Wednesday, November 5, 2014

S.A.D. or just plain sad

Earlier this week, I took Zuzu to the park after school.

Coco and I had a good day at home--we'd done our usual running errands and picking up after a busy weekend. The weather was beautiful--sunny and the perfect warm/cool of fall, so we stopped at a little park we pass everyday on the way to Zuzu's school.

Coco napped in her stroller and Zuzu climbed and slid and swung in the swings. I felt happy, the way I almost always do when I'm watching her enjoy herself at the park. I felt lucky, to have my health, to be at the park eeking the very last moments out of a sunny day, to have two healthy little girls with me, looking forward to going to home to see David and have dinner and talk about his day.

And just a few minutes later, I felt it in the pit of my stomach and the back of my throat: grief. In spite of the good day and the sweet girls, I felt really sad.

The warm day was fading. The sun had nearly disappeared behind the houses west of the park, and I shivered in the breeze. The streetlights came on and the glow wasn't comforting. It was just a reminder of how fast the daylight disappears now.

We had a long and bright and warm October, but the seasons are changing. Have changed.

I told David last night that maybe I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and I need one of those lights that make you feel like you've gotten exposed to sunlight in order to help you from feeling depressed.

Or maybe it's my grief season and--in addition to all the happy--I'm just sad. The kind of sadness that can't be cured by all the sunshine in the world, but that feels especially potent when it's dark and cold outside.

It's dark so early now. And, yeah, it's turning cold.

And tomorrow it's one month exactly from the four-year-anniversary of the day my first daughter died and was born.

Four long years, and the blink of an eye.

I've missed almost four years of her. And that makes me... sad. And angry, and tired, and mostly just sad.

Grief is a wolf, and no matter how much I like chunky sweaters and tall boots and hot tea and vegetarian chili, the cold and the dark bring the wolf knocking at my door.


  1. Ugh, I could have written this exactly but not nearly as eloquently. I can feel it start and I know, if history continues to repeat itself, that the dark days are looming… As soon as Dec 1 hits I know I'm in for it as find this is when I carry the grief for our missing Decemeber babies through the holidays and into the new year and Jack's birthday and anniversaries… run on sentence. And it's SUCH a heavy burden to carry!

    I might for real try one of those lights. Couldn't hurt, right?

  2. That wolf is howling here, too. It comes on immediately as I see the leaves changing and falling.

    Today is exactly 1 month from 4 years. Just cannot believe I'm living the life of a mom with a deceased child. But I'm also living the life of a mom with two beautiful living children who drive me batshit crazy and make me so happy. But not completely. Just as much as they can.

    I know. I know.

  3. I was having these very same thoughts this morning. As much as I love fall and winter, I have felt like the sadness and the grief have been creeping a little heavier these days. I think, also, because Nov 2010 was the last of my 'innocent' life - Dec 6 was the day we found out about our son's heart defect (the first identified of many issues) and then by the end of February, he was gone. As we approach four years of missing him, it feels like no time has passed, and like an eternity, simultaneously.

  4. Sending love and remembering Eliza.

  5. Thinking of you and your Eliza. Grief still sneaks up on me in unexpected places, but especially during certain times of year. I know I'm never going to get away from it completely, but that sadness - unexpected and heavy - it's still hard to bear sometimes. I'm so sorry this particular weight is on your heart. If you try a light and it works, let us know!

  6. Oh Brooke, I can relate. My due date was mid/late November -- and as soon as we cross that after-Halloween rubicon and the time changes and it starts getting darker earlier, I can feel my spirits starting to plunge. I don't know if I would feel differently if I hadn't lost a baby. I thought it might be better this year, since I'm not working (& November was always the worst month of the year, bar none), and I am beyond grateful that I don't have to deal with that crap any more -- but it's still November, and it's still a struggle to stay positive. I'll be thinking of you & Eliza over the next few weeks.

  7. The change of seasons and losing day light always gets me down. The days of early November getting dark at 5 used to mean warm coffee and walking downtown in cute boots with scarves and front and city lights on our faces and feeling relived that the night was so young even though it was so dark.

    Now...god now I feel so utterly isolated and alone and long nights of dark and gloom are not my friend. I recently told a family member about my thoughts on S.A.D and my strong feelings that I might deal with it. And they suggested that Vitamin lamp thing to trick my body to thinking I'm outside soaking up the sun.

    If it's that easy, I need to get on eBay ASAP.

  8. I'm sorry that you have to go through this at this time of year, when everything is supposed to be so twinkly and merry.

    Grief can definitely find you no matter the season. My grief season is smack dab in the middle of summer, and it's odd to have all of the sunlight and sparkling swimming pools when all I want to do is hide in my house. So far, we've had rain every year right around Genevieve's birthday, and that has been a gift.

  9. I've always been a S.A.D. sufferer and I've never had a happier October then the one I spent every single day in a tanning booth in preparation for my impending wedding. So I'm a uv light supporter.
    On the grief season side, I'm totally stealing that from Brandy, it started so much earlier for me this year. I assume because G started school. I'm all discombobulated. Although, what's the difference from the usual really? *sigh*
    Meet you in Mexico?

  10. Grief is hard no matter what and certainly not helped by the darkness and the cold weather and an impending anniversary. I find it is the worst when it catches me off-guard... a song plays and it takes my breath away as I think of L. I'm thinking of you... four years. It will never get easier, will it?