One year ago today, I saw you for the first time since you left on June 29th. Only…it was not you.
Walking up the church aisle towards the open casket was the most horrifying moment of my life- receiving the phone call was the most sorrowful and traumatic.
Today that wave of grief from last night lingers like bad jet lag does. And the details of the tragedy in Brooklyn sat with me all day as well. Grieving, I think, is like being outside in a downpour all of the time. Some days though, your umbrella comes in handy…this “umbrella” is your daily routines, your small comforts, your hope. You put it up and it’s enough. Other days, it’s that kind of downpour when an umbrella isn’t helpful at all…in fact, it goes against you. The rain is blowing so hard that the front and back of your legs are saturated as you try to steady your umbrella. No, it just won’t do on days like this. Finally, that umbrella blows inside out. Then it’s broken and useless. You see these broken umbrellas in NYC trash bins on corners after stormy days.
Tonight after Audrey’s in bed, after a long and cranky day for both of us, I do the pile of dishes in the sink and as I’m putting soap in the dishwasher, I think about dumping the entire box of powder into that little cavity until it’s overflowing. Tragedy just seems to warrant acts like this, but whenever I realize I’ll just have to clean it up and that would require energy I don’t have…I quickly abandon those ideas. Remember Demi Moore in Ghost tosses their glass bottle of pennies down that dramatic loft staircase? Only on television or in movies do people get to do those things; you never see them cleaning it up later.
Audrey was asleep in minutes tonight. I go in to look at her as I sometimes do. She is sleeping straight on her back – like you did- with Hello Kitty on her right and her elephant on her left. Then I put my palms on my cheeks and say quietly, “Oh my God,” realizing that she belongs to you and me- that she is made of us.