And the grief is awoken again.
I had a productive afternoon, but then decided to start working on one of what I call “memorial projects.” I want to collect every word you said about Audrey that I have in writing- either in emails, FB picture comments, letters you sent from tour, or emails from before she was born- and create one document for her to see when she’s older and read just a little bit of what her father thought of her- his enthusiasm and great, deep love for her.
So, I started out with my FB photos- which you commented on while you were away mostly.
But being on my profile which I rarely am, I started to scroll down- and before I knew it, I was scrolling all the way down to the day I found out you were dead.
That’s when the keening and moaning began again. I keen quietly though because I do not want my daughter to hear her mom moaning in the next room- even if she’s just half-awake. How frightening that would be for her.
I read all of the kind words of support and love from friends. I am surprised by how many people tell me how strong and graceful I’m being- how inspiring I am- just days or weeks after your death. Did they believe that I was really me? The physical and mental shock I experienced was like nothing else I’ve ever been through in my life. Even labor came on so much more gently. This was a ringing phone, words, “Dan is dead. He drowned swimming in Lake Geneva,” and screaming- my wet bathing suit thrown over the shower stall where it still hangs today, me darting around the apartment with a toddler at my heels, trying to figure out who to call or what to do.
Afterwards I remember telling your brother repeatedly that you had died in Sweden. I was so confused then.
Another thing that strikes me is that I posted every few minutes throughout the early morning from about 5 am on the next day. And in one of those posts, I comment on how it gets worse every day I’m further away from you- but this was only the first day. It must have felt so much longer. Time became moot at that point.
I read through the posts and people’s responses and writings to me, and I cry remembering what it felt like to announce to the world that you were dead…to receive condolence after condolence to the surreal news.
I am thoroughly drained now. But I’ve read that when one starts going back over the initial trauma, even though it feels like going backwards, it’s actually another step towards healing. I really hope so. But I have learned, I have no say in any of this. I have no choice- I must surrender…
So I keen and I cry quietly on the bed I worked hard to clear off finally today. And I stop and look up at no one or nothing and say out loud, “This is f–kin insane,” because it is. Mostly I think lately, “This is unfair, it’s just so unfair.”
I read all the posts on my profile wall until I get to the one on the day that I last saw your face- June 29th. I rarely posted on FB before this, but I find I posted about you leaving us for the tour again:
“missing my husband who is once again gone for another month on another continent. at least i have someone fun to keep me company. today she said the word “goodbye” for the first time to her appa.”
and I keen for you.