This photo is actually of me a few months ago, but it does a good job of capturing my reality right now. I was going to skip this day because I didn’t really feel like talking about me, specifically. But then I thought about it some more and I thought: this blog doesn’t really reflect me as I am; it is about my daughter, my grief, the difficulties of subsequent pregnancy and the confusion of parenting after loss. But I am more than that. At least, I am now. For so many months I wasn’t, really. I was my grief. Now, I have many days where I am mostly happy. I walk around my messy apartment (this picture is taken in the bathroom I never have time to clean), a scrumptious baby in my arms (who is so much bigger now, but still as scrumptious), a plastic tiara on my head as I pretend with E to be a magic fairy princess, still in my pyjamas because we’ve been so busy playing, snuggling, reading books. After Anja died, I wondered if I would ever again have those kinds of days where my life feels charmed, where I am utterly content, grateful, complete. It was many, many months before a day that felt even close came along, but these days – these days with my imaginative chatterbox nearly five year old and my five month old all cheeks and chub and smiles – are good. They are very, very good. My life feels charmed. It feels charmed and cursed, and there is a messy juxtaposition in that. Here, mostly, it is the curse that speaks and cries and rages, but the charm is real, too.
This morning E wore a navy polka-dotted dress, pink and purple striped leggings, a rainbow-colored knit sweater, a green vest, 3 butterfly hair clips and a sparkly pink hairband to school. M was in the carrier with his little monkey hat, the hat that E wore when she was a baby, chewing on the straps and flashing me gummy smiles. E skipped ahead, picking up red leaves to take to her class and to give to her Oma and Opa. A water main burst overnight and a river of water flowed down the street right to the ocean. The sky was swept clean of clouds by last night’s windstorm. The four of us walked to school, holding hands, telling stories, singing songs. I never stop thinking about how she is gone. I look for her in the leaves E finds and the flowers in the gardens we pass, and in the blue of this October sky. I miss her, always. But I love this life, too. This life that is, after all, ours, and hers, too: this is our family, our story, and it is sad and it is happy and I am sad and I am happy, too.