Eleven months in, going on a year, and my grief feels so civilized. Balanced. Healthy. Evolved. Appropriate.
Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst.
I curb my anger by doing the dishes. I tone down my writing so that it's more widely acceptable, with less cursing and zero polarizing references to religion. I put on a happy face for the world even when my heart feels so broken. I keep my mouth shut every time someone tells me that my daughter died for a reason. I bite my lip when someone talks about this subsequent pregnancy casually, as if being pregnant for two years straight is no big deal, as if carrying one baby while grieving for another is an easy task, as if this new baby is guaranteed to live. I keep Margot's things in a tidy little corner, her ashes covered, her candle unlit in the presence of company. I engage with friends, making small talk, largely ignoring what actually consumes my thoughts every single day. I choose, with all of my strength, the hard road of hope and acceptance. I try to pull gifts from the gutter of this tragedy, to grow and learn and become a better version of myself.
This part of my grief feels like this pretty little package with a bow on top, one that can be easily accessed and casually touched. It doesn't offend, or shout or make people feel uncomfortable. It has manners, says please and thank-you and whispers calmly in the night. The ring leader is my mind, with it's persuasive logic and comforting presence, forcing down the two fists that my heart has raised up defiantly.
Truth is, it's only half the truth.
I really feel like taking what's left of her ashes and smearing them all over my face, rubbing them into my pores, breathing them into my lungs. I feel like spreading them around the house, kamikaze style, so that the air we breath is her, the cloud of ash a symbol for the missing that rages within.
I feel like throwing my fists into a tree, like breaking glass, like screaming at the top of lungs: MARGOT, MARGOT, MARGOT, WHERE HAVE YOU GONE?
I want to rage against those who tell me that my daughter died for a reason, or that judge the perceived longevity of our sorrow or that act as if it never happened.
I want to undress and crawl on all fours and pierce my body and cover myself in mud and grieve like they do in the developing world, where sorrow and ritual are commonplace.
I'd like to send a fuck you letter to several people for the insensitive things they have said or the ways they have ignored me, and another one to my own mind and heart, for suddenly caring so much about what people have done or not done.
I want to stab and pluck out the loneliness that is felt because of the inability for anyone to understand who hasn't faced the death of one their children.
I'm not always proud of the rage and angst when it comes to relationships. I want to trade grace for grace, understanding for understanding. But the raw truth is, eleven months in, my grief is complex and twisted, a vast labyrinth of civility, strength, grace, heartache, rage and brokenness, all parts equal in importance, whether the piercings get done or the letters get sent.