Yearning *

          The nature of grief changes as time passes, although after 7 years I'm still surprised at how long it takes for the intense minute-to-minute yearning to pass. It seems like each day I hear or see or read something that reminds me of those first months and years of achy yearning. It's said that dancers have body memory, and for years after learning a dance can jump up and perform perfectly when they hear the music. That's how I explain the body yearning of grieving for my daughter - I can still feel her hug and smell her neck... from memory.

15 Jun 2011
Online grief group

          Yesterday when I called to RSVP for our grief group picnic, I asked the leader if she thought I'd ever get to the point of not missing Kaylan Rose, because I have gotten to that point with my parents. She said unfortunately no...
           Let me explain. I haven't forgotten about my parents at all. It's just that after 24 years (today) of my mama being gone, I still think of her and remember her, but I don't have that heartsick feeling that I had the first few years. I probably haven't missed her like that for 10 years until Kaylan died. Now - although I miss her comforting hug, I'm grateful that she didn't have to be here during this time. Especially now that two of her daughters have/had cancer in the past 9 months.
          And it isn't that I want to forget Kaylan, it's that I was looking forward to that kind of sweet memories-without-heartbreak feeling someday. After talking to Renee, it seems that it is not to be. That's okay. It's been my greatest pleasure in life to be a mother, and that involves carrying sadness for my kids. So be it.

          Writing this book is giving me more insight into how my whole grief journey has played out, and continues to develop. Today I went for a walk with Darrell, and I noticed that I no longer feel like I have to mention every time I think about Kaylan. But when I see the birds she loved near a bird feeder I think of her wistfulness, and when I see a tall slender girl moving fast and deep in thought I think of her, and when I hear piano music coming out of a house I think of her. I don't know if I think of her more often than I think of our other kids, or if I just notice it more when I do. I love her. Present tense. I know that much.

Erica KitzmanComment