Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter solstice

I miss her. I miss her like I knew her. It feels silly sometimes, but I just do. I miss her like she lived a whole life, and I don't have to clarify that I have a death certificate and no birth certificate. I miss her like she breathed and ran and was a little girl who kissed my neck and made me squirm.

I can't even really mentally process what two years looks like in the alternative universe where Lucy lives. I'm not clever enough to imagine it really, or maybe my brain just protects my heart in that way. One little darked-haired, red-cheeked girl running after her light-haired, red-cheeked older sister, like a couple of little whirling dervishes through my kitchen. All worship instincts in me ignite. But I don't know. Maybe it wouldn't have been like that.  Maybe it would have been harder than simply being appreciative of their presence, after all she doesn't die. I cannot take this knowledge into that universe.

I decided to fix a right and proper photo album for my children's lives today of all days. One through the years, so that if the photo hosting site I have used for the past five years suddenly crashes, we still have evidence that we existed too. And so I worked my way through the months of photos, clicking one after another into the cart. The void right there at December 2008 is palpable. We look so sad, so broken, so old. I found a picture of her in me still, all full moon belly, eclipsed by my embrace.

I have not cried today, right and proper. Just a few tears when my daughter stared into my eyes before naptime. And she was dropping tears too. I asked her why she was crying and she said, "She just missed."

I just miss too. I miss everything. I miss Lucy-girl. I miss a life I never knew.

A full moon lunar eclipse on winter solstice. It felt magical and important. So, I set my chimes for1:30am, I bundled up in a zero degree bag with some coffee. My sister came over in the middle of the night. I felt giddy. I lit a candle and watched the moon slowly become covered in a shadow, and then turn copper red. This process, slow and deliberate, felt like the ritual I had been searching for since her death. Not an invented thing, just apart of the world and its cycles. She died, like everything else dies. And we rose the next day, like everything else rises. It gets light and dark again in our world like everyone elses.

Thomas Harry woke sometime in the depth of winter solstice, and my husband bundled him up and added him to my bag. I laughed with my sister. We talked about Lucia's birth. And her death. And our lives now. Then I grew quiet. Everything felt magical and strange. How did this happen? How did I get from there to here? How did Lucy become a solstice goddess to me? When did she stop being a dead baby and become a worshipful thing? A transition, a gateway to hope and loss and sadness and winter?

As I sat in the dark of solstice night, I remembered this conversation in the car yesterday. Thor began crying apropos of nothing.
"Mama, Thomas Harry is crying because he misses Lucy." 
"Hmmmm, I know, baby. Do you miss Lucy too?"
"Yes, she died and I can't play with her when she gets bigger because she died." 
"I know. That makes me sad. I miss that about Lucy."
"But she is still in our family, though, because we love her soooo much."
"Yes, that's right. Did you know that Lucy's birthday is in two days?"

"We should bake her a cake and I will blow out her candles for her."
"We can do whatever you want to remember Lucy."
"Mama, I have dreams of Lucy, and we play together and I share my toys."
"You do?"
"I dream about her all night."

I have not had a dream of Lucy since she died, but I have winter solstice. It feels so presumptuous to take a whole seasonal transition. Though selfishly, I want more. I want more time with her. I want more everything with her. I want to take her for granted. I am sick of this life. I am sick of wondering who will remember and who won't and what I should say to my new friends, and what I shouldn't say to people who think we should be over this properly. I am so tired of this life being so fucking complicated.

I just miss her. I miss her like I knew her. It is as easy and complicated as that.

My husband and I are so moved by the cards, the messages on Facebook, Twitter, email and in our daily lives. Thank you for remembering our girl, for thinking of her during the solstice.


  1. I sent something for Lucy's day for Bea and Thor, but because of the flu here, I mailed it late and I don't think it will arrive until tomorrow.

    I miss your Lucy too, even though I didn't know her. I am thinking of all of you, especially today and sending love.

  2. Last night was magic. Not for the uniqueness of it, but for the ordinary-ness of it. It felt right to talk of her under that orange moon, light candles and love her. To be with you and just talk and watch the moon change and drink coffee. I love you.

  3. This makes me wish I got up to look at that moon.

    Thinking of Lucy, and you, and your family.

  4. I miss her too.

    I felt like it took me a long time to get the point where I wasn't angry or through the floor depressed, or talked about her as a medical problem, but just missed her. Just plain ol' missed her. There's something to be said for that evolution.

    I thought about Lucy last night with the bright red moon. I'm not sure at all what it symbolized in my head, but certainly something.

    Birthday wishes, Lucy. And to the rest of you and your lovely cake and candles.

  5. What a beautiful conversation with your sister and your daughter... Thinking of you and remembering Lucy too...

  6. We all want more time. :(

    I love that Bea dreams about her sister.

  7. this is the most beautiful thing you have ever written Angie. I wish I had more - all I have are my tears and understanding. I am here nodding my head to your words "I just miss her. I miss her like I knew her. It is as easy and complicated as that." And the conversation in the car... I believe that. I have actually long believed that our little lost ones come to play with their siblings in their dreams. Children are so open minded. They aren't afraid to believe what they don't understand as we adults sometimes can. I think your image, of one little dark haired, red cheeked girl, chasing after her light haired, red cheeked older sister - i believe that's what's happening when your daughter dreams of her. Those dreams ARE that other universe where Lucy lives. So beautiful and so fitting. Missing her with you. xx

  8. doing the photos seems like the perfect thing - a way to be with your life and your three children's lives, and to remember the years you've all been living together, lucy included. i'm glad you found your sacred time - it's okay with me if lucy wants to have the whole solstice to herself. xo

  9. This post moved me. Not just a little bit, it was like a seismic shift. Your writing is so amazing.
    I miss Lucy, too.
    I miss her like I knew her, too.
    Love you, Angie.

  10. Beautiful writing...

    Missing is at first glance easy, but it *is* also really hard.

    Sounds like you had a magical night.

  11. I miss Lucy, not as deeply as her mother, but I miss her. This post makes me sad and brings my missing Aiden to the surface, although it isn't that far from the surface ever.

    The conversation you had with Bea broke me. Such a sweet girl. I don't dream about Aiden anymore. I hope Aiden's brothers and sisters dream of playing with him.

  12. Beautiful post Angie. She is missed by me too. Thinking of you and your family.

  13. Thinking of you and Lucy. Your words gave me tears.

  14. Such a wise and lovely big sister.

    And this:
    "I just miss her. I miss her like I knew her. It is as easy and complicated as that."

    I'm tearing up and nodding. It is that simple and that complicated.

    With love to beautiful Lucia Paz and her amazing family.

  15. That's beautiful that Bea dreams about playing with Lucy. Kids somehow seem to have a better grip on some of this than adults. My neighbour's (we're close friends) didn't mention Matilda after Max arrived or on her birthday but when we took Max over there their five year old said to me 'You had another baby didn't you'. It was that easy for him but is so hard for my friends to acknowledge I had another baby.

    Missing Lucy with you and your family.

  16. You are beautiful. Your love for Lucy is beautiful. And so is her presence, now, in all our lives.

    Love you, Angie.

  17. I have been thinking about you and Lucy all day. I was only able to catch the last 20 minute of the shadow leaving the moon. But it was beautiful, just like you, just like Lucy. (((hugs)))

  18. Thinking of you and Lucy & sending love. I wish she was there, running through your kitchen, but I'm glad the solstice was beautiful.

  19. A beautiful beautiful post. Lucy's candle burned all day here. Love to you all.x

  20. Beautiful post. So glad you got a perfect, clear night to see that amazing moon. We woke up to see it too and thought of you and Lucy.

  21. I'm glad the moon misses her too.


  22. I once, in stupid arrogant youth, muffled the sentiment that had the brother of my boyfriend not died, my boyfriend and I would not know each other. He was so angry with me. I was so young. The thought was there, that out of something dreadful comes something meaningful, but I fluffed it as I continue to fluff things in life.

    SO at the risk of saying it wrong, all I can say is that if could I alter the path of life, I'd give you your daughter but since I can't do that, I am so grateful for the fact that she means I know you just a little and the things you have created because you love her have helped me so much, kept me in one piece, given me meaning.

    Thank you Lucy, for that.

  23. I thought about you and Lucia and your family all day yesterday, unfortunately, I just wasn't near a computer. I thought a tweet wouldn't be so appropriate.
    I'm glad your sister came and you guys got up and watched the eclipse. I saw the moon with Jeff in all it's fiery orange and we talked about you.
    Ang, I'm so sorry she's gone. I'm so glad to know you though.

  24. She did all of those things, she lived an entire life, lives an entire life in the picture window of your mind.

    She is every inch real and true, desperately loved and dearly missed.

    Thinking of you.

  25. What a beautiful post... No words needed other than: Thanks for letting us take part.

    Thinking of you and your family. xoxo

  26. What a gorgeous post. It's amazing how . . . how just everything happens.

    I've been thinking of you and Lucia and your lovely family all week. Sending peaceful vibes to you.

  27. Hi there:) I know we don't actually know each other, but I have a picture that I would like to send to you for your sweet Lucy... do you have a FB, or can you leave me your email address on my blog?
    many wishes for a peaceful holiday season.

  28. Bea's connection with Lucy is so strong. Gwen will sometimes say that Delaney is crying because she misses Dresden too.. how sweet. I feel like the only tears I've ever cried that really mattered belong to Dresden.
    My heart is with you Angie, today and always.

  29. What a beautiful post Angie. And the eclipse on the solstice...like the universe was remembering along with you.

    It is as simple and complicated at the same time, just as you wrote.

    Remembering Lucy...thinking of you all...

  30. This is such a powerful post, Angie. I don't think it's so strange that the lost child is somehow connected to the moon, to the natural cycles of things that come and go, and are almost painfully beautiful. I am thinking of you and your Lucy today.

  31. I think being able to just miss is a healing unto itself. In many ways it almost feels indulgent, but still, right. To just miss.
    Remembering and missing Lucy, and thinking of you Angie and your family.

  32. It makes sense to me. I always think of this time of year as belonging to Ben, my baby. Not so much Jesus. It .... I don't know, amuses? me that my 5-year-old, who is the baby after Ben, cries sometimes because he misses him. Or the idea of him.

    But I do get so tired of missing.


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