Friday, August 10, 2012

I survived (and other post-anniversary musings)

  • Thank you for all your kind words & thoughts on Katie's "anniversary" day. The day of I did reaonsably well, but the day or two before was not so easy. I found myself crying at the drop of a hat. I don't know why one year is harder or easier than another. I've come to accept that I just won't know how I'm going to feel until the day arrives, & try to take the day off, if I can, just in case. 
  • Many of the rituals of earlier years have fallen by the wayside, but we still took pink roses to the cemetery late that morning. Then we went out for brunch, and to our favourite bookstore, and then home, where I lolled on the lovesat and read blogs all afternoon. I was very tired by the end of the day, though. 
  • I posted on Facebook: "14 years... long ago, and just yesterday, all at once. Remembering our little girl and what might have been. ♥"  This is pretty bold stuff for me, people.  I got an amazing 9 "likes" and 30 comments from my 130+ "friends" (so far). Mostly just one liners and many from real life and online ALI friends, but also from friends and relatives who have barely acknowledge I was ever pregnant. Progress? 
  • I also reposted a beautiful poster from Dr. Joanne Cacciatore of the MISS Foundation, showing a little girl releasing balloons in a field of flowers, with the tagline "I will always wish for you." This too got a few "likes" and shares. Including one from my mother.
  • I think the hardest part of the day for me was seeing my mother repost Dr. Joanne's poster, with the words, "In memory of our little granddaughter, Kathleen Maria. August 7, 1998. Always missed, never forgotten."  I burst into sobs & whispered, "I'm so sorry, Mommy" at the screen. Handling my own grief and life disappointments is one thing (& I think I've come a long way in 14 years) -- but feeling responsible for my parents' grief and disappointment and lack of (living) grandchildren is still so hard for me. :( 
  • Back around Christmastime, you might remember that I read & reviewed a book called "Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What it Costs Us" by Nancy Berns.  Berns recently summarized her ideas in a TED Talk, which you can now view on YouTube, here. If you believe, as I do (and as Elizabeth McCracken so wonderfully put it in her book "An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination"), that "Closure is bull****," you will enjoy listening to or reading what Berns has to say on the topic. (For starters, she thinks it's a made-up concept.)
  • I was amused to read an article in the New York Times this week about the pressure gay couples are facing to have children.  It wasn't that long ago that marriage &/or children were considered off limits to gay couples, even by gay couples themselves. On the one hand, the article says, it's a welcome sign for these couples of their inclusion in the mainstream;  others (whether or not they think kids might be in the picture) find it just as annoying as the rest of us to be constantly asked about their plans. I found it particularly funny/irritating to read the breathless observation that "The process can be also daunting logistically and financially, as would-be parents wrestle with whether to adopt or use a surrogate."  Well, duh. Those of us who are infertile have been trying to get that point across for YEARS.  Welcome to the club, guys (and girls).


  1. I am really touched that friends and family both commented on your post and your mother posted her own message abour your daughter.

    (((Hugs))) and abiding with you...

  2. (*hugs*) I'm glad that people did reach out to you. No matter how much time passes, it's still hard and she is missed.

    The last bullet did crack me up a little though. Sounds awfully familiar... ;)

  3. sorry to miss katie's anniversary day. hope it was peaceful.

    I'm so happy friends and family reached out to you on FB. especially your mom. just gets you right in the gut. <3

  4. "Handling my own grief and life disappointments is one thing (& I think I've come a long way in 14 years) -- but feeling responsible for my parents' grief and disappointment and lack of (living) grandchildren is still so hard for me".
    I can totally relate to this. I avoid conversation about babies and children with my mother. Even at 39 weeks pregnant now I have a difficult time discussing the baby that is about to enter our lives. I had my father tell her when we miscarried two years ago since I was so scared of her reaction and knew I wouldn't be able to handle it. Its hard for the family to understand this concept or at least mine. Thanks for made me feel better that my cold shoulder to my mother was something that someone else was feeling to.

  5. Reading your mom's post made me cry, too. I know just what you mean about feeling responsible for disappointing others. I feel the exact same way. I'm glad that you posted about Katie on facebook, and so glad that you got many responses. Sending hugs.

  6. Actually I think people want gay people to have kids so they more parents to commiserate with.

    By the way, I am reading, but can't seem to post comments through wordpress on your blog.

  7. I've been meaning to respond for a few days, but have been looking for the right words. But I hope any words are better than the wrong ones. I just wanted to send my love. I was very glad they you could feel strong enough to reach out on FB, and that you were rewarded as a result. I also wanted to say that you shouldn't take on the burden of your mother's sadness. It's not your fault, and her happiness (or sadness) is not your responsibility. I'm sure she'd be horrified to know that her post upset you, as I suspect she posted it (in part) to show you she understands and supports you, and that she'll always remember Katie.