I started this blog as a distraction from the fact my life had just shattered. Shattered isn't even the word for it. Imploded? Experienced armageddon? Within an instant I went from the mother of two and a half month old to...nothing. That's what it felt like. Feels like. That my entire reason for being had just been ripped away and I was trying desperately to find some reason not to fling myself off the planet. I read a decent amount of "grieving literature" and the crazy amount of time you have when you no longer have a small human to care for wasn't mentioned it, but it should've been. A simply staggering amount of time that should have been filled with nursing and reading books and helping Lila learn to sit up suddenly yawned before me. What the the hell was I supposed to do with it? A fifty year old house with lots of problems and a blog to detail all of our struggles with said house seemed like something that could resemble a plan. A distraction. Something.
It didn't work. I mean, it did in the sense I'm still here, but I didn't have the mental ability to organize projects. There were many days when I didn't have the mental resources to organize laundry. Everyday problems that would've once been no big deal suddenly became huge obstacles. I let small problems become big problems.
The biggest problem with renovating our place is that Lila should be here with us. Each choice is loaded. Is this a choice I would make if Lila was here? When I put a glass topped side table in the living room, something I definitely wouldn't do if I had a two year old cruising around the place, does that mean I'm glad she isn't here? Rationally, no, I know it doesn't mean that. It means that the reality is I don't have a two year old stumbling around my house, leaving jam hand imprints on all my furniture. Knowing the reality doesn't make me emotionally accept it any better. Every choice I make that I wouldn't make if Lila was here feels like a betrayal of my daughter.
Our spare room is MESS. Furniture we haven't found a place for, friends stuff we were supposed to be storing "temporarily", and more are all stuffed into this innocent room so that I don't have to deal with it. Because I know what that room is supposed to be. I knew as soon as a I saw the sun pouring in the windows. It was meant to be Lila's room. It should have a pink crib and a vintage dresser and a fifties armchair J turned into a rocker for us and a bookcase overflowing with books and bins full of toddler toys. But it doesn't. It never well. So I leave it full of junk and handwave the idea of turning it into an office/tv room. Because do nothing with it is so much better than doing something I'd never do if she was here. Because working everyday in a room that should hold my daughter in all of her glory sounds like a level of hell I'd just as soon avoid.
Why am I writing all of this? Because it's the holidays, and my girl was a holiday baby. Born on Columbus Day. Buried on New Years Eve. But it's the in between. The smiles, the coos, the cuddling, the dreaming of our future as a family. And now its Thanksgiving, and it's the first Thanksgiving where Lila should be making handprint construction paper turkeys and singing silly songs. But it's not. She'll never make a single craft, never sing a song, never ask develop a favorite ritual, never eat desert. And I...will do my damnedest to smile and be happy and not rip my flesh off with my fingernails.
So, I guess my point is, I'm probably not going to get a lot of DIY done. Maybe I will. I might be blogging about a "wide variety of topics" (that's a thing, right?). I'm going to do what every grieving parent does. The one thing we often don't want to do. Survive. And surviving looks different from day to day.
If you have someone in your life who has lost a loved one, even if the loss isn't fresh, understand that the non-stop barrage of images of happy families and adorable pink cheeked moppets and cute holiday traditions might just be making them want to open a vein. Try to be understanding when they aren't the "fun" people they once were.