This morning I woke up in what is becoming the default emotional state for that time of day. Once becoming conscious enough to remember, trying desperately for a little while to go back to not remembering, which is by then impossible. Usually I slip into replaying events of that night or the first days after and quickly become overwhelmed by the horror of it (already I don’t know how any of us lived through it [Mom, Dad, Brad and I], much less in the non-emotional state I displayed those first 16 hours). Then I either become tormented and raw until Brad comes in and I can cry and release enough to feel ‘done’ for the time being, or I fall into an extreme lethargy where laying in bed with a blank (tormented?) stare is all I’m capable of. Until such indeterminate amount of time passes that some thought has enough power behind it to rouse me. Often its some small project that has to do with Anna - addressing envelopes for her announcements, copying ‘grief education’ materials for people, etc. Today, I went right from opening thoughts into extreme lethargy. Until...
Until I flashed to a picture my brother had taken of his then two-month old nestled against their dog - a picture both Brad and I couldn’t wait to simulate of Anna with Ruby (we just knew Ruby would love and protect that child beyond reason and watching the two of them together would just kill us with happiness). In an instant I realized Anna should be already a month older than that and the fact that we are denied that picture and all that goes with it absolutely FILLED me with fury. Every picture of Ruby sniffing her or laying next to her or in front of her crib as her loyal guardian and every picture of her sleeping on Brad or smiling up at him while he’s making a fool of himself to get her to laugh and every picture of me looking-like-hell-but-who-cares-look-here’s-my-daughter...three months of those and thousands of future pictures and moments that absolutely make your life beautiful and rich and full. None of it.
We get no happy pictures with her. We get 99 pictures of a numbed out mother, a shocked and grieving father, wrecked grandparents, and a quiet, limp, expressionless, beautiful long-haired baby girl.
I can’t even continue this because one, I’m crying, and two, every phrase I want to say starts with F***, and I know I can’t publish that to many in this audience. Somewhere, Somehow, Someday, there must be a Reckoning for this.