Just Too Sad

I remember when my doctor prescribed me anti-depressants and told me, “You are just too sad.”

I remember thinking he was absolutely crazy. My daughter had died six weeks ago. I told him I didn’t want to be happy. He told me everyone wants to be happy.

I love my doctor. He is an amazing man and practitioner. But I did not want to be happy. I did not want to find my way through losing Rory. I wanted the world to end, I wanted everything to stop. The loss of a child is too terrible to endure, too horrible of a reality to accept. I didn’t want to grow stronger, I didn’t want to fight. I wanted the universe explode, agreeing the loss of Rory to be impossible and send us all to the place we could be together with no more tears, no more sadness, and no more loss.

But it didn’t. I had to rummage through the hospital’s closet to find an outfit for Rory to be buried in. I had to walk out of the hospital, clutching a ragged old stuffed cow, climb into a vehicle, and go home without my little girl.

I had to wake up the next morning. I had to eat. I had to sleep. I had to plan a funeral. I had to pick out a casket. I had to cry, to mourn, to suffer.

I took the anti-depressants. I still thought my doctor was crazy. I didn’t take them as much for me as I did for my terrified husband. I think those pills made it easier for him to go outside and do the work he had to do. I know he was scared he was going to lose me too. So I took them with the words ringing in my ears…

Just too sad.

I am proud of the way I grieved in the beginning. Unapologetically, wholeheartedly, unashamedly. But looking back I still shake my head at some things. Was it really necessary to feel like I had to attend a birthday party when my daughter had only died a month ago? I think I felt like I had to go out there so people could see me and offer condolences. I felt like if I waited too long to go into public, to go to church, people would feel awkward bringing her name up, and the thought of them not acknowledging my loss outweighed the trepidation of facing the world.

I made it through the firsts without Rory. The first Halloween, the first Christmas, the first New Year.

I recently read my first grieving book. Choosing to See. I waited over a year to read it because even the title ticked me off. It sounded holy and full of hope and I was no where near ready to “choose to see”. I still struggled with the book even now, but I think it’s just because a lot of her sorrow was summed up in short sentences in the past tense. It was a good book, but I’m glad I waited to read it, because if I had read it any sooner – well let’s just say I would not be able to return it in mint condition to my friend. But there was one part that resonated with me. The author says it was not the first year that was the hardest, but the second. I agree. The first year you are somewhat protected by a dreamlike fog, a haziness forcing you to rely on instinctual reflexes. The shock and horror enfold you in a tranquilizing numbness, leaving you unable to fully comprehend the deepness of your own loss.

I am no longer numb.

It is now I find the doctors words ringing true. It is just too sad. I find myself staring at her name hung in the nursery wall, allowing myself to only tiptoe gently around the inescapable edges of her memory. As I find myself shying away from conversations leading to her, as I segue out of any mention of her, as I find the once constant longing to speak her name retreating into the quietness of my conflicted heart, I hear the words in my own mournful voice. It is just too sad.

This withdrawal is new for me and unexpected and of uncertain duration. Even this post has been a long time coming and I find myself for once unwilling to pour out everything in my mind. This is a different season of grief. Maybe it is one that will eventually require some outside help.

If I do ever write this book I believe I would call this chapter The Silence. I do not believe the silence is bad, or that it somehow betrays Rory’s memory. I don’t believe this time of pondering in my heart instead of filling up pages and people’s ears with words diminishes the depths of my grief.

You see, the world didn’t end. I had to find the strength to carry on, to move forward, and to find joy in a little boy. The grief of Rory had to stop being an all encompassing entity and put into a space where I could enter if I felt strong enough, but a place where I could close the door and turn the lock. Only then can I face the day with the key in my pocket, knowing whenever I need to, I can enter in and hold the sadness in my hands and look into it and accept it as my own. I can delve into its depths, and wander in its tragedy. I can sift through the memories and sort through the joy, pain, blame, and guilt and let it overthrow me and consume me. And then I can arrange it back into its space and close the door. I cannot stay there. I have to come out and love my husband, and smile with my friends, and embrace the joy of Kadon. I cannot stay there. These days I can’t even go there.

Because it’s just too sad.


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