This week has been particularly hard.
I learned on Sunday that my sister is taking her kids to Florida this
week. She didn't even have the decency to tell me herself. She sent
me this card yesterday telling me that Lydie's death is making her
appreciate her life and her kids more, so she wants to have these
experiences with them.
So not only does she have a living son and daughter, but because my daughter died,
she is taking them to fucking Disney World.
The rational side of my brain can make sense of this. The emotional side is so angry at her. And lately, my emotions are winning out.
Yesterday, my mom texted me a photo of her holding a beer and a pretzel with my sister at the Cleveland Hofbrauhaus and it made me burst into tears. I do not understand how they can go out and have fun right now. It makes me feel so completely alone in my grief.
So much, that when I couldn't stop crying while running around the track, I had to go sit on a toilet in a bathroom stall. I had to wait until the people around me cleared out to let out my gut-wrenching sobs.
When I texted Justin to vent to him, he reminded me that it was Wednesday. I found out that my daughter had died on a Wednesday. It marked 13 weeks. I hate Wednesdays.
Justin seems to measure time by Thursdays, the day Lydie was "born." For me, I mark Wednesdays, the day that my world came crashing down. And to top it off, today is also the 5th, which marks three months since the dreadful day I found out she died.
Which makes tomorrow the 6th, three whole months since her silent birth. Others have told me that anniversaries are always hard, and I wasn't sure what to think about that, until I realized this bad week is coinciding with the three month mark. A whole trimester. The fourth trimester. I should be setting a chalkboard next to her, taking her monthly photo. Remarking about how much she has changed and grown. Maybe she'd even be rolling over already, like Ben did at 3 months.
Yesterday, I helped interview a candidate who just happened to mention she has three children. And while everyone else nodded, I felt sick. How simple this comment was for her. I felt so jealous.
Later, a friend asked if I had any travel plans for work this spring. No, I responded. I was supposed to be on maternity leave.
Between the tears in the bathroom and my office, I looked forward to picking Benji up from daycare all day, thinking my day would greatly improve when my boy ran into my arms and hugged me. But instead, he threw a tantrum about leaving school. And considering there was a pregnant woman in his classroom and I could just feel my anxiety rising, I picked him up crying and carried him out. He fought me as I wrestled him into his car seat, and as we're stuck in traffic and he continued to howl, I yelled "I know!" at him and started crying too.
And then once we got home, Ben opened up the fridge, pulled out a full bottle of lemon juice, and promptly dropped it on the floor, shattering it and spilling lemon juice everywhere. I yelled "fuck!," dropped to the kitchen floor and wept in a way I haven't in months. Ben sat down next to me, sobbing. And eventually I pulled him on to my lap so we sat there sobbing together.
I wouldn't say that it was my finest moment of parenting.
And in a few minutes, I have to go to a faculty meeting where I'll be surrounded by people I haven't seen since November. And for each person that says hello to me, I'll have to quickly size up whether they know or not and make the split-second decision of how to respond when they ask, "How are you?" Meanwhile, a trigger for me has been crowds and sitting in an auditorium with 200 colleagues gives me such anxiety.
I've read that I can allow this experience to make me bitter or make me better.
I know that I can't control what happened to my daughter, but I can control how I choose to live afterwards.
On the good days, I can feel this. I can feel hopeful and grateful.
But on the bad days - or even the bad weeks - the anger and the fear and the anxiety and the resentment creep in constantly, and I can't control them anymore than I can control anything else.