One week ago Lily died.
It's been a long, floaty, numb week. I don't remember Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday--just snippets. Sitting in the mortuary, walking towards the Cemetery office. I was surprised to see the charge for the adjoining plot (My spot, now that Lily took my OLD spot) on my credit card statement--Zar claims I was there when it was run. A few sad sweet moments dressing Lily in white. Then I remember standing in a steamy hallway with two friends at the spa...but the rest of those three days is lost to me. I remember Thursday. Which is a gift. Thursday was special and edifying. People shake their heads and wonder aloud how you cope with your child's viewing--talking to people, speaking to a crowd. I can say I wondered the same thing before Charlotte passed away, but now I know it's a combination of the Lord's tender mercies and your body's reaction to taking an emotional hit. Part of you shuts down. Your brain focuses on what needs to be done and then forgets. I think on a subconscious level you start to deal with grief and exhaustion and memories, but you don't become aware for a few days. And you sleep a lot.
When you become aware is when you start to feel it. You hope you can fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow because that's when memories come, and it's painful. Songs just knock you over. Your flowers start dying. And then you go up to the cemetery and find someone has pulled all the roses and lilies from the casket spray left on her grave, and probably given them as a Valentines gift. And left the torn apart left over greenery laying in the dirt. On what is clearly a fresh and tiny grave. And it's ROUGH.
But there are such sweet moments. Your husband's coworker who invites you to Sunday breakfast turns out to be married to a friend from school you haven't seen in years. Your friends send texts and call just when you need them. People write outrageously nice things about you on their blog. Your daughters just want to be held. Another bouquet arrives.
I'm nowhere near perfect. If I'm strong it's because of the last 5 years. If I'm handling it well it's because I believe in heaven, and because I'm somewhat numb. And it was very hard watching Lily hurt. And I have A LOT of help and support.
But you should know I certainly don't feel "Amazing". You should know I tend to let my family live from a pile of semi-clean clothes on the laundry room floor. I go to my cushy job twice a week and get to decompress and talk to adults about not-kids. When I go to my moms I don't lift a finger to care for my kids. I let her change them, feed them, clean up the sprinkles they dump on the floor, and I sit on the couch. When my mother-in-law picks up my kids for the day, I always say "okay, I will be there at 1 after I put away the semi-clean laundry!" and then I don't come until 6. Every...single...time. If I go to yoga at 6 am it's because a major component of this particular class is laying on the floor. If there is something full of carbs and sugar in the area, I will seek it out and consume it. My kids watch A LOT of Mickey Mouse and Elmo. I have been known to spend money I do not have. Zar told me the other day I have been snoring. I let Ella have way too many fruit snacks, chocolate chips, and sips (chugs) of diet coke. Occasionally Ava wears last night's jammies all day...and then that night too. I make snarky remarks to my husband. A lot. My car is a dumpster on wheels 99% of the time, until Zar cleans it out. I don't take care of my possessions, namely cell phones, cameras, and other small electronics. I'm often cranky. Most of my home cooked meals are a variation on chicken, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup. And I haven't cooked for my family in weeks, thanks to all the wonderful REAL meals people have sent. And finally, a few weeks after Lily was born, there was this bad smell in the refrigerator, and I kept throwing stuff out but it just wouldn't go away, and then one day I noticed a puddle of milk on the floor. I opened the frig and a GLASS BOTTLE OF MILK had EXPLODED on the top shelf, soaking the entire inside with curdled, disgusting, smelly old milk. How long had that bottle been in the back of the frig? That had to be A LONG, LONG TIME. And you will notice I did not immediately blog about that. I find I put my best food forward when I blog. So I will tell you now that right away I canceled my plans to go buy something needless and took everything out of that frig, and sanitized and wiped and scrubbed the inside, and checked the dates on everything else and of course, plugged in the Scensty. And told Zar I had FOUND the SMELL, HOORAH! Impressive, right? Not really. Because sometimes circumstances force us to be strong, or brave or have great faith, or to clean out the frig. But you do what you gotta do. Am I right?