The other day Mark took a picture of Joel and me, and upon seeing it I was like, “I look fat and tired.” And Mark, without thinking, responded, “Don’t we all?” It wasn’t exactly the response I’d hoped for, but it wasn’t entirely untrue either.
Joel’s babysitter says some funny things. Joel is usually pretty regular in the bowel movement department, but when he has trouble, usually he’s constipated, but the other day we fed him some almond butter with his oatmeal, and apparently almonds don’t agree with him so he had diarrhea, which made him very sad, and Emily was like, “Diarrhea is sad for everyone, Joel! Even adults!” Truth.
Mark recently saw Joel do something that reminded him of himself and was like, “Well, he’s 50 percent me!” And then he corrected himself like, “Well, actually maybe a little more. Maybe even 75 percent me.” Mark is not a scientist. Not in the least.
Someone from my work recently sent me an email, and it ended with, “I hope you’re doing well.” And when I replied, I didn’t respond to this particular sentiment, because it seemed like more of an expression of a hope for me rather than something that needed express acknowledgement and confirmation like, “Thank you – I actually am doing well.” Or, “No, actually things really suck.” So I was more just like, “Attached is your file.” And then he responded, “Thanks so much! I really hope all is well with you.” And I thought this was an unnecessarily aggressive way to fish for some positive reassurance regarding my status. So I wanted to reply, “I’m doing as well as I could be considering that one of my children is dead.” But I just let it go instead.
Today at the grocery store someone stopped us and asked, “How old is he?” I answered, “Seven months.” And this woman was like, “Oh, how awesome! I have a 19 month old – it goes by so fast!” There’s never any escaping these heartbreaking interactions. And I’m currently reading a People Magazine article about how Tarek and Christina El Moussa (the hot messes) got divorced, and they have an 18 month old son. Case in point.
I recently read this blog entry about child loss, and it resonated with me so much. This quote is particularly heartbreaking, but it is so true for me: “I am actually thinking about the camaraderie and shared comfort I just witnessed among a large group of women, a synchronous bond I know I will never form with women again. Or men.” And also this: “We’re stuck in between. In between worlds and in between words. And while our friends live in their whole worlds and speak in their whole languages, and we take part and play along, our fragmented lives and fractured words cannot fit or interact perfectly.” Anyone who wants to better understand me (or anyone who’s suffered a similar loss) should read this. It sucks as I don’t think I can fix this – like I think I’ll just continue through life not being able to feel this genuine camaraderie with most others.
So someone offered to buy our house… It wasn’t really on the market, but sometimes these things happen. We aren’t sure what we’re going to do yet. When we built our home, we built it with so many hopes and dreams in mind. We kind of had a vision of what our family might look like some day. We put our heart and soul and our blood and sweat and tears (and so much time and money) into it. But then Matthew never came home to it. So it will never be the same… There are so many devastating, haunting memories here. Sometimes I wonder whether, if I were to stay, I’d always walk into my basement and think, “I was organizing our basement as my son was either already brain dead or fighting for his life.”
Before Matthew died, I might have called this my “forever home.” I might have considered it almost priceless. But now, I think I could stay, or, for the right price, I could also go. After all, it’s a material item. It’s replaceable. Anything material is. Of course I want for material things sometimes, but it isn’t the same anymore – not when one of the things I want most in this world I will never, ever have. Can never, ever get back.
And I also feel strangely detached from the couple who worked so hard for this. It’s almost as though all that took place in another lifetime.
In some ways, it did.
And, as we contemplate this voluntary sort of upheaval, I’m ruminating over so many things, the main one being that there are so many things that are happening in my life, and will continue to happen as the years go by, that cause me to question what my life would have looked like had Matthew lived.
And not all that is happening, or will continue to happen, is good. And certainly some things, even if good, aren’t comfortable.
And right now I’m sad at the continued realization that I will never know who I would have/could have been.
5 thoughts on “Randoms, and we might have sold our house by accident”
The house thing…yeah I relate to that a lot. I often want to smash dishes against the counter top when I’m standing at my sink. I think “I was here when she was suffering and I didn’t even realize. Maybe if I was enjoying being pregnant with her and not worrying about cleaning, I would have noticed her decreased movements…”
There will never be “normal” again in our lives I don’t think…I think it’s always going to be shadows in grief of some shape or form.
❤ I hope the choice of selling or staying isn't too difficult for you and I hope you guys are able to find the choice that works best for you. Xoxo.
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This: “And right now I’m sad at the continued realization that I will never know who I would have/could have been.” So painfully accurate. This has been on my mind all. the. time. lately. And I can relate to the house thing too. We moved into what I considered my dream home in October 2015, and less than a week later, conceived Jacob. Jacob, the hope for Jacob, being in labor with Jacob, grieving Jacob, in some ways it’s all so intertwined with this house. After he died I wanted to move immediately (to a whole different state actually) but that has faded. I still love the house and it would be really hard to leave, but I do think about it sometimes…is this still really our forever home? Because between the two new beginnings that coincided so closely in time, moving into this house and conceiving Jacob, I would wayyy rather have him than this house. But that’s just not a choice I get to make, is it? Sending you hugs!
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This breaks my heart into a million pieces. I cried when I read how you feel about your basement, as it’s how I feel about my couch. (our old couch) It was the last place I remember feeling her move that morning as I ate my cereal, watching Figure Skating on the winter Olympics. Every time I sat there afterwards, I thought to myself, was this where she died? Was this where she tried to tell me something was wrong, as I took her last attempts at life as my false reassurance that everything was okay? I hate that couch.
When we moved we got some new furniture, so now that one sits at the back of the unfinished portion of our basement. I feel this way about so many things, but there is definitely a pang when I think of our old house. The house we’d planned to bring her home to. We never planned on staying there forever, it was a small, cozy existence even before the kids came but we had planned on her joining us there. And she didn’t, and so it always kind of felt less like home.
I know no matter where we live, life and the material possessions that fill it will seem like a betrayal, maybe forever but I wanted to let you know that I understand completely your feelings about potentially wanting to leave. Love you.
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Laughed out loud on the science quote. Makes me smile. Mark is cute. The XX and XY genetics thing isn’t registering. Joel is a realignment of so many versions of your 23 and his 23. Interesting to think how Mark is so cute! Love you both.
The basement 😦
I love you so. There isn’t one answer. Thank you for sharing.
I have mentioned to my husband more than once that I’d like to move. Not just houses but towns, states. I hate driving around town thinking of my pregnancy. Certain stores, certain restaurants, and most definitely the route to the hospital which also happens to be the route to my husband’s aunt and uncle’s house (our only relatives in Maine) and the national park where every visitor we have wants to visit.