The Grieving Season

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The temperature has begun to change, and once again memories of Beatrix's short life are set into motion in my mind. There's a repetition of the grieving season which is triggered when the first red hued leaves show up at the edges of the forest.

It's difficult to separate her from the nip in the evening air. 

Waiting for winter was so easy before she came, but
now the anticipation of chilly weather has a dark stain-- winter was cold, but her tiny body was much colder than any snow could ever be. 

She fell asleep in my arms and she never woke up, and somehow I'm supposed to "get over" that.... After all, it's coming on five years.

But how do you get over such a passionate emotion as "loved until death"?

How do you work through "I'll love you until the day I die" when the object of your devotion takes their last breath in your presence? 

We say those things with the expectation that the other party will outlive us. Especially someone so very new. She had the smallest, most exquisite fingernails. How do I keep breathing after touching them and letting them go?

As I begin to see Christmas decorations go up, the contrast between the person I was then and the person I am today is poignantly clear. I once loved Christmas, when the worst holiday disappointment I could imagine was not receiving a gift I desired. Ever since leaving the hospital with empty arms, twelve days before Christmas, carols and wrapping paper just aren't always exciting to me. I sometimes fake it for the sake of my other children, but it wasn't just my daughter who was taken from me that Christmas five years ago, it was my innocence. 

Sadly, in order to truly have hope, you need innocence. 

Christmas is all about hope-- and the hope is carried in the form of a tiny baby who was destined for death. While I am not attempting to interject myself into the Christmas narrative, the parallels are too impossible to ignore.

In the fall, all I can see is the beginning of the story. An entire genealogy of human darkness manifested in her small form. As the leaves change my heart turns to glass, and it breaks ever so easily. My sadness is a wanton mistress, unashamed of her public displays of ardor to this girl who took an hour and forty seven minutes of my hands-on attention, and then left. 

Please forgive me if I seem too bright, or not bright enough. My senses are overwhelmed with her memory.

When I look into your eyes I intuitively see my pain reflected in them. It's raw and bewitching and it stings. I am indelibly marked with her presence, and it is reflected a thousand times in your face. 

Every love song serenades her and I must walk in this world listening to to her rhythms while her voice is just beyond my listening ear.

My hands are electrified. I'm afraid of touching you-- these hands are sacred and touching you would weaken the power of my kinesthetic memories.

These shortening days are the beginning of my grieving season. I will not be illuminated in the glow of colored lights, but instead shrouded in the mystery of inherited iniquity. It takes a great amount of energy to maintain equilibrium when the weight of the span of human nature has been delivered to you in a three pound package. I'm spent from {almost} five years of wanting. Hopelessness is a habit which most often manifests itself in this season-- not some sort of seasonal mental disorder, but rather me living one foot in today and one in the past. 

As the season changes, I can not stop my walk into that time where she is breathless in my arms. I can only slide around the poorly-lit places in hopes that when the spring time comes, I will be capable of welcoming the promise of warmth again.

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