Falling Apart

Today Ada and I made cupcakes for my dad’s birthday. I cleared piles of paper off the desk while she watched Sesame Street on the computer. It all feels too normal. It seems too soon to feel this way, to feel okay. I wonder how long it will last?

*****

It didn’t last long. I got angry for the first time since all of this happened. I got angry because someone else gets to have a baby and I don’t. The anger cracked me open and the grief poured in. While Ada wrote a story and my dad worked on his computer I quietly sobbed in the office, then in the bathroom and finally in the shower. I hardly made a sound. Ada came in to use the toilet, asked me what I was doing and then said “I think you were crying Mom”. I heard her talking, how could she hear me? How did she know? “You’re right Ada, I was crying.” My sweet sensitive child with the great big heart, how will this all affect you? I am so sorry you have two grieving parents instead of a little brother. I wish it were different.

*****

An earlier conversation:

I am talking to my dad, clearly upset. Ada comes in, tries to talk over me, get my attention. I stop what I’m saying to my father and turn to her.
Mama is upset sweetheart but I’m okay. It’s not your job to make me feel better.
More song and dance.
It’s my job to make me feel better sweet pea, it’s not your job. I brush her bangs aside so I can look into her troubled blue eyes. It’s my job and I’m going to be okay.
I want to help you Mama.
You do Ada. I smile. You have no idea how much you do.

*****

I found my copy of Pema Chodron‘s When Things Fall Apart last night. I bought it on a recommendation when Steve and I separated six years ago but never really read it. I have been seeing Pema quotes everywhere and I knew it was time to pick the book back up. Things have clearly fallen apart – although I realized today I’m doing a good job of appearing like I’m holding it together. Maybe that’s why it hurts when I breathe.

*****

Fear is a universal experience….It’s not a terrible thing that we feel fear when faced with the unknown. It is part of being alive, something we all share. We react against the possibility of loneliness, of death, of not having anything to hold on to. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth. – Pema Chodron

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