Upon rising each morning, I wander, I stop. I sit. I listen to the silence of the house. I get up and I walk quietly from room to room and I look out each window. I sit again, not moving, in the silence. Am I hungry? I’m not sure. Thirsty? Maybe. Tired? Usually. Tired enough to sleep? Well, I just got up. “Just try,” I tell myself, “to sit a while longer, breathe deeply, clear your mind, listen to what your body is saying to you…you are actually okay in this moment.”
I hurt. My body hurts; my stomach. My heart aches. My mind is restless. I am sad. When I lay down at night to sleep, I hear sirens, far off in the distance. I roll to my side and pull a pillow over my head. I still hear them. I travel in time and through space to that night, to that place where Dannica passed from her body. Tears come. I can’t breathe comfortably. It hurts. Who met her? Her grandmother? My grandmother? That was my job….to meet her from the other side when she passed from this one. That was my job.
They wouldn’t let me near her. I couldn’t tell her, “I’m here, baby, I’m here with you…. little mom is here, please, don’t leave me!” Loving strangers got to do that. Compassionate, caring strangers held her hand, let her know she wasn’t alone. I was moments behind them…but they pulled me away. They wouldn’t let me near. It was my job to hold her hand when she passed…to comfort her from this world if I couldn’t be on the other side to comfort her home. Going in the ambulance with a loved one; apparently, it’s a figment of TV and movies. I feel robbed. She died with strangers.
I put the foot of the recliner up. I turn my palms to the sky. I breathe deeply. I envision a brilliant crystal in my mind’s eye and I say to myself, “Clear…clear…clear…” I remember when Dannica was upset or when she didn’t want to sleep or didn’t want me to leave her at bedtime we would agree to meet somewhere in our dreams. Quite often this place was a big, beautiful field of purple flowers. Lavender, or a meadow full of wild flowers that were all a deep and brilliant purple. I told her that when she saw the field and the flowers in her dream to look for me and that I would do the same; look for her. Then we could run and dance and play and fill each other’s hair with flowers and make crowns and necklaces, bracelets, rings, anklets and toe rings of flowers and be flower fairies. We’d both fall asleep thinking of this beautiful place and the fun we’d have there, between the worlds.
At some point, sitting there, “clearing” and breathing, a calm comes over me. I cannot feel my body at all unless I move it, so I don’t. A warmth tingles through my brain and I am only aware of my mind. In this calm and within this stillness I have come to understand what it is, this thing called acceptance. Dannica’s death. She will never again walk through that door. She will never again sleep in her bed. She will never again do her laundry. She will never again laugh or make fun of me for being a dorky little mom. She will never bake her famous chocolate chip cookies again or make her amazing peppermint fudge at Christmas. She will never send me another text message full of silly emoticons or answer when I dial her number or hear the messages I leave telling her I hope she’s fine and that I love her and hope we can have a girl’s day soon. I don’t accept any of those things. I won’t ever accept any of those things.
Acceptance is the simple understanding that my heart will ache in a very specific way as long as it beats. That is the only acceptance there is. It will hurt forever. It will. You may be saying to yourself or wishing you could tell me right now, “It never goes away, but it does get easier.” No. It doesn’t. And *that* is what I am learning to accept.
The present moment is made easier by “clearing” by breathing by working and being of service to others. This loss, is not made easier by anything. I accept that. That is what I can accept.