How is it that a whole year just went by? I admit that I have, for the most part – been in a state of disassociation I think. Sometimes worse than others. But suddenly the day was here.
I had spent about 3 weeks FULLY completely dreading it. Then two weeks wondering what I should plan. Should I ask if her friends want to get together? How do I pay begrudging respect to this shitty day? Do we honour more, the day someone is born? They day they die? Do I HAVE to do anything at all? But not doing anything would feel so, so wrong. Also, it would be the Thanksgiving weekend.
Last year, when she died, October 7th fell on a Friday. The Friday before Thanksgiving. This year, October 7th fell on the Saturday. In most ways, Friday was the hardest because the Day Before Thanksgiving Weekend will always stand out in my mind. Walking the kids home from school, coming home and then having the police officer say what he said. Saturday was just sad.
It wasn’t sad that Caitlin’s younger brother , who just turned 23, came over for dinner with my husband, and our two youngest boys. That was great. He is doing well and is healthy and I’m proud of him. But he is the Youngest of the First Three. The three I raised when barely more than a child myself. I had my first son at 16, then Caitlin and her brother within a few years of him. We were on our own most of the time and we struggled through life.
And now.. . it was him holding fort as the First Batch kidlett. His older brother living in Japan, his older sister passed away to wherever she is. Just him. And that made me sad. Normally the three of them would be chatting, bugging each other etc. The 28 year old with his dry sarcasm and subtle ridiculousness, Caitlin with her constant chatter and ‘Right mom?’, and the 23 year old with his lively talk and ability to bounce back and forth between his older brother and sister. Often poking at both of them and ribbing them into what would have once been a big fight but over the years had tamed down into good natured laughter.
So my one son, he came for the whole day saturday, and as usual tried to initiate conversation with his little 8 and 10 year old half brothers. But those two aren’t very social with people other than their dad and I. Social enough with friends, but they don’t normally chat with any adults easily. Though they did pretty good with Caitlin.
We did the ‘right’ thing and went to the cemetery. I didn’t really want to go. I don’t feel her there. And it kind of creeps me out knowing that her shell is decaying in the soil beneath. That’s the biggest reason, though I don’t say that to those who take comfort in going to her grave. At least there is lovely headstone and people leave such pretty things for her. So — Im glad it is of comfort to some. Not to me. I just find myself standing their awkwardly – unable to say much at all. Being in the presence of her burned body via ashes wouldn’t help either. Nor would it be better for me if she was scattered to the wind. It all feels wrong anyhow so….
Went to the cemetery and picked up the lovely image a person had printed out and left at her grave for us. When i first saw it there I left it there, but then as soon as i got home I asked the cemetery owners if they could put it aside for me. So… yeah. got that.
On the front, a printed out image of the Doctor, pressed against the wall, separated from Rose because she was sent to a different dimension. Severed for eternity. The one episode I cried most in, my daughter and a few of my friends had WARNED me it was a tough episode but BOY did I cry. Written on the back, kind words from strangers ~ right down to the same Allons-y tattooed on my arm. The 10th Doctor’s catch-phrase.
So, then we went home and I made a very non traditional Meatless Enchiladas for our very small, but very appreciated family meal. I told the rest of the family that I really just couldn’t do the big Thanksgiving this year. Everyone was very understanding.
Now, the following weekend, that day has passed. I feel badly for not doing more. But at the same time, I know my daughter was very okay with taking the most comfortable route and she would be telling me ‘It’s okay mom, as long as we had good food and dessert!’ 🙂
I love you my sweet lil girl. Forever and Ever.