“How are you doing?” Usually, it’s whispered now as an aside and accompanying the furrowed brows and half sad smile. I take a deep breath, sigh it out, and thoughtfully look toward the ceiling, “I’m doing okay.” I’m not sure why I say that. I’m not sure what to say. I’m not sure that I am doing okay. What I am sure of is that I’m very sad. What I am sure of is that I miss Dannica so much I can’t stand it in any given moment I truly let it into. It still crumbles me. It still drops me to my knees and it still aches so deeply. I am pretty sure I am not doing okay. I am pretty sure that I now know depression intimately and I am so tired.
There are days when I feel so exhausted all that’s accomplished are a shower and a nap. There are days when all I feel like doing is crying and days when I’m even too exhausted to do that so I’ll sit and sip tea and watch the world pass outside my windows; feeling numb, feeling that deep, dark ache seep out from the hollowed places to permeate every cell, molecule & atom…the spaces between. Her light burned so brightly in my life, my sweetness, my little angel. My precious little everything.
I am at times so frustrated by my humanness, by the restrictions of this body that cannot see, cannot hear, and can no longer feel her soft skin, her beautiful, curly hair. Many times I placed my hand on that sweet, fuzzy head and smoothed the curls, pushing them into order behind her little ear. Many times I snuggled my nose into those precious curls and heard that musical giggle when it tickled. As she got older, I couldn’t break these habits and she’d huffily fluff her hair to cover her ear again and I’d apologize before snuggling my nose into her neck, eliciting the giggles she never grew out of.
I complimented an acquaintance on her bag today. It was purple leather and covered in sparkling gemstones creating a mandala pattern. She recently lost her husband. We didn’t speak of that or the fact that I recently lost my daughter. It was interesting talking to each other with two elephants in the room, though I felt they had been fed and cared for in the clasping of our hands when we met and made a couple of moments silent eye contact before exchanging half sad smiles.
She thanked me for the compliment and said, “My daughter, she likes to spoil me with pretty things.” It stabbed at first but it eased and we said goodbye. As I shut the door, I thought to myself, So does mine… Rainbows, more rainbows than I’ve ever seen in my life in a single springtime, flowering trees full of blossoms, shiny 2012 pennies in my path, quarters with trees on them, the breeze through the wind chime she hung outside her window. Pretty things, every day.
I’m still a selfish being here in my human condition. I want more and more and more pretty things to fill these hollowed out places. I’m pretty sure I can learn to see light again, to hear and to feel, maybe when the ache has finished seeping. I’m pretty sure that can happen.