I wrote about this not that long ago. Memories are funny, and a particular memory I had been holding onto turned out to be different than what I remembered. How do we reconcile these things? For me, I think sometimes this is why I write.
When I was older I learned more about fairy story history—Sleeping beauty’s rape and Ariel’s death from pining. And yet, in spite of everything, I still wanted this kind of magic in my world. Is this how it happens? Is this how we dream, even knowing the faults inside of our wishing?
I met Liam only months before Adrian’s first birthday. We were thrown together by circumstances, and I was still only focusing on the things right in front of me—eat, sleep, breathe. I was taking steps into the world, but they were tiny. And it was literally weeks before I noticed Liam was noticing me. And he still had to finally, bluntly come right out and say it.
I was weird before Adrian died, and then after his death I realized I was more weird. I don’t believe in a higher power. I don’t worship or pray or seek meaning. And in places here, like in Megan’s world, I think I find like minds. But sometimes not entirely. And sometimes not at all outside this world.
I remember being angry when people tried to cheer me up in those early days. I didn’t know much about grief then, but I was quickly learning. I could tell, already, this wasn’t how it worked. You don’t comfort someone’s grief by denying it exists. Is it so hard to understand this?
My daughter threw a tantrum on the kitchen floor just now. Wrought face and wet-noodily, she bemoaned the breakage of the back of her high chair, even though SHE was the one who broke it. I try very hard not to laugh at these things. The world is heavy when you’re tiny.
‘Sneeches on Beaches’ was one of my favorite books. I remember reading it to my younger brother—him around 2, me reading silly voices even though almost in my teens. These were the books I was excited to receive, wrapped up in cute packaging, back when life was still fine.
Sometimes I feel like kindness is confused with self-care—long walks and bubble baths. Time alone to watch TV. These things are part of kindness, sure. But such a small piece.
I realized, the other day, when I was able to tell someone in such a calm manner, “My first child was stillborn”—I realized in the contrast between now and the early days, when I literally could not form those words—This feels like an unwanted new world to me. And maybe what I have forgotten, is not my son himself, but how it felt to grieve.
My daughter crawled into my lap the other day, grabbed my hand and wrapped it around her. And I realize in the years since the death of my son, what I miss most is this; this thing that hadn’t happened yet. This scent of life and normality. He deserved this too.
I was tagged in a post the other day. An expectant parent had unexpectedly lost her child, and a mutual friend wanted to connect us. But then I was reading through the other comments on the post, and I found one that said, “someday this won’t hurt so bad,” and to be honest, I wanted to scream.
There’s something about the echoing emptiness, waking up in the morning and he’s not there. How I wish you had come in then, crawled into bed with me and just held me. How I wish you had shown me it was okay to fall apart…And then how I wish you had left again.
Partly through effort, partly through ability, I climbed my way out. I built a new world. And yet, I think I must have subconsciously felt I still had to earn it. Did the old Miranda understand that this too was a legacy?