It’s so curious: one can resist tears and behave very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer.. and everything collapses. ~Colette
Grief renders me a stranger in a strange land. Who expects these moments ten months after loss? I now want to hear from all of my family and friends where they were when Tom called them to tell them about Tiger’s death. About me in surgery. But I rarely ask. Seems selfish to pull others back into my sorrow. Somehow, any information that has to do with Tiger makes this all the more believable. I got it- all this time I accepted the inevitability of life and death. But now I’m floating again and I need stories to ground me. Maybe the Spring reminds me of all that pain, the surgery, the hopefulness. And moving from our home where all three of my children were conceived. It’s a relief yet somehow cutting a cord.
I’m in the moment of the ultrasound without a heartbeat. I knew the second they put the wand on my stomach- I knew he was gone. All else- the cheery technician telling me to look at my son’s profile, the call to the doctor to look for herself, the silence in my hospital room, the ‘I’m sorry’, all of it was distant, was like watching a movie. Like watching the cloud of dust after the towers fell here in NYC.
Some people know that moment only from the movies. (lucky for them). There wasn’t weeping or loud cries of NO like actors do. There is just an earth shattering silence thickly encased in shock. I have no idea if there were actually any tears.
Until today. I found myself back in that moment. I cried for that moment- Tiger’s moment. I heard myself say NO, I saw my hands shaking, I felt my chest vibrating.
And I wanted what you might think I would have asked for that day but didn’t until this morning: I wanted to go back- I wanted to go back to the day before Tiger died and I wanted to save him. I know. But that’s what I wanted. Just my super-mom costume and the power of time travel.
“Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts
So it’s fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess
And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys” – Ingrid Michaelson
I love the name Tiger now.
A beautiful spring morning in Brooklyn, walking Fletcher in the park…. and the tulips at Will’s tree are in bloom…. and I wanted you with me. I guess I longed for these morning walks with you, like I had with Lucy and Fletch minus Will’s tree years ago now. I thought we would go and visit Will- and life and death would combine just to be Love. Without you this morning I danced the life part…. found myself jealous of the flowers for being nourished by your ashes…. and once again tried to gather it all as love and bring it home, help it motivate the process of finding the child who will join our family.
You both are so present in our lives, only not in the way I had dreamed. So very different sweet boys.