Many folks commented that it seems like a bit of peace has woven its way into my posts, if not my actual day-to-day experience, as of late. And you’re right. One of the benefits of regular writing is that I can look back and see where I was at any given point in this process and where I’ve come since then. And when I read my entries from last week, I, too, can see a subtle shift. But I felt the shift, too, a break of some sort from the persistent, deep, painful sorrow that seemed to pervade my days during the first three months since Hudson died. During those three months, I definitely experienced momentary relief from the burden of that sorrow here and there, but last week was the first week where the pattern was the other way around, where the weight on my chest felt lighter for all but a few very low, anguished moments.
And that is hard. It’s difficult to explain why it is so very hard to even acknowledge that I had a week where the good moments outweighed the bad. I don’t totally understand it myself—I just know and feel it very profoundly in my heart. As Claire commented on Saturday’s post, my desire to remain intimately connected to Hudson is equaled only by my desire for some relief from this awful pain, and those two desires have long seemed to be conflicting, as I’ve written many times. It is just terribly difficult to be able to appreciate the respite when it feels, simultaneously, like leaving her behind somehow. What I should hope for, and what I am trying to figure out how to actively work toward, is the day when I can reconcile those things, when I can know in my heart, and not just in my head, that I can get relief from the pain of losing Hudson without feeling like I am losing her again.
Many times since Hudson died, I have found myself just spontaneously talking out loud to her. Sometimes it happens when I am looking at a picture. Sometimes it happens when I just wander into her room for no reason. Sometimes it happens when I am in the playroom where her ashes sit in a ceramic lidded jar, hugged by her Elmo doll, on the memorial table that remains covered with her pictures, books, and artwork. Sometimes it happens in the car. Today, I stopped in front of her Easter egg picture, my very favorite of her because it just radiates her great big joyful bubbly spirit. I stopped in front of that picture and just started talking to her. Tears came immediately to my eyes, a lump immediately to my throat, but I kept talking. I told her that it is the first day of kindergarten for lots of our friends, and how sad I am that she is never going to have one of those. I touched her nose and her hair in her picture, and told her how I can’t believe that it has been three and a half months since I last held her, or kissed her little cheek, or swept her hair out of her face, or stroked her nose, or heard her say “nose” and “eyes” and “mouth” and “mama.” I told her how sorry I am that I couldn’t protect her, that I couldn’t save her, so that she could be here with us now, so that we could tell her we love her in person. I told her that I miss her so much, every single day, that it is impossible to say how much I miss her. I told her that I hoped she could somehow hear me. I cried hard.
And then I felt better. Almost immediately, I just felt lighter. I was actually surprised at how much so. I don’t recall this happening when I’ve tried talking to her before.
There is no explaining any part of this process of grief. There is nothing rational about it. There is nothing neat about it. There is nothing linear about it. It just is what it is. And it generally stinks. Any time I have tried to bend it to my will, tried to anticipate and avoid triggers, tried to escape its clutches, I have only ended up sorely disappointed and smacking my forehead for my inability to recognize the futility of such efforts.
But talking to Hudson today helped. And you can bet I will do it again in hopes that it might be one way to seek some peace while keeping her close at the very same time.