Meica, my 10 year old daughter, died July 20, 1997. Less than a month later, I wrote this piece. It is included here for other parents so that they know that they are not alone, that however they are reacting, it *is* normal. For me, I knew my daughter was gone - I talked about her, and talked about her being gone. However, on some deep level of my consciousness, I was remained in a blissful state of unreality.
Although I knew my daughter was gone on a consious level, some deep, deep part of me did not recognize it. I knew this to be so, as every once in a while, it was like someone telling me for the first time that Meica was gone. It was a 'surprise' to me! I believe this was shock, and my body protecting me from the trauma. I recall one such episode of sudden realization, as deep anguish consumed me, I physically felt a "loud snap" somewhere in my abdomen. Suddenly, the wave of grief subsided - and then everything was ok again. That clearly demonstrated the connection of mind and body to me, and that mine was protecting me.
Now, three and a half years later, things are different. Over that period of time, my body slowly doled out those deep bits of reality to me on a more frequent basis, and I could cope with them easier. Don't get me wrong, they still hit ... but they are less frequent, and less of a surprise to me.
Less than a month after Meica's death, I wrote ...
Thursday, August 14, 1997
Yesterday was the first day that I felt a realization that Meica was not returning. I quickly chased it away as too painful. Although I talk as if she won't be returning, and I know it, I don't think that my heart and soul accept it yet. It has to do with her things. I have been slowly taking one or two things every few days. Not really big things, but more as I 'pick up' the kitchen or the house. These are things that I would clean up in the normal course of the day.
I did take her drinking boxes and coke container that we used to refill and put the can out with the recycle and put the drinking boxes away - I don't recall where. That was only a few days after she died. I rearranged her dresser top, the one with all of her grooming things. I moved her hair sprays into the bathroom and tidied up cotton balls and q-tips, but that was about it.
I was looking at something. I think it was the marks from her orthodics in the downstairs bath. (Orthodics are a foot plate designed to correct foot posture.) Bill had cleaned the bathroom a few days ago, and had scrubbed the marks. The flooring is embossed and so removing them entirely was difficult and was not completed. There was also the marks on the wall from her shoes as she swung her feet as she sat on the toilet. They were still there. I realized that we had to clean such things and remove her things, but as we did, Meica's presence from our house would disappear. It is still as if she is a part of us. All of her things are still here. We are still a family of 4 with her stuff here, but we can't hang on to it forever. It has to go, and when it does, Meica's presence will go in our house. That was the thought that hit me that said she wasn't returning, and it was too painful.
I think that I am some sort of protective state. I cannot remember several weeks before Meica's death. For example, I had thought that we had not seen Meica's massage therapist for several weeks or months. As it turns out, my day planner states that Meica and I both saw him just days before she died - Wed and Thur, I believe. I cannot recall what I had done the day before her death except that my friend, Leigh, was here. He tells me that we sat out on the deck and had a drink - I don't recall that. (I later found out he had also had dinner with us. I don't recall that.) I had forgotten that Logan, our son, was at a party with his friends on the night before, and that I had gone to pick him up late that evening 11:00 PM or 12:00 AM. I don't recall what I did that evening. Logan tells me that we had chips with Meica. That sounds likely as lately when he would go out, I would try to make the evening special for her too as she felt left out when he would get to do things, but not she.
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