“Maya Yamb. Appa Cello. Maya Yamb Pee ano”
This is what I hear Audrey mumbling as she’s supposed to be napping right now. I never got to tell you Dan- remember how she’d been saying “Maya Maya” for months and we didn’t know what she was saying? We’d ask her, “Who’s Maya?” She must have been frustrated with us. Well, I figured it out a few days after you left as she kept repeating it and swaying her head a bit from side to side. It was her favorite song- Mary Had a Little Lamb. Now she’s constantly talking about how you played it for her on the cello and piano.
She gets this more now I think. Which is hard to see. Yesterday she pointed at our map in the kitchen and said “Appa?” I asked her, “Is appa on the map anymore?” and she said, “No. Appa died.”
Today is a rough day with her. She was more clingy and hyper this morning, but is refusing to nap again- she’s been trying for about an hour now. I’ve had to go in and take her out to go on the potty once…and just now again because she’d taken all of her clothes off again- seems to be her new thing. Potty training is not an appropriate thing to do while grieving. But once your child starts taking off her own diaper, there’s not much you can do. I don’t have the patience I used to.
I have stopped writing after the above sentence and sat here for about ten minutes trying to articulate the grief I feel today. It seems an impossible task. The reality the mystical weeks of grief have dropped me into is stark and raw. I find myself vulnerable and unprotected from the fog I held onto previously. Not to say that I am thinking clearly or 100% now, but much of that presence has lifted. So here I am, in my apartment as if after a long dream, but then where is Dan? I look for him. “Did he really die?” I ask myself over and over again. The worst has happened. My greatest fear for eleven years has occurred.
What I miss is of course your physical presence, but it is so much more than that. Most days we were not together- you were at work- I was at home or at my own job. This past year you were away for a month at a time. But it is the knowing, knowing you are out there- doing something somewhere. And now knowing that you are not out there- not smiling, laughing, eating, working, playing, sleeping- but knowing instead where your body lies. And in place of the heavy and thick presence of shock- a jarring silence in your bedroom; a dust-covered stillness over your cello sitting in the corner where you left it- untouched; a question- “Where are you?” without an answer.