It was Six Months Yesterday

Sometimes I forget. For just a second, when the ladies at work are talking about their new babies or their growing bellies, I let myself get caught up in the story, and I focus so much on when I experienced that (whatever “that” happens to be), I forget about Olivia. Though I’m not really forgetting about Olivia. I’m just pretending. For their benefit, of course.

It’s been 6 months since we lost her and at moments it still feels as recent as yesterday. I can still see her sweet face, her upturned nose and open mouth like a baby bird waiting to be fed. Her head full of dark brown, what looked to be curly, hair. She’s just as real today as the day she was born. I don’t know what day she died.

I still can’t believe she died.

It’s quite clear I’m going to be okay from all this. I already am. It’s quite clear that I have survived the loss of a child. But it still sounds so alien to hear and to say. I still don’t really relate to the status. Like when I’m talking about Olivia, I’m talking about someone else’s child. Someone else’s loss. Someone else’s tragedy.

I still don’t understand fully how this all works. Yet I’m living, breathing proof that it certainly does.

This life is a mystery I suppose I’ll be solving for the rest of it.

It could’ve been worse.

I still have Lily.

Those are my refrains. What are yours?

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  1. #1 by Jeanette on May 26, 2010 - 12:19 pm

    It’s weird isn’t it, how we do go on? For me, I know that yeah mostly I’m ok, I’m functioning,coping, and then suddenly the reality of it all hits so hard I’m floored.
    My refrains? I guess, “My children and husband need me.”
    Love to you x

  2. #2 by Catherine W on May 26, 2010 - 2:08 pm

    A remark that never fails to irritate the heck out of me is ‘I don’t know how you survived. You are so strong.’
    I’m not strong. There isn’t really much choice. Our children stop and we go on. I don’t know how we do it sometimes but we do. We get mad, sad and bad on occasion but we continue.
    My refrains would be,
    (i)to borrow a line from your post, I still can’t believe she died, I sometimes even have to say this one aloud to myself.
    (ii) I still have Jessica and, God knows, I shouldn’t have her really.
    leading inevitably on to (iii) it could’ve been worse. Because, in my case, it really could have been. But, at times, I just can’t find the consolation that I should in that.
    (iv) Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Borrowed from Finding Nemo.
    I love your description of Olivia in this post, her little mouth and her curls. Sweet girl. I’m sure I’ve said it before but I am terribly sorry.

  3. #3 by livemotionally on May 26, 2010 - 5:35 pm

    Jeanette – That’s a pretty strong reason to get up in the morning if you ask me.

    Catherine – I totally know what you mean about people saying we’re strong. We had no choice about surviving our babies and to me that implies that we did somehow. I know that’s probably not what people mean, but if you think about it, that’s definitely the implication. I have nothing to do with surviving this. That’s also what I mean when I say I feel like I’m watching someone else lose Olivia. I have no control, I’m just an observer but with all the associated feelings.

  4. #4 by niobe2 on May 27, 2010 - 8:03 am

    My refrain?

    “I’m better off without them”

  5. #5 by beth on May 27, 2010 - 1:22 pm

    i forgot that our losses were the same day.

    i don’t have any refrains, really. i wonder why.

  6. #6 by livemotionally on May 27, 2010 - 2:31 pm

    Beth, why don’t you try to come up with something and then just say it to yourself? Something that will help you, that’s unique to you. And then say it whenever you’re feeling particularly vulnerable, sad, mad, overwhelmed. It’s just something that helps me. I would love for you to find something that would help you.

    Sending you my love.

  7. #7 by beth on May 27, 2010 - 3:31 pm

    sounds silly, but that never occurred to me.

    thank you. i’ll try that. i need something to keep myself going on the bad days.

    love to you too x

  8. #8 by Hannah on June 21, 2010 - 11:06 pm

    I’m fickle, I have many refrains.

    My favorites though, are:

    “Who knows?” (my short & sweet version of a favorite Leunig quote “Let it unravel. Let it become a road on which to travel”)

    “Darling girl, we’ll get there” (to myself and to her, wherever she is)

  9. #9 by livemotionally on June 24, 2010 - 10:48 pm

    I like the idea of just letting it (whatever ‘it’ is) unravel. Like peeling an onion. Except for the part about life that’s endless…and beginning-less…and so it goes.

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