Monday, March 3, 2014

Sleepless In Seattle

When it hits, it hits hard. Knocks the air out of my lungs. Like someone punched me in the stomach. I can't breath, I can't see straight, I can't comprehend how I am going to get through the next 10 minutes let alone the rest of my life. It hit me hard tonight. The reality. The finality of it all. 

I just got back from Washington. It was one of the first tangible thoughts I had after Violet died. I needed to leave. To get away for a moment. To sit on a dreary beach. To see the ocean, in all it's power and anger and beauty. My sisters, Angie and Lisa, and our cousin, Mindy, came with me. They dropped everything to go with me on the trip. I can't thank them enough. They didn't question me, they just put on their shoes and hopped on a plane. I figured what better time to get a tattoo than while away from home. We went straight from the airport to the tattoo shop. My sisters and I all got tattoos on our wrist for Violet. 

Mine is the bottom one, my friend Matthew drew it for me. It is beautiful. The middle one is Lisa's, and the last one is Angie's. They are all unique, but very obviously belong together. It makes me physically ill that we had to get memorial tattoos for my dead daughter. I will never understand it. I will always be surprised when I look down and see it on my wrist. The pain of the tattoo was nothing. It was good to feel the pain. For a moment, it took away from the agony that I am in constantly. The tattoo artist I went to was amazing. Her name is Tori. When I sat down to start, I heard music playing. It wasn't the typical music you expect to hear in a tattoo shop. It was Regina Spektor radio on Pandora. A station I listen to. I knew all the songs playing. It felt right. This was the person who should be doing my tattoo. As soon as she put the gun to my wrist to start the shading the song "Be Ok" by Ingrid Michaelson started. My cousin posted that song to my Facebook page. I have heard that song a million times, I sang that song to Violet many times, never really paying attention to the words. Now I hear the words, and they have a completely new meaning. For that song to start as soon as the violet coloring was put into my skin has to be a sign. A sign from my Violet. Tears streamed down my face as I laid there, listening to that song, getting a tattoo for my daughter. 

We didn't have many plans in Washington. It was nice to be able to take our time, do what we wanted to do. Our cousin Brad (Mindy's brother) lives in Washington with his family. We were able to spend a lot of time with them. It was great to see them, to talk about Violet, and to have fun. We also met up with some of my friends from my due date club. I knew it would be hard to see them, but I needed to see them. We had lunch. I loved on one of my friend's twin boys. He fell asleep in my arms. It was lovely. It wasn't hard for me to hold him. He looks nothing like Violet. But, one of the babies there looks just like my Violet. He has the same big dark eyes, the same chubby cheeks, the same hands. The way he moves, the way he laughs. So much like my Vi. After lunch we walked down to a coffee shop, I got a vanilla latte. I was finally feeling brave enough to hold him. I needed to hold him. I took a sip of my coffee, set it down, and then walked over and held him. I couldn't hold him for long. I soon passed him back to his wonderful mother, walked back to my coffee, and broke down. Mindy grabbed me, she held me tight while my body heaved from my quiet sobs. I couldn't take anymore, it was time for me to say goodbye to my friends and their beautiful babies. I hugged them all, and we left. We went to a beautiful park, walked down to the water. It was beautiful. We laughed and had fun. We had a few drinks when we got back to the hotel. I got sad. We talked about Violet and everything that happened for a long time. I broke down. It was good. I needed to get it out. It won't be the last break down I have, but it was a start. A start of something that will never end.

The next day we drove to the beach. It was rainy and windy and cold. Perfect. It was exactly how I needed it to be. The ocean was angry. Brad said he had never seen it more dreary and angry then it was that day. It was exactly how I needed it to be. I didn't actually scream on the beach. I thought I might need to, but I didn't. The sound of the ocean was all I needed. We walked over to a part of the beach that the water didn't hit. It was a little higher up than the rest of the beach, so we went over there so our boots didn't get soaked. Angie wrote her name in the sand. We stared at her name, overwhelmed with the sadness. The waves weren't anywhere near us or her name. And then, all of a sudden the water rushed in over her name. As quickly as she was there, she was gone. The ocean took her. It was eerily perfect. Haunting. Sad. So so sad. The water never came back up that high again. Just that one time. I felt her there with me. She made the water come up and take her. She wanted to show me that she was there with me, that even though she is gone she is still mine. She will always be mine. My violet. My sweet Violet. 

Coming home was hard. I missed Rich and Lyvi. I wanted to come home to see them, but I knew going home meant facing the reality that Violet isn't waiting at home for me too. I will always half expect to see her in Rich's arms when I come home. I will always think this is just some cruel joke that will end someday. When I walked into our bedroom her bed was gone. Rich took it down. I wasn't ready for that. I'm not mad at him for doing it, but I wasn't ready for it to be gone. I wasn't ready for her to be gone. I just want her back. If her bed is gone that means she really isn't coming back. This isn't just some prank. She isn't coming back. It hit me hard. I am so sad. I miss her so much. I am just so sad. I didn't think Washington would be the cure all, I knew I would still be sad when I came home. I knew March 1st would be a hard day, I anticipated that. I didn't expect coming home would make me so sad. The tears start falling before I even know that I'm crying. Lyvi asked to see pictures of Violet tonight before bed. I started crying, she rubbed my arm and said "Mama sad. Miss Baby Vi? Mama stop crying." It is disgusting that my 2 1/2 year old daughter has to say these words to me. It is disgusting that she has experienced such a profound loss at such a young age. It is DISGUSTING that Violet was taken away, that she didn't get to experience life, that she lived for 5 months and 12 days and then died. Just like that. As fast as she got here she was gone. The tears that I cry are different then any other tears I have ever cried. They are bigger, literally bigger than normal tears. They soak my face and shirt. They are heavy. So very heavy. I'm such a mess. I don't know what to do, where to go, how to live. Eventually I have to live, I can't continue to just go through the motions. I'm no where near the point of living again. It has been 31 days without her. 31 days of a lifetime without her. 

My sweet baby. It has been so long since I wrote to you. I promise not a minute went by that I wasn't thinking of you. I got my tattoo for you. It is beautiful, but I hate it. I hate that I had to get it. I shouldn't have had to get it. You should have been able to get one for me, because I should have died before you. Nothing makes sense anymore. My whole life I wanted to be a mom. I always knew I was meant to be a mom. I had Lyvi and I knew you were waiting to come to us. I had you and everything was as it should be. I had you and I was complete. I didn't need anything else in life. And, now you are gone. And, I am broken. I will never be at peace with this. This will never be ok. You should be here. There is no reason that you should be gone. It is complete and utter nonsense. I am so sorry honey. I just don't get it. I don't get why this happened to you. It isn't fair. You should not have died. I have been thinking about the last time I held you a lot. I can't get your bruised face out of my mind. I don't know why your face was so bruised, but it haunts me. I want to remember you as the happy bubbly baby you were. I don't want to remember your bruised cold face. I hope one day I can focus on the happy memories. I still just cannot believe that this truly happened. I cannot believe it. I miss you so much. My arms are aching for you tonight. All I have is your blanket to hold. It doesn't smell like you anymore. It smells like the bed at the hotel. All I want to do is wrap you up in it so that it smells like you again. So that it is warm from your little body. I love you so much my fat baby. I am so sorry this happened to you. I am so sorry I couldn't save you. I love you. I'm sorry. 


  1. You don't know me, but I think about you and your pain throughout each and every day. I hold my own baby and cry because I want you to have your beautiful baby to hold. I am inspired to be a better mother because of the pure love you have for your daughters. I wish my inspiration wasn't accompanied by your pain, but thank you for inspiring me anyways. You don't even know how strong of a woman you are yet, but I can feel your strength as I read your words. I pray that you will find comfort in the little things. And that you will come to know in your heart that you will hold your baby girl again although eternity seems impossibly far away right now.

  2. Michelle, I am crying so hard right now - for you, for Lyvi, for Rich, for your mom and dad and sisters and brother and her cousins, and especially for Viloet. I cannot even fathom the pain and heartache. I will never understand how this could be right, and I too don't know what to say, but would NEVER say those things like - It was her time, or that other stupid shit that gives no comfort at all. Just know that I think of her and of you so often. Grama Diane always shared about her beautiful grandkids - Lyvi and Vi, so much. She will never be forgotten - way too much love for that. I know you don't really know me, and we met under awful circumstances, but know that my heart hurts for you and your family, and I wish there was such a thing as a magic wand that could reverse all of this and make your world right again. I would SO wave that thing around. I admire your honesty, strength (even though you think you have none), and respect your anger and sadness. Violet IS with you, all of you, ALWAYS. She will just show in in different ways than what you are used to. Listen and believe. My love to you and your family - now and always.