Last night and this morning have been very, very rough.
I went to sleep around midnight again because I have to wait until I’m that tired before trying to sleep- tired enough that I can just turn out the light, pull the covers up over my head and pray to God to give me another dream or word from you while I sleep, before closing my eyes and falling into it.
But around 1 am- Audrey woke up screaming as if she was in some great distress. It was a scream that set every nerve I have on edge. I wanted to wait it out and hope she’s go back to sleep but that was definitely not going to happen. It’s hard to know anymore what is her normal toddler stuff and what behaviors are related to grief, so I am careful to be the security she may need, although it takes a toll on me. She refused to be consoled and seemed to be having one of her night terrors- hasn’t had them for months. She is half awake and half asleep saying things that are not words, reaching for me to pick her up, but then hitting my hands as I try to do so. In the middle of the night, it is almost too much to handle normally, but last night- I thought, “Dan- how could you leave me like this? How will I ever do this?”
I ended up taking her into the kitchen, turning on lights to try to rouse her to full awareness, and eventually she came around and accepted a glass of oo yoo- milk. But she made it clear afterwards that I had to to sit on the chair until she fell asleep again. I did, and tried to go back to sleep myself.
Another 20 minutes later, she was eliciting those same feelings as she started to scream again. I didn’t want to start a pattern I’d be dealing with for weeks, but again, I didn’t want to leave her feeling even more abandoned than she must already, so I got up again, walked around with her, brought her to my bed and even asked if she wanted to sleep her with me. “Cwib” she said and headed towards her crib. Thank God. But again, she insisted I sit in the chair until she was asleep which took a long time.
Found myself at 2:30 am wide awake with my light on. The friend who had coordinated Audrey’s memorial book had just emailed me what everyone wrote her. I read them all quickly, as if reading fast would make it less painful- like ripping off your band aid. Everyone seems to agree- you were the kindest, gentlest man. I cried. Tried to sleep again.