest. My prayer for you is that you continue to feel his presence and eventually find peace in knowing you will be together again. Whatever and whenever that may be. It can not come soon enough.
I’m so sorry that R had to go. I asked T to show him the ropes.
peace and love and tears,