Being in Florida felt in many ways like an escape from our lives. A life that had only recently become nearly unbearable.
I found myself marveling sometimes at the idea that all of these strangers we encountered (including the lovely Canadians)--none of them had any idea that we were bereaved parents, grieving the loss of our baby girl. From the outside, we look so ordinary. Typical tourists going to ballgames, walking along beaches, riding roller coasters. At this point, looking at us from the outside, nobody knows what we have lost and how empty we feel.
I vacillate between feeling separate and alone, apart from everyone else in the world, and then recognizing that everyone hurts (sing it, R.E.M.) and this kind of pain is sort of an initiation into being human.
As much as I hate it, as much as I still want to rage and scream against it, we are learning to live with it. To find laughter and pleasure around and in between the sadness. The hardest part is believing that I can do that without feeling like I'm moving further away from her.
And I came across this poem, which said everything I was feeling:
Those who are near me do not know that you are nearer to me than they are
Those who speak to me do not know that my heart is full with your unspoken words
Those who crowd in my path do not know that I am walking alone with you
They who love me do not know that their love brings you to my heart.
-- Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
I like all of it, but especially that last line. I came home from vacation to four letters and cards from dear, dear friends of mine. Allison wrote in hers, "Remembering and loving Eliza," and those four little words filled up my heart.