I’m filled with a lot of sadness today, but not for the reasons you might think and I’m struggling with my own selfishness. Yes, I have thought of the families of the victims of 9/11. It would be difficult not to with every news source on the planet doing a blitz of five-year-memorial coverage. And yes, I am sorry for their losses. It was an awful, tragic, hateful, ugly thing for their loved ones to be ripped away just for going about their business in the wrong place at the wrong time or on the wrong plane. It’s not that I don’t recognize their pain and it’s not that I don’t care about what they suffered, what our country suffered, that day five years ago.
But I find I don’t have room in my heart or in my head for their sadness today. My own sadness is not yet five months removed, much less five years. True, my tragedy was on a much smaller, much quieter scale. Just one life was lost and not a word of it was on the news. I completely appreciate how my baby's death pales in respect to what happened in NYC and DC and Pennsylvania. It wasn’t a violent cataclysmic event that affected the psyche of a nation or the course of history.
But it affected my psyche. And my history. And those of my sweet Husband and our families. And we are not yet recovered. In fact, I think my own recovery has just begun. In the weeks immediately after Cecilia’s birth, I was the portrait of carefully measured mourning. I applauded myself for my own stoicism- for handling things so rationally, so logically. I acknowledged my grief, but I was never overcome by it. I returned to my normal daily life quickly and seemingly without incident. I was very proud of how well I’d done and how little bother I’d been to anyone.
What’s that phrase? “Calm before the storm?” In this case, the storm consists of alternating floods of anger and sadness that threaten to drown me; they are so all-consuming. I’m furious with the woman in the department store who is short with her two little children. Does she have ANY idea how lucky she is? I begin to cry when I see tiny pink feet peeking out carriers and strollers. Fortunately I am sane enough never to consider it, but a small dark part of me understands how a woman who has held her baby’s lifeless body could come to a moment in her grief when picking up that beautiful newborn from the grocery cart and simply walking out the door would be too much to resist. I can’t even begin to describe the sickening mixture of resentment and sadness brought on by the sight of hugely pregnant women.
I’m well aware of my selfishness and of how irrational I’m being. My logical mind knows that none of these people had anything to do with the damned missing chromosome that robbed us of Cecilia. It has certainly occurred to me that I’m awful for not just being happy that someone else doesn’t have to endure what we went through. I’m sorry, but I’m just not feeling that charitable.
And I’m sorry if I can’t muster a moment of properly somber silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks. Forgive me if I don’t attend the memorial services and freedom marches. I truly do wish their families well and I can appreciate that I am a horrific bitch for my callousness towards their plight on what should rightfully be their day of remembrance. It's just that my memories are all too fresh- my baby should have been born next week, but she died four months ago and there just isn’t room in my heart for anything else. I doubt there will be for some time.