Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back to the present...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all of your comments over the past week. They mean the world to dh & me.

I've been wandering around in a fog for most of the week. I think it's due to a combination of (a) this week's significant dates, (b) general vacation laziness (lol), (c) the blood pressure medication I started a couple of weeks ago, and/or (c) AF (!), who decided to pop in early (for me = day 29). Her last visit was late, so I guess she's trying to even out the schedule! I have been very crampy (more so & for more days than usual -- the bp meds, perhaps?) & very, very tired. I was feeling very fatigued the first week I started taking the pills, started feeling better, and then AF arrived & I'm back to feeling fatigued again. The whole week has taken on a sort of surreal aura. We haven't been doing a whole lot, but I'm very glad we took the time off & stayed close to home.

Phoebe was asking how it feels to write about all this now. It's been very cathartic. I honestly feel like the hard part has been writing it all out, and the rest of the day will be OK. Sad, but OK.

On Tuesday (the 5th), dh & I did something we have been talking about doing for the last 10 years. Ten years ago, we didn't have the money to buy the niche alongside Katie's at the cemetery (in fact, we financed her funeral on our credit card). Ever since then, I've been saying to dh that we needed to do this: "Some day, we're going to come here & someone else's plaque is going to be up alongside hers, & we're going to regret it."

So I called the cemetery office & said we'd like to come down that afternoon & purchase a niche for ourselves, preferably the one next to our daughter.

We were in for a shock. Not only is the one next to our daughter taken, in the cluster of columbarium structures (columbaria?) where her ashes are interred, there are exactly two spots left. Everything else has been pre-purchased.

They've built a new group of columbaria very close by, and the salesman (the same one we dealt with 10 years ago!) suggested that we could buy two niches over there & move Katie over to be beside us. But the idea of moving her -- opening up the niche, with her urn and all the things & flowers we put in with it, where we've visited her every week for the last 10 years -- bothered me a whole lot more than the idea of not being side by side -- so we wound up just buying a niche for ourselves in the new columbarium, & will leave her where she is. It's close enough.

Our traditions for the 7th (today) have usually included putting an In Memoriam in the local paper (done, although I'm not sure I'll continue that after this year), taking pink roses to the cemetery (later this afternoon), and ordering in Chinese food, since that's what we did when we got home from the hospital. Since we're going away, though, we didn't want to have to deal with scads of leftovers (their "dinner for two" easily feeds four or five people), so we're going out tonight to the Chinese restaurant we usually order in from instead.

Tomorrow we're headed out on the second part of our vacation, to see my family. I will have Internet access, & so will be able to access my blog & my Google Reader, although I probably won't be on the computer as much I usually am. Hopefully I won't get too far behind!


  1. You are truly amazing to me. This post, well you seem OK. You and your husband are in my prayers and I truly hope that you are.

  2. I'm glad the writing has been healing for you. You are a role model as someone who has healed from a traumatic event for those who have yet to travel down this difficult path. Thanks for sharing all the details of your story. I hope you and your husband have found some peace and silver lining in it all.

  3. Our thing, eighteen months later, is that we still haven't ordered the permanent marker for A's grave. He is in the baby section, so we couldn't be next to him even if we wanted to. I felt bad as I saw permanent markers installed for babies who died after A, but I just didn't feel we had found the words we needed yet. I think we finally figured it out. I asked DH to make an appointment for next week to order the plate. I am not sure how long it will take them to make it. I hope not long.

    This is a long way of saying that I think I understand some part of why it was significant for you to buy the spots, and I am glad you were able to do it this year.

    Peace to you on this day of pink roses and chinese food.

  4. Wishing you a wonderful vacation with your family, Loribeth. Will be thinking of you.

  5. I just read your entire story. I think it was great for you to be able to get it all out.

    A billion ~hugs~ to you and your husband. And of course, a billion prayers being sent up to your Katie.

  6. I'm glad the writing has helped you...because you have most certainly helped us by educating us and making us aware. Enjoy the rest of your vacation and your time with your family.

  7. Lori, thank you for opening your heart and your story in this way. I'm glad it has been cathartic for you. What a beautiful way to honor Katie's memory by sharing your story with so many that have been there themselves or who want to better understand the experiences of those who have.

    I hope that you feel better soon and that your time away will be a peaceful and healing time for you and your dh.

  8. Agreed -- you are amazing. I am glad you bought the nearby niche for yourself and your husband.

    I thought of Katie yesterday at my checkup and again during yoga practice as a special intention, with gratitude toward you for following my own story despite the close parallels in gestation dates.

    Have a wonderful vacation, Loribeth.

  9. There are some stories that stay with us long after we have finished reading them. I have thought so much about you, your husband and daughter over the past few days, Loribeth.

    I am glad that you found it helpful to share these painful memories with us all, and that our comments have in some small way helped you through this painful anniversary.

  10. I don't remember how I found your blog, but my eye hurt from looking at the computer for so long reading it.
    I am so so sorry for your loss and pain. So so so sorry...

  11. While the whole thing makes me very very sad to read, just in the fact that it's so real and horrible, I love the chinese food idea. There's something very simple and traditional about it, that holds a place for you.