How it is now

December 15, 2009

Sunday was a good day, a full day.

I slept in and enjoyed the lovely indulgence of not leaving the warm bed until it was light out.  I admired the light blanket of freshly fallen snow outside and turned the Christmas tree lights on.  I pulled on N’s fleece-lined bathrobe and puttered into the kitchen to bake peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses on top, made myself a cup of tea, and then re-read some of a really marvelous historical fantasy about Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare that makes me smile.

I took a long shower and found myself singing “The Little Drummer Boy” as hot water poured down over my head, and then, suddenly, as I reached the second verse, I found myself sobbing and gasping for breath between sobs, my hands splayed flat and desperate against the shower wall as this huge wave of missing slammed into me.  It felt like an ambush but it also felt (in the imortal words of Salt-N-Pepa) very necessary.  I just let myself feel loss, feel pain, feel anger, feel longing, feel the hole in my life that will never be filled.  The noise of the bathroom fan and the running water covered the sounds of my crying, and the privacy was freeing.  The water ran (bless the large hot water heater, I say) until I’d cried myself out, until I was spent and shaky and clean.

I toweled off and carried on with the day.  I shoveled snow, watched television, listened to Christmas music.

This is how it is now.  My days are mostly normal and I am mostly happy and grateful, but Teddy was here and I still miss him sorely, miss him daily.

Jeanette Winterson, in her novel Written on the Body, writes, “The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?”

This is how it is now.



  1. that is how it is now…the missing, the longing, the grieving and the going on with life and baking cookies…all at the same time. there will always be a hole in our heart for our first born boys…always.


  2. That is just it. What a wonderful quote.

    (Going to purchase Ink and Steel right now!)

  3. The Jeanette Winterson quote is beautiful. It is the ‘particularness’, that is exactly the word. Those very specific people are missing and the hole they leave behind is one in a shape peculiar to them.

    Those waves of missing. Sometimes they come and ambush you when you are least expecting them.

    Also intrigued by Ink and Steel. Will definitely have to add it to my ever increasing pile of books. Yummy!

  4. Yes, this is how it is. That sudden, out of the blue, visceral hit of what is there all along just hanging out and biding its time. I could feel it reading this.

  5. Wow. Powerful quote. Thanks for posting.

  6. I never really got on with Jeanette Winterson novels but *that* quote is amazing – absolutely spot on. Why indeed would we ever want anyone else to fit their space?

  7. I keep forgetting that I need to change my sign in on WordPress blogs! That comment above was me – signed in as my husband.

  8. I am so glad I found your blog, to read of someone going thru something similar is comforting.
    I lost my baby girl at only 15 week pregnant back in March, I am currently 19 weeks pregnant and still have bad days.

  9. That’s it exactly.

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