Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to Remember Something We'll Never Forget?

There is a short, sweet, completely non-controversial email in my inbox that I have been ignoring for over a month now.
Hey! How are you? We're booking a show near [your city] and wanted to let you know. It's Dec. 5 at the [pretty cool pub]. Had a blast the last time we were with you. Would love to see you both again.
This is from a band that we love. One whose sound is that wall of noise and distortion that somehow creates melody that I embrace. One that we cannot believe hasn't broken into the big time yet. And its true. The last time they were in our city, we had a great time. We kicked ourselves when we realized they were staying in a crap motel when we have space to spare. We promised ourselves the next time they came around, we would open our home to them. They have no idea how much their last show meant to us. Or that the last time we saw them was one of the first times we had actually emerged from the apartment in over a month.

They had no idea that our babies had just died.

They had no idea I was even pregnant. So how would they know that December 5 is such a loaded day. That is the day Isa and Jovi were born. And died. The most horrific 24 hours I have ever experienced. The day that changed our lives forever. One that we alternately try to hold forever in our memory and one we try to forget.

So, this email is simply marked as unread. And I'm feeling awful about it. It's weighing on my mind. There's no veiled "can we crash at your place?" request. There's not even an obligation to respond. But I have to. I need to.

So what's our plan? Do we set aside December 5 as a day of mourning? Write back and say, gosh guys, we won't be around. Sorry to miss you? Do we spend yet another 24 hours wallowing in our grief and self-pity?

But dudes, we do that every day. Do we really need to set aside another date on the calendar dedicated to remembering?

It's not like we are ever going to forget.

I've had this discussion with M. a few times now. And I think as the day gets closer we are on the same page on this one. What would our response be if the girls were alive? I think it would be Bring on the Fucking Band. There might have been a few moments showing off our beloved kids before shuttling them off to grandparents. If the girls were here, we would not be afraid to just live. Like we always have.

So where is it written that we need to spend their birthday bathed in tears? I'm not saying a few won't emerge. Christ, we are only human. And I do seem to be waxing nostalgic as the leaves start to fall and I'm reminded of the quiet evenings I spent pregnant last year indulging myself in take out and bad TV while M was covering local football games. Good times, man, truly good times....

But I cannot wait for some mystical sign to tell me its ok to start living again. I can't hold on to this grief-haze for the rest of my life. If I behave like a normal human being it doesn't mean I'm not hurting. And perhaps it's selfish of me to assume that others around me aren't?

On December 5th we will open our home. Open our hearts. Maybe we'll tell our friends about the year we've had. Maybe we won't. Maybe we'll confess that the time before the last time we saw them, we were in the midst of the two-week wait for the positive test that gave us the girls. So hopeful, so happy...Maybe they'll bring us that same luck this time around.


Kate said...

I think if you feel up to it, that it would be nice to make some new positive memories on that day that's etched in your mind forever. Nothing will take away the pain of your loss, or make you forget that Dec 5 was the day, but if that band lifted your spirits the last time you saw them and gave you both a lot of pleasure, I would find a way to make it work. Have the party, have them stay. If you need to sneak away and cry in the bathroom so be it. If you don't want to tell the story, I'm sure you can silently toast your darling daughters with your DH. Or spend some time earlier that day focusing on remembering their time with you and looking at whatever mementos you can bear to peek at.
Hope you somehow still manage to have a blast with them. Maybe you could ask them to dedicate a song to your babies if you feel up to telling them anything?

Mick said...

I want to exclaim, "yeah, open your house to them!" "Show them a great time and let them show you guys a great time!"

But I won't.

I try every year on 24th February to do something different. I usually end up sitting in the corner looking glum.

But hey, everyone's different... Wouldn't it be great if they did bring you luck :-)

Two Shorten the Road said...

Maybe it would be good to do something. Not in some vacant "keeping busy" kind of way, but like Kate said, to make new memories. I'm not sure I could go without talking about the girls if I were you, but you'll find a way to make the day count. Thinking of you and always, always so sorry that this fucked-up thing happened to your family.

Smiling said...

Oh that is ... I have no adjective, just damn that is hard. I just keep re-reading the line "some mystical sign to tell me its ok to start living again" and hear how much you want to live and how much you want to remember and how I wish there was some obvious way to balance all the hardness of it all.

I have no advice, but am thinking of you and love that you are opening your heart and home. That to me is brave and sounds so very right.... that said, I know from my own life that when heavy dates come round for me (the day my best friend died, the date of my BFN, etc.) no matter what I plan or don't plan, I always underestimate the unique mix of support, quiet time, personal space, and company that I need that day. Good people who are slightly removed from the situation could be the perfect plan:) Thinking of ya..

Nadine said...

Hugs, no advice, but lots of hugs

ezra'smommy said...

I don't know the answer to the dilemna, but I think this post is beautiful

luna said...

of course I think you should do what has the potential to bring you joy. you've had enough sorrow. you will always remember your babies. you can honor that memory however and whenever you want. there is power in reclaiming your life too.

Anonymous said...

You need to do what is right for you and what you are comfortable with.

Unknown said...

You need to do what you feel you can do. My attitude about "the day" is first, the lead up to "the day" is worse than the actual "day" itself. I surround myself with people who support me on "the day" and if we speak of the boys, great, if we don't, that's okay too. I'm lucky in that I have a friend who this year remembered "the day" and organized something for me and hubby but you need to do what you want. I can't see sitting around with hubby and being sad. My boys lives, as short as they were, brought me happiness and there is nothing in the dead baby mama handbook that says you have to sit home and be sober and somber...turn it into a celebration of life if that's what you want to do but remember my motto, you can only do what you can do and there is no disappointing people, no living up to expectations, you only worry about you and your partner and anyone else, they come I making sense?

Bluebird said...

What an incredibly huge question. With so many layers to peel back before maybe finding its answer.

I wish I knew. I want to encourage you to write back with an excited, "Can't wait to see you!" But I know that, were I faced with the same dilemma, that would make me nervous. As it is, our "date" is siting blank on the calendar - obvious in its emptiness. I have no idea what to do. If anything at all. ((Hugs))

Kami said...

I think you said it all - it is ok to enjoy life even if, perhaps especially if, it is the anniversary of your girls birth and death.

It is always ok, imho. I think it is always ok to grieve too.

I hope you have a wonderful time with the band. Your girls will be remembered and honored no matter how you spend the day.

Dani819 said...

You know, I have been thinking about this post for 2 days. Our own aniversary is coming up, and we have gone over and over the best way to honor Kai's brief life. We finally decided that we want the day itself to be a day where we put some good into the world, in honor of how good it was to have him with us for a while. It just seemed important that the sadness of the day be balanced with a reminder of the goodness of his life and, I guess, a day to remember that we can bring beautiful things into the world.

Hope you find your own mix of honoring the sadness and the beauty- and if that mix involves music and laughter, then more power to you.

Nearlydawn said...

It looks like you are leaning towards having the band over. I can certainly see that as a great way to plan your daughters' day.

You grieve daily, as you have said - I know this is true. So, I see no reason to set aside this one day, above others, for grief to consume you.

It seems to me that this can be whatever kind of day you determine it should be. Maybe it should be the one day you always and forever will celebrate life to its fullest.

I wonder for myself, what will I do next Oct 21st? What will I do next April 20th? Those are the significant dates in my daughter's short existence. I would like to think I would choose to "open my home" vs. spending the day in mourning. I am not sure though, as I have not had to face it.

So maybe I can give suggestions, but can't truly give advice.

WannabeMommy said...

..."But I cannot wait for some mystical sign to tell me its ok to start living again."

I believe you have received your sign, and it was in the form of that email. Now please go out, dance, have a few drinks, and have a fantastic time. Because you deserve it.

Lani said...

as soon as we started opening our hearts and minds to fun, it became easy. oh sure, i do have moments while i'm wrapped up in fun where i think "wtf?" and sometimes i have a meltdown, and sometimes i am sad. but we love music & friends and all kinds of stuff and we truly need this to keep going.

i'm learning that if i feel what i feel at the moment i feel it, i can move through it and then i'm ok. no matter where i am- i just have to experience the sadness, the pain, and the laughter and joy. all of it.

on our anniversary, it was actually pretty ok, we felt so much love coming from all over that it was hard to be sad. and seriously, just like you said, do we need to have a specific day to pinpoint our sadness? no, we feel it all the time.

so go find time to let loose, and have fun. (i read the latest post first so i know the outcome is that they aren't staying with you) but seeing them play will be good for you guys.