People ask me on a daily basis how I am doing. I want to tell them that I am okay. I want to tell them everything is fine. I know that is what they want to hear, and so that is what I say. It's just easier to say "I'm okay". Okay implies not great, but not terrible either. Okay is mediocre. Sure, I am mediocre. That's an acceptable answer, isn't it? Not too bad, not too good. Just okay. People are satisfied with that and I am able to avoid a lengthy conversation I don't really have the strength - or the words - for. Yes, words. Sometimes, I am at a loss for words. Sometimes, words are not nearly enough to accurately describe what this feels like. Weirdly, I am much more able to find the right words with my fingers rather than my mouth. I can write you pages and pages on how I feel, but speech doesn't always come as easily. Especially when the flow of speech is halted by the flow of tears. But, even with a pen (or a keyboard) in my hands, I still struggle for the right words that can truly make someone understand what my life is like.
I am currently working on an art project that involves a few photos of Kenley. I was cutting out her feet, sliding the scissors around the curves of her little toes, and I felt my heart skip and catch in my throat. I touched my fingertips to the picture. My baby's toes. The only image of her feet in existence, frozen forever in time. Do you know what it is like to love someone who never knew your face? To feel your heart melting and pouring out like lava over a part of you whom you never really got to meet? I saw her for less than two hours. I held her in my arms for less time than you spend in a movie theater on a rainy day. In those two hours, she never moved. She never breathed. She never opened her eyes. And yet, I love her more than anything in the universe. I love her with a love I can barely even imagine, let alone feel as it spirals me out of control. I don't know what to do with this love except feel it. So, I do. But the problem is, the love is not alone. It is attached to death. I love her, but she is gone. My love will never go away - and I definitely don't want it to - but it also has no where to go. Every ounce of love I feel contains the sharp pains of knowing she isn't here. And it hurts. The overwhelming finality of it rips me to shreds.
I think I am dealing with my grief the best way I know how, and I think I am being effective in this endeavor. I am able to discern the many emotions that come with grief, and I am able to work through them as well as I know they can be. I am not suicidal. I am eating. I am sleeping. I am able to find tiny pinpoints of light in this darkness. I am not defeated and I will not be defeated, but I am also not okay. This is not okay. What happened is not okay. But, really, what else can I say to people? What else can be said that hasn't already been said? What do you really expect me to say? I spent 8 months preparing to welcome my daughter to the world and, just when I thought we were home free, I had to say goodbye. And now, I try to fill my time with blog posts and art projects, household chores and other distractions. Time that should be spent changing diapers and rocking her to sleep. I am angry. I am sad. I am tired. I am trying. I am not okay, but I will be.