Friday, June 19, 2009

On bitterness and love

I have had a steady trickling of tears and sadness today. I have so many errands to run, and no energy. My house is kind of trashed. I know cleaning, shopping, and going for a run will make me feel better. I just can't muster the strength to be out. Still trying to figure out how to transform this sadness into joy. Sam thinks this is an impossible task. Maybe. Maybe the best I can do is perform tonglen for myself. Take the girl and the dog for a walk. Nap. Try to find something lovable and laughable about myself. And sob, long, glorious, guttural sobs from the diaphragm that will activate the muscle memory of the early days. Maybe I will dream then of Lucia. Maybe I can carry that as a type of joy.

Positivity. I read about it on some blogs. Bitterness. I read about that more often. With my last post, talking about letters and forgiveness, just know that I struggle. Just know that. Forgiveness is not something I ordered off the internet. A kind of pill I can swallow and transform myself into a loving person. It doesn't just come and I never feel anger again, or bitterness again. I meditate on it. I think about my role in these relationships. I have to be brutally honest with myself. I have to consider that I am reaping what I sow with my relationships. I look into the mirror often and wince. I work on forgiveness. I work really damn hard to be positive and loving. I have moments of ugliness. It is easier to feed the anger, negativity, the darkness, because it is always there all caught up in the grief. But I try to choose the lightness. I try to choose compassion.

It is not fucking easy. And it is not fucking luck. It is a hard choice, because I want to be angry at someone for the death of my daughter. I want to blame my cowardly friends for not being tender, or acknowledging our daughter. I want to blame them for making me suffer. I want to throw a fit at the universe. But when I think about it, deeply, honestly, I'm not mad at them. They are clueless, yes. They are oblivious, yes. And my forgiving them doesn't necessarily mean I want them in my life. How someone deals with death tells me a great deal about how they deal with life. Now I want people in my life who are more than the good times. But my anger at them distracts me from my grief. And my suffering ends up compounded by my misplaced anger at them. See, perhaps selfishly, I want to ease my suffering. I want my life to be easier. I feel compassion for them, but I work my ass off every day to get there. I am a narcissist like everyone else. I just don't want to be.


For my daughters today, I want to share this poem.

i love you much(most beautiful darling)

more than anyone on the earth and i
like you better than everything in the sky

-sunlight and singing welcome your coming

although winter may be everywhere
with such a silence and such a darkness
noone can quite begin to guess

(except my life)the true time of year-

and if what calls itself a world should have
the luck to hear such singing(or glimpse such
sunlight as will leap higher than high
through gayer than gayest someone's heart at your each

nearness)everyone certainly would(my
most beautiful darling)believe in nothing but love

'i love you much(most beautiful darling)'
by e.e. cummings


  1. "It is not fucking easy. And it is not fucking luck."

    Damn. You said it. Still working on all of these things. Some days it is so easy to work my way up to normalcy, forgiveness, moments of positivity. Other days my anger and rage is all consuming.

    What I am battling right now is an utter apathy. A refusal to believe that life will be any good. M's mom said something to us last night, something to the effect of - we have our whole lives a ahead of us! And her family lives to ripe old ages. We looked at each other and I think M and I both wanted to cry. Wow. great. Decades and decades more of this. Fantastic.

    Yes. As you can see, it is not easy. It is not luck. And I clearly still have a LOT of work to do.

    Because I think there has to be a way to mold this into joy. There MUST be.

  2. Angie - I actually had an "aha" moment when I read "But my anger at them distracts me from my grief". It's so true. There are certain people in our life that distract me from my grief and also from the joy that is in my life. I don't want it to be like that. I think forgiveness is so important, not for the other person(s) involved, but for us. It's not about inviting them back into our lives.. it's about finding some peace to just 'be' again.


  3. m that's a really nice way to describe what I am trying to do, so very much. Mould this into joy...

  4. Powerful poem, powerful post. Powerful you. Your determination as you mount the slippery, rocky path of transformation is majestic.

  5. "How someone deals with death tells me a great deal about how they deal with life"

    Truer words have never been written. I have learned a lot about my so-called friends. I have forgiven them for being clueless and have erased their names from our lives. At the same time, I have made some amazing new friends (both virtual and in real life) that I would not have had otherwise.

    Finding the moments of joy is a delicate dance. Some days we are more coordinated than others.

    Sending love and joy your way...

  6. I was just thinking about this today. About how I still feel a certain amount of resentment towards some members my family for not supporting me more. I don't think they have any idea that I feel this way.

  7. Oh, yes to all of it. The idea that I can be done having someone in my life but also be done with the rage just hit me like a thunderbolt.

    Gorgeous poem. Gorgeous post. Thank you for both.

  8. Angie,

    I don't know about you for sure, but I'm guessing you feel the same as I in that when you feel numb or dead inside that is worse than the gutteral sobs. The aching without an outlet just tears at my soul. It makes me so heavy. It's as if I wish for the opportunity to cry so I can release all that heaviness.

    Compassion and forgiveness are so difficult right now. It's as if nobody else on earth could possibly understand the pain we feel. Of course that isn't true and cognitively I suppose we know that. But, having compassion and forgiveness for those who seem so earthly and materialistic is so much work.

    And, I know what you mean about cleaning. I actually HATE cleaning. It makes me angry. But, the end result is so nice. I even googled your sage smudge last night. I love it. Now I need to get my house clean. First step accomplished - got some much needed cleaning supplies from Target tonight. Soon, I hope to order some sage. :)

    I'm thinking of you, Angie. Praying you find more peace even if it requires tears.

  9. Today was a crying day for me too. Thank you for reminding me that forgiving someone doesn't mean I have to allow them back into my life.

    "How someone deals with death tells me a great deal about how they deal with life." This is what I've been trying to say for five months, but couldn't find the words. I'd like to print it out on a card and hand it to 'those' people. xo

  10. I struggle with this daily and work really fucking hard at choosing forgiveness but it's not something that comes easily, that's for sure. I hope eventually the disappointment and anger will melt away and I will forgive them all. I'm not there yet but hoping to be someday.

  11. It isn't easy. It isn't lucky.
    I think Bluebird and m above summed it up beautifully. A delicate dance. A moulding.

    I wish that I was better at following your example. I don't want all that comes from my daughter's short life to be bitterness or anger. Sometimes that is just all that I can manage to summon up.

    Beautiful poem. For both your girls.



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