I feel like I should write.. like I want to write but the words won’t come to me.. neither will sleep it seems this week either. I still feel like I have so much to write I don’t want to forget.. about Seattle and our bereavement camp. But those memories seem so distant to me somehow. Not lost.. not yet at least.. but fuzzy and distant. Muted by my grief.
I feel like I am deep in this right now. Struggling with my broken heart and my goals for the future. I find myself scared of so much .. my grief, my numb and from there it grows on and out. I find myself not wanting to leave the house again and letting the phone go to voicemail versus answering. What I don’t know.. what I don’t understand, is why its happening.
I just hurt so much right now. I just miss my daughter. I think that might truly be all it is. A simple thing.. an overwhelmingly powerful thing.
Last week I went through clothes for Charlotte and I think maybe thats where it started.. an inability to fully recover from that onslaught of emotions. Because these clothes were once Jennifer’s. This is the first set of clothes I can really remember so many moments with my eldest daughter in them. It was sometime in this phase of clothes that she hated labels..so now many of them are label free. It was the time she liked wearing things backwards more than forwards.. though that phase was short lived.
This was the time that she started her habit that lasted until hospice of multiple wardrobe changes.. Actually I guess that ended before hospice. I remember her slowing down with it as she struggled with control over her own body. My girl that could once button things down her back struggled to just get her arm into a t-shirt.
I hate how much she suffered. In so many small ways.. that kept piling up on top of her.
While I was sorting through them.. holding them up to my face.. whispering apologies to the girl that wasn’t there each of her siblings came in. They knew and understood somehow my despair and did for me the best they could. Each one of my living children came and hugged me.. then sat in the room with me.. and hugged my again before they left. No words from any of them.
This is what being raised in a house of loss looks like. This is why it will always impact them, no matter their age. Because they witness our sorrow.
They see how much we love our children and the toll it takes having one taken away.
I believe they will always carry with them a unique confidence in our unending love for them.. and a burden in that as well.
They will know love comes at a price.. but one that is always worth paying.
Moments of immense grief.. Its our “new normal”, that is anything but normal… but I think it will always, quite simply be, their only normal.
Jennifer would have loved all of this.. going through her old clothes.. hearing stories about how I had to take away all of her clothes because she couldn’t stop herself from getting a new outfit every 30 minutes and I was doing a full load of her laundry nearly every day. Or showing her the combinations of colors and patterns she most loved to wear.. Sometimes a great combination.. sometimes not!
And my Jennifer would have loved to see her baby sister in her old things. She would have looked for something similar to clothes she was currently wearing.. clothes that will never be bought.. because she stopped growing at 6.
She would have asked to see pictures of her in the clothes so she could have dressed Charlotte in a identical outfit.. I hope so much that would have been a ‘no into yes’ a time where my inclination would have been to say no.. I had more chores to knock out.. but then I would have had a moment of pause and changed that no into a memory making yes. I like to think I would have.. but I don’t know. I think she is not only the catalyst for that new way of life but also my guiding light for it.
Sometimes I think she gently places her hand on my shoulder.. and silently whispers in my ear.. mama.. And I remember.. and I change for my 3 living. ..for them because of her..
my jennifer lynn
you help me
more than i will ever know.
…until there is a cure..