July 26, 2011

State Of Flux



Sunday, 8pm: I am SO motivated.

We have our calendars out - my laptop and keyboard, her paper and pencil - and sit across a wooden table from one another in our kitchen nook. I feel ready for a schedule. I feel ready to plan five days in a row. I am done shuffling listlessly from here to there, without directions or purpose, blown by the winds of grief from hour to hour.

This time every Sunday evening is sacred in this household. For our parenting sanity. For my routine driven personality. For productivity. And it prevents me from wasting time, something I can occasionally do with reckless abandonment. We haven’t sat down like this since late March.

Monday, K says, let’s talk about tomorrow. We trade tasks and plans and switches and meals and add them to our calendars in unison. I start by typing 5:45am: WAKE UP and feel steadfastly confident in my ability to get up that early again, as I did in my former life.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Lock it in.

As it stands on paper and screen, it’s going to be a good week. We are going to exercise more. We are going to tackle some home projects. We are going to try for another baby. We have time for reading and writing, time alone, meals with friends and enough shared energy to give Stella another action filled week.

Sunday, 8:30pm: The shutting of my computer is the beginning of the end, though I don’t know it yet. My shoulders drop. I stare out the window as the traces of light shoot across the yard. She is always on my mind. Would she be sleeping now? K gets up and makes a couple of drinks. Whiskey and vodka, for this crew.

Sunday, 11pm: We fall into bed early. I set my alarm. You can do it, remember this feeling of motivation, I press myself, and I still have a small part of me that thinks I can manage. I read a little Bukowski and laugh again at his dedication in Pulp: Dedicated to bad writing.

Monday, 5:45am: A soothing sound rises from my phone, which sits on the ground just within reach. For a split second, I’m awakened to a new world, a fresh day that doesn’t have a dead baby stamp on it. Then I remember. Margot is still dead. This is still my life.

Before all of this happened, the bed was like a magnet, pulling me back towards it, beckoning me to rest just a wee bit longer. I rarely caved in then. Now the bed is a wall of concrete, with a heavy ball and chain deeply set into it. The chains wrap themselves around my limbs, the ball sits on my chest, leaving me in a state of heavy submission.

I stare upwards for a moment. The fan blows cool air in from the window. I feel a small drop of comfort in the familiarity of this grief. I skip the snooze altogether and reset the alarm for 7:30. I turn towards K and close my eyes.

12 comments:

michelle said...

beautiful post, you really put into words what the day to day is like after such loss

Sari said...

Love this line: "I feel a small drop of comfort in the familiarity of this grief." It's so true -- this is our new normal, as tragic and horrible as it is. It's all we know now. And, somehow, through all of our tears and emotions, we find a gentle comfort. I think it's that comfort that allows our children to always be present in our lives. Sending love to all four of you.

Missy said...

Perfectly worded my friend. Thinking of you and Margot~

Hope's Mama said...

Oh so familiar. That feeling upon first waking, where you forget - just for a moment. Then bam, it hits you again. She is still dead. This is your life. Rinse, repeat. Day in, day out.
I'm so sorry, Josh.

Mary Beth said...

I totally get this. You've perfectly captured how it is to have those moments of "I can DO this," only to be hit moments, hours later with, "What was I thinking, my child is dead."

After Calla died, I started doing this out of the ordinary for me--getting up early to run, staying late at friends' houses because, hey, why not. Looking back, I think I needed to escape my life for a little bit. And it wasn't a bad thing, just a thing.

Enough about me. All this to say I know what you mean. You are not alone. This is hard work we do. Sending you love and light.

brianna said...

I remember the swing of that pendulum happening so quickly...
After George died it took me months and months to finally follow through with the promises I made to myself to start studying for my national board exam.

You'll get there. Slowly, but you will.

crystal theresa said...

so familiar.

Josh Jackson said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Lots of love, lots of hope.

I could have kept writing about how later that Monday, I was back to feeling motivated again, on top of my life for a brief few hours.

This grief thing is a tricky presence to figure out...and to capture in mere words.

Anonymous said...

But, Josh, you DO capture the words...very poignantly! It is very obvious that you are reaching the very souls of others who have and still are traveling on the same road as you and Kari.

May God continue to bless you with the insight into using your linguistic talent to minister to all of us!

still life angie said...

I felt that way too, blowing from here to there on the winds of grief. Schedules kept me sane, even when I would resent their very nature of telling me where I should be and what I should be doing when all I wanted to do is keen. I wish someone could say, "Here is the magic incantation for this all to end." We all figured that out for ourselves I suppose. Mine involved whiskey, schedules and the computer too. Sending love.

JoyAndSorrow said...

Wow. This is so perfect, your description on how the bed changes, how the desire for more sleep stays yet changes. Great post.

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