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september mournings September 14, 2007

Posted by guinever in family, grief, healing, loss.

Sapphires and birthday cake. Cooler temperatures. Red leaves and orange leaves. These are things to look forward to in September. Girls in white dresses and blue satin sashes. (we just watched The Sound of Music) This ninth month of the year had always been my favorite because I was born in September.

Then September 11. The month wasn’t so nice anymore. I didn’t know anyone personally who died that day in 2001 when America was attacked. But those buildings collapsed and so did my security. So many lives gone.

Jump ahead three years. A phone call from my husband to let me know someone was missing. Suicide notes. Oh my God. How did this happen?

Then the approaching September of 2005, marking the half year anniversary of my daughter’s death. It was truly awful. I was nauseous all the time. I cried everyday. Each morning, I discovered more gray hairs than the day before. This thing called grief gripped me, consumed me, affected me. Whatever numbness that had protected me for a few months had worn off and the pain was deep. I wrote about it in six months in september. All I could do was the bare minimum for my family–putting food on the table and trying to keep up with the laundry. It was 6 months for my family since Abby died, a year for Jan since her husband died. These two anniversary dates took a toll on my psyche: I was emotionally exhausted and physically sick.

Then last September. Beth had just died in August. As I remembered how I had felt the year before, the grief seemed so foreign, and yet I had this new grief for Beth. I thought of her mother; another mother had lost a daughter. Plus I had several other issues bearing down on me. My mom’s heart health was deteriorating and surgery was looking inevitable. Barbara, my brother’s mother-in law, was dying. Jan was about to move away. I was approaching 10 months pregnant. I was just trying to have a baby. A reason to rejoice. Life was supposed to be happy. But I was surrounded by all this not-so-happy stuff.

Now to this year. Last month, the mothers of two of my friends died. One unexpectedly and the other a couple months after being diagnosed with cancer. I’m so sorry they are experiencing the pain of loss. My own mother is about to turn 60.

This September is a little easier than the previous two. It has been a time of reflection. I’m not nauseous and I’m not crying everyday. There are no gray hairs, or at least they’re not appearing in vast numbers. My tears have been for others as I watched profiles about 9-11 on TV. My pain is for the events of the twenty-second and wishing I could be with my Mom on her birthday and wishing I could see Jan this month. For my brother’s wife, the year anniversary approaches of her mother’s death close to the same time as her first child is expected to be born. So many mixed emotions for her, for me.

The emotions might be hard at times, but they’re definitely easier this year. Sweet memories have smothered my tears and made me smile.


1. Karla - September 18, 2007

I am so blessed to see how you remember and think of others, Guinever, amidst your own pain.


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