Friday, 15 May 2009

A visit.

I went to her grave this morning. I was looking for something and it wasn't there.

Instead, another act to add to the comedy of errors that is the grave side visits. Long thin candles bent banana shaped because they were sitting on the dash as I drove to the cemetery. Candles that won't light, forgotten matches, attempts to light candles with the cigarette lighter in the car... the list goes on. This morning it was the tap, which I was fetching water from to wash the headstone, it came on hard and at a weird angle, resulting in a shoe full of water. I also dropped a lit match on the tissue paper that the flowers were wrapped in. god.

God!

Yeah. The usual answer. A big fucking blue sky. So ironic. Still so comforting. So............. patient.

I was surprised by how much I fell apart today. I thought I was going OK. I thought I had found a little happiness, enough to keep the raft afloat. I think bodies sometimes remember things even when our heads pretend we've got the situation under control. There is something about this season. It is so distinct and truly so God damn glorious in Sydney. Cold nights, Warm clear days. Everyone comments on its beauty.

Beauty. It's reassuringly indifferent to my anger. Where the fuck did that wave of anger come from? I thought I'd done that. The day continues to bestow warmth on me while I rant, wage war, share death around with a few others inside my head. It isn't fair honey. But is that screaming about it gonna make it any better?

So I go searching, looking for something else to be in my head. I try to break in to a memory. And as always, when you try and force your way in, it disappears from you. Instead, I'm wiping a cold granite slab free of flung lawn clippings and bird shit. I hate it. It's a job usually done in tenderness, the only thing I can do as a mother, but today I hate it. I don't want to be here. I don't want it. I don't.

The sweet peas, so delicate and soft look stupid against the dark granite. The words on the stone, chosen with so much care, seem so hollow. Hollow. Look! It is hollow. The ground has resettled, collapsed under the concrete slab the headstone sits on making a cave with a small opening. I put my hand down there, up to the elbow. I'm reaching into her grave. Why the fuck did I just do that? And it leads to detached biological curiosity about the state of decomposition, 3 years on. Why did I agree to an autopsy? Why did they make me line your beautiful coffin with plastic before I covered it with that soft green embroidered fabric? We should have had her cremated. I would of if I could have made a big fucking fire and put the coffin on top. But the electric curtain with its conveyor belt spooks me. It had to be a burial. A hole is true. Dirt is real.

I look at the sky. The shimmer of gum leaves in bright light. If she is anywhere, it's here. The ground only has her body, but not her. That is why I can't find what I seek when I am there. I am looking in the wrong spot.

But the truth is, I never will find what I am looking for. It is gone. She is gone.

I make my way home in tears and frustration.

12 comments:

M said...

I so completely feel your pain and share your anger. It is NOT fair, and I don't think we'll ever 'accept' the loss of children. But you are wrong about one thing... Maya isn't gone. Yes, in the physical sense she's not here, but she is carried in your heart and in the hearts of all of us who love her through you. Somedays that isn't enough, I get that. But she will never be gone while we remember and love.

S said...

This fucking sucks. I'm sorry, it does. I have felt the same way about it. What have we got, urns and graves and coffins? It seems unfair and unnatural, it doesn't belong in the right order of the world.

I agreed to an autopsy because I need to know. Why?? No answers. More rage. Now, I have a tiny little pink urn (made in india) with a tiny amount of ashes. dead babies don't create much ash.

I'm so sorry mate. I will be thinking of you, J and Maya tomorrow and will light Janaki's red candle for the first time, in their memory.

Maya will never be gone. Her body is broken and decaying. But what makes her her - her soul, her spirit, her essence, whatever the word is, will always linger on in the thoughts of those who loved her immeasurably, and in the thoughts of those who remember.

Much love,

S

Mrs. Spit said...

Oh B. In Christianity, we so often talk about the empty tomb, and it is good and right that we should, but equally, there is Maya, and the pain of losing her.

There is the pain that she is not here, and that what is here is so small and faint.

I'm sorry. Remembering with you, sending hugs. Abiding.

Lori said...

Good grief. Well, definitely not so good.

My heart aches as I read this. The unbearable decisions of where to commit a child's body; reaching into the abyss; the enormity of Maya's absence.

{{{{{{{{B}}}}}}}}}}} Abiding with you, too.

Rachel said...

It sucks and I'm thinking of you.

luna said...

this makes my heart ache, B. remembering sweet maya with you today. love and a hug to you.

Berni said...

Thinking of you here in the UK ~ ~ ~

Coming2Terms said...

My heart goes out to you B. I can feel the anxiety, anger and sadness all the way across the Pacific. Wish I could help comfort you in person, or take away the pain, but I know that's all but impossible. Just know that we're with you and wishing you peace.

Michele said...

Peace, dear one, peace and love and hope. We visit my brother-in-law's grave (he died as a child) and my husband often grasps at the dirt...

Sending you love and peace on this windy night... This is unfair... I wish I could fix it.

Phoebe said...

Death leaves such a hole that can not be filled, but with our tears and sadness. My heart aches with you.

Kami said...

I wish I had some wise or comforting words. I am hurting with you.

caitsmom said...

"The ground only has her body, but not her." Powerful words. Powerful post. The cemetery visits are hard for me too. I look forward to going and dread it at the same time. There is release and love in the visit, but also so much sadness. Peace.