I’m still here. And my Blogger stat counter tells me that lots of you continue to check in every day. Thank you so much. I remain ever grateful for that quiet support.
Until this morning, I wasn’t sure why I hadn’t been writing for the past week or so. I’ve had several posts percolating in my head, but each day when I think about actually writing them, I feel very heavy.
This morning, all the heaviness came to a head. Thanksgiving is next week. Hudson’s third birthday is a week after that. And Christmas is a few weeks after that. I think I have not been letting myself write because I was afraid that doing so might open the floodgates to a rush of sadness that I’m just not ready for. I am not ready to face it all again without her. I suppose I should be glad that it snuck up on me to an extent—less time to dread it all.
I am back in therapy and the thing I’m discovering that I need to work hardest on is living for today, for this moment. Not dreading Thanksgiving or Hudson’s birthday or Christmas or three years from now when Hudson should be starting kindergarten or sixteen years from now when she should be graduating from high school. I have no control over how those days will be or how they will feel, and there is no point at all in wasting my precious energy (and it is precious these days) worrying about them. I already know how important it is to live in each moment when it comes to my life with Jackson and with Ed—my sweet girl taught me that. And every second, every ounce of energy that I spend worrying about how hard some moment or some day in the future is going to be without Hudson is a second or an ounce of energy that I take away from being present in this life I am living now.
I know this. I know it well. I know it too well, in fact. But it is still very, very hard. In an interview on Fresh Air a few weeks ago, Joan Didion said that growing up in the west around a lot of snakes, they had a theory that if you kept a snake in your line of sight, it wouldn’t bite you. She said she feels the same about confronting pain: “I want to know where it is.” Oh, how well I understand that. As long as I just keep my eye on it, it won’t bite me.
There are two problems with this theory.
The first is that it’s just untrue. It will bite me whether I’m looking at it or not.
The second is that as long as I’m keeping my eye on the pain that lies ahead, I risk missing out on the joy in front of me right now.
It will always be hard. And like everything else, all I can do is keep working on it.