I decided that I want to share some more today. Yesterday was the Autumn Equinox. Historically, the Equinox and the Solstice, both coming twice a year, are very important. If you don’t think so, consider that the Christian religion assumed them into their own tradition (Christmas and Yule, for example). But that’s not my point. About two years ago, I began reading Erin stories to celebrate the Solstice in both Winter and Summer. She had a few favorites and I guess we got through two years of those before she died. This summer, I dug up some Summer Solstice stories and we went outside and sat by the fairy garden and read them. The stories typically talk about how the fairies and gnomes and such keep the balance of nature going during the yearly transitions, and they always involve the Sun and the seasons. They are metaphorical, and they are comforting in that the sun always returns and provides warmth and life. And everyone participates in the cycle.
So yesterday was the Equinox, and I was sad that we weren’t reading stories together. I was still sad this morning I guess. Yesterday one of my Aunt’s told me to smile at the good memories, but that is nearly impossible because it reminds me that she is gone, and there will not be any more new memories. So when the Solstice arrives, I will probably read the damn stories, and I will cry my eyes out while doing so. If I can even get past her birthday on December 11, that is. I really don’t know how to do that. Then mine and Shaun’s birthdays, and Mother and Father’s day, and every damn holiday in between. I am not even going to think about Christmas. It is too hard to go there. I found last years’ Christmas shopping receipts that I had hidden in the drawer with her gifts, and I can’t even get rid of those. I guess it is “evidence” that she lived. And of how she lived, what she liked, etc.
I guess the irony of this is that Erin has no future here on earth, and neither do I. I will always live in the past. I will always have a 10 year old daughter, and my life will always have changed so drastically that it just stopped when she died. I will go on living, but hollow.
I may eat my words in 20 years, but I think I can say with conviction that after your child dies you cannot find true joy and fulfillment. I can laugh, but behind the laugh is an empty place in my heart oozing sadness. And I’ve heard that from others too. It’s always there. Don’t you think that is cruel? I have contemplated that the last day or so. There are millions of us walking around on the planet, silently (and some not so silently) grieving our children. Some others grieve someone else dear to them that they miss so much they would rather die than live without them. It doesn’t seem natural to have so many people endure so much suffering. And yet it is happening, along with other cruelty that truthfully doesn’t even hold a candle to our grief over our children.
Perhaps it’s the way that they are taken. I hesitate to use that word, but that’s what fits here. I read of supposedly other more advanced peoples in our universe who shed their bodies when they are ready. It’s natural, and people are happy for them when they transition to a new body (or not). I know our bodies are just vessels. But here, we have to watch them die of illness, or see them mortally wounded by a car wreck or a gunshot wound or worse. We have to watch them suffer, and we suffer. But what sucks the most is that we suffer long after they have moved on. We suffer to some degree for the rest of our lives here. That just cannot be natural. I don’t accept that it is.
I’ve already shared these, but will share our artwork from the Summer Solstice again (we didn’t draw just colored it in). This is hers actually. I didn’t appear to scan and upload mine. That is the last “holiday” we had together.
And I still wonder – is this real? Because I can’t believe she isn’t here.