The intense and the ugly

The intense and the ugly

Six years and it’s all come full circle. I remember it all and the tinge of sadness that constantly lingered has erupted into a volcano. I find myself doing the usual retracing of steps, reading of emails, counting of days. I can go on and on about what was, and it still won’t change what is. So, the tears remain at the base of my eyes and the ache grows inside me, because surely it has been long enough? Surely.

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The aftershocks

The aftershocks

It’s hard to inspire, or to stuff down the hard feelings, when my sense of security has a crack in its foundation. Nothing feels safe or guaranteed anymore. Chaos rears its ugly head at families and homes every day, and I know mine is fair game even though we’ve been struck by lightning already. My ears are always searching for the acknowledgement of chaos (e.g., “hopefully” instead of “definitely”) when I listen to plans and assumptions for the future.

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Our non-quiet place

Our non-quiet place

This is the consolation prize awarded to every bereaved parent: the mind’s ceaseless spinning, conjuring all the myriad ways your baby could die, backed by the hard-won knowledge that it most certainly could happen to anyone at any moment, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Of course, this is a truth universal to all parents. This is why the horror genre has always been so effective: at its core, a thriller is an allegory for raising children in a world where, in truth, we have absolutely zero ability to keep them safe.

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I will not apologize

I will not apologize

Perhaps the bereaved mother reaches a place of unwanted but hard-won power. I’ve generally been a rule follower, a peace keeper. I’ve never had anything I felt the desire to fight for the way I would for Cora. There’s a primal instinct to protect Cora’s legacy, just as I would protect her life. I feel like a rabid animal with my claws out when my motherhood, or Cora’s existence, comes into question. Say something dismissive, and the fuel pours onto my heart’s fire. Tell me I need to move on? I will speak out.

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