One of the things that I can't seem to impress upon people close to me is that this latest loss has me feeling fundamentally different. I feel broken. It's hard to describe.... I get through a day with few crying jags. I laugh. I eat. I put my make-up on and try to look nice. Maybe I do such a good job of it that I fool some people into thinking that I am living in the moment. And I fool those others - the ones who know me - into believing that the days that have passed have healed me.
But that would be a lie, a grand illusion. I'm not healed. And as much as time heals all wounds, there hasn't been enough fucking time. My grief over her is carried with me, like I am wearing a locket. Sometimes I can feel it, tactile, as if I were fumbling with the clasp to open it up and look at her. The pangs hit me at odd moments. On a conference call. When I stare into Niblet's eyes, and wonder what her sister would have looked like.
She had a sister.
But my last weekend was also marked with some of those fleeting moments that gave me the hope to keep on hoping that maybe - just maybe - I will walk out of this experience a functional human being. Someone not permanently broken.
Like, I survived the moment where a stranger at a dinner outing asked me if I ever planned on having another child or was it just my 5 year old. I calmly (I hope) responded "not sure" and proceeded to pick up the giant glass of red wine that was sitting next to my plate. Which I hoped was some sort of universal symbol of "don't fucking press me on this question," and apparently worked on the nice lady, who pressed no further.
Niblet herself contributed to the calm this weekend, as only Niblet can do. An old friend of my husband's came to dinner with her boyfriend, and Niblet decided it was an opportune time to display her considerable charms and intelligence to them. The visit resulted in strange, double-edged swords sorts of feelings that night.... On the one hand I felt this gushing and ego-maniacal surge, a sad surge, because, "wow, we did such a great job with this kid, wouldn't we be wonderful trying our hand at it again?" On the other hand, I felt a sense of calm,stemming I guess, from a deep feeling in my gut that Niblet would survive just fine in life as an only child.