I’ve been struggling to the point of physical sickness this week, obsessing about what should have been. Imagining balloons and cake and hours of smiling video. Sadie would have been one yesterday. It was frankly one the hardest days I’ve had so far.
Everything that’s been mercifully floating around the periphery lately crashed in on me over the last few days. I was back at her bedside. Pacing the waiting room in the PICU. Saying goodbye.
I’ve been trying with great difficulty to find something hopeful to say here as I’m typically not one to be dark or melancholy. But it occurred to me that this is exactly the place where I will be understood if my armour does slip momentarily. Even the most resilient grow weary on occasion. And truth be told, I’m just really goddamn tired.
I’d like a free pass that says I can shut the world out for a time in order to selfishly tend to myself. Be it sleeping away a day or reading a book in one sitting or walking central London in silence, I earned it when I suffered this loss, didn’t I? My pass would read, ‘Get out of my face and just understand. I’ll be back when I’m ready. I promise.’
Of course it doesn’t work that way. God knows disappearing or shutting out the world completely would try the patience of even our most perservering family and friends. But to drop all pretense on my random dismal days, with friends and colleagues and strangers in the street bearing witness, doesn’t really jive either.
I feel the only thing to do is go back to polishing my metal. Ride out days like this causing as little collateral damage as possible. Look for the next bright one. Wonder if anyone realizes how I'm cursing pretty much everything in my path until it comes.
My deepest desire, aside from having her here with us, has been to be assured that she knew how deeply she was loved. That she changed my life distinctly and forever for the better. That my heart aches always in her absence. That she knows I would love nothing more than to pull her into my arms and sing, "Happy birthday, Baby," softly in her ear.
How do you deal with dark days? Are you better on your own, or does it help to be surrounded by people?