August 19, 2009

Thanks so much for remembering Teddy with me, for all of your kind thoughts and wishes.  I was in a dark place last week, and feel like I’m only just returning, but your words helped and comforted, and I’m so grateful for all of you.

We’re still recovering from our two weeks of being between homes, from the exhaustion of moving, from the surprise that summer is so nearly over.  We’re waiting on screening test results for new baby (I’ve started calling new baby Radish, but I’m not sure it’ll stick), and the results are late, so we worry.  We miss our cats.  We miss having all our things where we want them, where we can find them.  We wish that the room that is to be N’s office were ready for him to move into, and that our dryer worked.  It’s an inconvenient time to be sad, to be swept under by memory and fruitless desire.

(I did try to explain to the universe, several times this past week, that having a dead baby is really inconvenient what with the overwhelming grief and malaise, the temper tantrums and teary outbursts, the heightened sensitivity to just about everything, and the general aches and pains of  heavy-heartedness, and if she could please give Teddy back, it would make things much easier, but she refused.  The bitch.)

We worked through the weekend, me finishing a short writing piece for a library journal, N putting together syllabi for his fall semester classes, and in between both of us unpacked boxes at our new place.

Saturday we took some time to remember Teddy on his first birthday, how excited and hopeful we were when he was born, how beautiful he was, how much we miss him.  I lit Teddy’s candle and we huddled together in its small circle of light, in the small patch of order we’d created from the chaos of boxes and furniture that filled our living room.

Sunday, the anniversary of Teddy’s death, we just worked through the day.  We grabbed burgers for dinner, we were sad, we didn’t talk about Teddy much.  This, I think, came back to bite me on Monday.  Monday when it seemed like nothing was right, nothing would work out, like I’d never stop feeling sad, like I was dragging my grief around like Jacob Marley’s chains.  Monday evening we felt sad together.  We ate soup, which I sometimes think is the food of The Sad, and salad, which was good for us and not entirely un-comforting (it had bacon).  We cried, held each other, and eventually talked some more.

I keep telling myself, this is my life now, but I still don’t always believe me.

We keep creating small pieces of order as we unpack, which makes it easier to accept and deal with all the work and clutter that surrounds us, that still needs to be dealt with.  Our new place looks and feels a little more like home every day.  I wonder if we aren’t doing something similar with our grieving, creating more and more places where we can live with the grief, where we can bear it.  More treacherous than unpacking, of course.  The chaos and clutter of grief can swell at any moment and swallow one or both of us up, throw us down, have its way with us.  Even a year later.

But if we have to live in grief, we may as well make ourselves as at home in it as possible.   And one good thing about my grief being a little older is that I think there are more spaces in it where I can breathe, think, and dwell without (usually) being completely overwhelmed.



  1. Welcome back. I hope you feel more settled soon.

  2. erica,
    my heart is with you as i think of your sweet teddy. sorry i missed his days. sending you so much love

  3. I still don’t believe it either. I still sometimes think I’ll wake up. But then I remember. ((hugs)) to you.

  4. It’s true. The longer you’re here the more settled and the more space there is within the grief. I wish it were easier.

  5. I am sorry I am so terribly late with my support. I can’t imagine the chaos with the move, the boxes and then trying to face (and embrace?) Teddy’s first birthday. And the soup on Monday sounds a wonderful compliment to your sadness.

    Take a deep breath — the first year is over. I am so sorry Teddy is not here with you.

  6. I wish Teddy were here too. Sending love.

  7. “I keep telling myself, this is my life now, but I still don’t always believe me.”

    I keep doing the same, and the disbelief remains.

  8. Hope things settle down soon. You have enough to deal with.

    It is hard to believe this life sometimes.

  9. Yep, still so much disbelief here, too. Even with the big days behind me now. Just seems so many more days ahead of me. All without her. And all without Teddy for you. Always remembering him with you, not just on the birthdays and anniversaries.

  10. “I keep telling myself, this is my life now, but I still don’t always believe me.” Once again, Erica, you took the words right out of my heart.

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