Grief is a weird thing.
It is, at times, completely illogical and all consuming. It has no pattern, no reason.
I have my very own example of this that I have been dealing with on a daily basis since October 14th 2012.
We knew Lillian was scheduled to be born on October 15th 2012. Bright and early, first thing on a Monday morning. As you can imagine, that weekend before it was…long yet short. Terrifying yet boring and all consuming. On the Saturday we had a family event with our dear friends Jane and her husband and on Sunday we took the day just for the three of us. We felt like it was our last day with just Ava.
The Sunday before Lillian was born was a blurr. Ran a couple last minute errands, chatted nervously and tried not to think. We went for brunch and woke up very early because we would need to be up the next day at 4 am. I went over and over my bags and made arrangements for the pets. Finally, it was 6 pm and the night began to settle. Matthew was loading the camera with fresh batteries and took this photo of me keeping him company.
So there we are, the house is quiet and our anxiety is building. I suggested that we watch something distracting before trying to go to sleep. Something silly, laugh out loud funny, something ridiculous and hard to ignore. We grabbed Aus.tin Po.wer’s and curled up (as much as you can when you are CRAZY PREGNANT! Whoa! That photo is insane) to distract ourselves. I remember lying with my head on Matt’s heart watching and laughing then taking the DVD out of the player when it finished and putting it in its case back on top of the DVD player. And there it has sat. Ever since.
We watched the movie in our room that night because the giant pregnant lady wanted to stretch out. I pass by the DVD player, sitting on top of the dresser, each and every time I climb in or out of bed. I have 9 month old baby, how often do you think I have passed that DVD sitting on the dresser? Close to 10 000 times? She had colic, some nights I rocked her in front of the dresser for hours. All this time there it has sat. All this time. At first there was no way I would move it. Then for the last 2 months I have passed it thinking “I should really put that away.”
But I can’t.
The insanity of grief and the life I know tells me that you place odd value on certain things. The last meal you ate when you KNEW your baby was alive or the bizarre routine you follow in a borderline O.C.D way just because it may mean something. See, I can’t put the DVD away. I hadn’t watched it in years, it came out, we watched it and then my baby lived. Illogical? Oh yes! Irrational and even a little unhinged? Yup, sign me up. I cannot put the DVD away.
This past weekend I was on the phone with my Mom and cleaning simultaneously. We are getting our house ready for sale and that means decluttering. I picked up the DVD and began to walk downstairs. I managed to get half way down the stairs and my heart was racing, palms sweating and I found myself unglued. My Mom asked what was wrong and I told her about the DVD, that I have this bizarre feeling that I have to keep it where it was or something bad will happen, like the DVD possess some sort of hold on the universe and could control something that would affect our lives…but that I had to put it away because who wants to buy a house with a DVD on the dresser.
My Mom enthusiastically laughed and me and told me to put the DVD in my dresser drawer. I practically ran up the stairs and put it back where it “belongs.”
Who knows, maybe when Lillian goes to University I will celebrate by taking the DVD out of my dresser drawer. Nah. Not even then.