Oceans

Last night, an ocean of tears. I’m not sure exactly why so much, but it started when I found Jasmine’s birth certificate while looking for Jeff and Gabrielle’s. We have to have them to go to Jamaica. I pulled the two folded-up pieces of paper out of the filing cabinet and the first one fell open, Butte County printed in bold letters across the top. With a shaking hand, I opened it, images of Jasmine as an infant flashing across my mind. One image that particularly haunts me is of the morning after she was born and we were at home, in bed. I was nursing her and I looked down at her big grey eyes staring solemnly back at me. I promised her then I would never let anything hurt her. I said it out loud, an oath, a vow. How could I have known? How could I have protected her from something I couldn’t even see and the doctors couldn’t explain? I don’t know, but I feel so deeply sad that I couldn’t keep that vow.

Some might argue that I did keep that vow by releasing her from a body that was definitely hurting her. The logic of it appeals to me, but it doesn’t heal my heart, which is aching still this morning, tears on the verge of spilling as I type this. Like Gabrielle, I just want her back. I want to hear her laugh, to verbally put her dad in his place, even to argue with her sister. I want to see her head out the door in the morning with Gab, en route to school. I want her to be in her bed at night, so I can give her a hug. Just one more hug.

Last night I asked myself the same question I asked Gabrielle when she was wishing for one more day. What would I do? I’d take her to the Caribbean as promised. We would spend the whole day on the beach, reading books and laughing at Jeff and then at the end, I would hug her and hold her again as she died. The difference would be in the exchange, in her knowing why we did what we did, in those last moments of happiness before she had to go. I know this is all for my own peace of mind, but really, that’s all I can address right now. Jasmine has moved on to another place and I can only hope she is happy there, in the arms of the Divine. It’s interesting that both Gab and I would chose to be near water with Jasmine if we had one more day.

I am trying to return to some semblance of busy-ness, because to sit here every day and listen to sad songs makes me cry and feel as if I am going nowhere. If grieving is a journey, giving in to constant depression and tears feels like a serious roadblock. So I am going back to the gym – what excuse could I possibly have for not taking advantage of a fully functional body? – and trying to return to my “normal” tasks. The thing is, nothing is normal because I’m not trying to fit breathing treatments, pills and trips to the doctor in between. Nothing is normal because one limb of my family has been ripped away and I’m trying to learn to function without it.

All I’m left with are questions. Is Jasmine okay where she is? Will I ever be able to get through a day without tears? When I do, will I be able to not feel guilty about it? Are my children going to be okay? Jeff? Why do none of the books about grieving feel as though they are describing my journey? Will I ever be able to write about anything else again?

I could ramble on for a time, I guess. My mind is so scattered this morning. Tears are supposed to cleanse, but I just feel rattled loose, thoughts jumbled up and scrambled.

I should warn any regular reader of this diary that it’s where I will do most of my grieving journey. I certainly don’t mind company, but I would also not be offended or hurt if it’s more than anyone else wants to deal with.

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