I am not where I want to be.
Of course, there are two levels to where I want to be. There's the want to be planning a first birthday party and buying a size 12 months Christmas dress and worrying about holiday travel and packing and naptime. Where I really want to be is impossible. What I want most of all is gone forever and there's no getting her back. I'm starting to absorb that truth, as much as I hate it, as much as it sticks and scratches on the way down. She's gone and all I want is to have her here. All I want to be is parenting an almost-one-year-old and watching her take her first steps. That can't happen. I know. I get that. I've spent a year of reckoning and I guess at some point I came terms with the fact that I'm not going to get her back. Not in this lifetime.
But even apart from that line of wishful thinking, I'm not where I want to be.
I want to be wiser, better, calmer, more peaceful, more spiritual, more compassionate, more giving.
I want my heart to be broken open and outward, not collapsed in upon itself into a ball of sharp and misfitting shards of anger.
I want to feel good about the way I have kept Eliza's memory alive in me this year. I want to know that I have grieved deeply enough, mourned intensely enough, loved her out loud enough to show how much she matters.
I want to be in a place where I feel sad, yes, but also hopeful. I want to hope for brighter days, for healthy babies, for a future that isn't what I thought it would be, but isn't entirely miserable either.
I want to be able to report that at almost a year from my daughter's death, she has changed and transformed me into someone who is strong and capable and kind and honest.
I DO NOT want to sound like I'm fishing for compliments. I'm just trying to say that I feel so far removed from where I want to be, from the way I want Eliza's life and death to have changed me.
I don't feel peaceful. I don't feel hopeful. I feel dark and ugly and sad and bitter and small. I am doing the ugly cry again--driving home from zumba class last night (which I thought would make me feel better), sitting in my office at work today (I just locked the door and turned off the light even though it's technically my office hours), when David walked in the door from work yesterday (which is just what he needs at the end of the day--bless his heart, he does manage to give me a big hug BEFORE he gets himself a beer).
I am so angry that my daughter died. I am so angry that there is no explanation for what happened. I am so furious that my body betrayed me. I am flabbergasted that all the research and reading I did failed to prevent her loss. I can't shake the sense that I failed her both intellectually and instinctively--that if I couldn't know something was wrong, at least I should have felt it.
Instead of mailing out birthday announcements, I'm sending out memorial cards tonight.
Instead of feeling better, I feel like I'm farther away and missing her more than ever.
I know there's no justice in this world. I watch the news, I read the blogs, I know that this life is grossly unfair all the time and to countless different people.
But I'm in a dark, ugly place where it feels like it's just me.
I feel so fucking sorry for myself I can hardly stand it. Because it's not about ME, it's about her. It's about a little girl who never was, because she was only and ever a baby. It's about a baby who never opened her eyes, or cried, or grabbed my finger with her tiny little hand. It's about Eliza, who was inexplicably denied all the joys and heartaches and jokes and birthday parties and swimming lessons and stuffed animals that should have been hers.
I really thought I was doing so well. But yesterday the weather turned cold. The month of November is about to run out. And I'm still the same girl who got her life pulled out from under her without preamble or warning on a cold, dark day in December almost a year ago.
I want to be better for having loved her.
But all I feel is angry and sad because I miss her so freaking much.