Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Words from Sheye

I have a blog friend (whom I would love to actually meet) in Australia. Her name is Sheye Rosemeyer and is truly truly truly my soul sister. We've both walked down the same devastating road together; I can completely relate to her. Everytime she writes about Ava, I feel like she is reading my mind and writing about my pain except much much more eloquently. People say everyone grieves differently but finally, I found someone who grieves like me. Here is an excerpt from her latest post about Ava.

...."What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." .....- The Velveteen Rabbit

I thought I'd start today with this gorgeous book excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit, sent to me by Jen.

It is the day after the night before, and the night before was hard. I glimpsed the wrong thing on television and it set the tone for the rest of the evening. It, grief, can take you unaware and with such severity it steals the breath out of you..Between the television and the kitchen, I paused to sob. It's not the first time I've felt I could fall through the floor with the weight of immeasurable missing but still..the intensity of it is so overwhelming in those moments. I do know though, the after holds a little more peace..as if the tears bring a calm with them and a little reprieve from such raw grief...if only for a while.

I will share something, a "quiet secret" as a friend calls them...I have found that it has become much harder to openly share my bleak moments, unless I happen to write on those really bad days. When we first lost Ava, there was no break from the bleak..it was constant and unrelenting so I never paused to consider just how intensely personal my writing was. Over a year later, it's become much more difficult to include the sorrow so openly - the shock has worn off and there are times I do wonder just how much is "appropriate" to share..

So, this is why I shared Jennifer's quote tonight..because ultimately, I am just trying to be honest and, well, real. I could leave out the hard days, skirt around the sorrow, imply that all is well and make my blog light reading but the honest truth, the bare facts, the real, is that some of the moments in my days are. just. awful. It is what it is.

I do sometimes fear sounding dramatic. But losing Ava is dramatic, isn't it? It would be so wrong to carry on with a facade that everything is okay..when it isn't..not now..not ever. Not the okay I used to know anyway...perhaps a new kind of okay, some of the time? I've said so often, the loss of a child is not just life changing, it is person changing. Losing Ava has made me who I am today. A completely different me to the one prior. In many good ways and some not so good. I cannot pretend otherwise and I promised way back when that I would continue to share the good, the bad, the indifferent - and I will - even when it gets hard. For Ava.

And for Ava, something else. As often as I can, in the footsteps of another grieving mother I know, I will share the Beauty Full bits in my day. I was told the first week after losing Ava that the biggest offset to paralyzing grief is appreciation - even just a little - for what remains. I do believe it to be true so, here are just a few of todays Little Bits of Beauty Full...

- Kate and I shopped the entire day away and indulged in the most luxe camera bags that look nothing like camera bags until you open them up.- I had a beautiful email from a wonderful photographer, Elle Moss, who's work Hush speaks directly to my soul. Thank you Elle and thank you again Jen for sending me little bits of comfort.

- Luca and I did a last minute dash to the shops, at his request, for new shoes and as we left he looked at me and said "Mum, you're the best. And I mean that." This is rare for my eldest and it made my heart sing, even if I did buy the display of affection.

- Finally, Sussanah's monthly dose of fine music landed in my postbox. Happy happy joy joy.

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