Sometimes I just sit. I stare blankly, focusing on nothing. I’m quiet and still. The pain is so oppressive it sits on me and in me and I can do nothing but sit with it. I forget to breathe sometimes, so I manage to think…”inhale, exhale…inhale, exhale”…also “blink, Gina, remember to blink.” My eyes are so damned dry anyway, thanks to the anti-depressants I take.
There are so many different types of pain and different levels of pain. This pain is unbearable and incompatible with life, but it’s there. At least I have reached the point that I am pretty sure these moments will pass. I would rather be sobbing, screaming, curled up in a fetal position. Crying, for me, is so cathartic. These times are different, I am paralyzed with the pain…hence the reminders, “inhale, exhale, blink.” This pain is a thing, more than just an emotion, it’s a thing. It exists and must be carried. My daughter carried it a long time. But in her death her pain was not obliterated, it was passed on to me. If I chose to escape the pain by ending my life, it would attach itself to the people who love me the most. It would break them, as it has broken me. I don’t think she understood that, and I don’t think she was thinking about me when she did it. But I know. I can’t un-know.
People lose their patience with me. People have lost their patience with me. Not just those who don’t understand. Other grieving moms too…”Why is she still struggling so?” I know they are dealing with their own demons. I strive to give them the patience they deny me, because just as they do not understand me, I do not understand them
I don’t know what is happening to me. I don’t know why I’m not progressing, it’s not my choice. I’m not defiantly suffering. Time is supposed to soften the burden, but for me, the more time that passes is simply more time since I last spoke to her. More time since Before, more time After. Those wonderful tricks that our minds play on us, like the fog, are gone. The death of my child was not just an event that happened in my life, the death of my child is woven into my life. Others can move on, forget, or even not care, but there is no escape for me, it’s a part of me, a huge, oppressive, overbearing aspect of my actual person.
So, would I give up the pain, if it were possible? Not even for a second. The pain exists because I had a child, and I lost her. The pain exists because I had the greatest love in the world…had. I will bear it, I will sit with it, I will feel it, and I will love it. There is no way to separate my love and my pain. And it is all worth it, it’s worth all the suffering I endure and will continue to endure…because I had her! For 22 1/2 years I had her! I had the most beautiful, the most magnificent child there ever was, and it was bliss. Utter, infinite bliss.