Monday, May 23, 2011

Just keep swimming... just keep swimming... just keep swimming

Having watched Finding Nemo with Amelia the weekend before last, I am grateful to Dory, the fish, for helping me push past one of the strangest feelings I have had in a long time.

I can only describe this feeling as projected post-traumatic stress syndrome. On Saturday, I watched Amelia fall from the top of the stairs to our garage backwards head first and for a very short period of time, I felt that I had lost the entire universe, replaced by this split-second void that felt as if it would never ever go away not ever, until I saw her body move, heard her cry, watched tears stream down her face, and felt her warm body moving freely, safely in my arms.

I don't remember how I got to the bottom of the steps - my first memory is that I wasn't getting oxygen to my brain and I had to sit down. As the day progressed, I felt myself unable to stop holding my daughter, of wanting to hear her breathe, feel her little hands and feet, touch her soft curls. Physically my own body felt as if it had been in an accident. My whole body ached in a strange way.

Yesterday, the day after, was a celebration of life, sunshine, Amelia. And then today, it is as if I cannot concentrate. Padhraic has left for Canada and Amelia is in daycare. My brain has been fuzzy the entire day, and all the things that motivate me in life, my work, my writing, my running, even food which never ceases to be a passion, seem to feel far away, fuzzy.

I know when I pick up Amelia in less than an hour, my world will return to normal, but I want to recognize this moment, somehow capture the essence of what it is and feel it in all that it represents. I went out for a run, forced myself to do something, and I passed this nice couple walking down the street. The woman was wearing a baseball cap with a shamrock on it and she said - just keep going. And I remembered Dory, and her words, just keep swimming.

My heart goes out truly to people in this world who have experienced real and tangible loss, of which I only experienced a split second of and it has turned my body, brain, and essence of self into mush in the first opportunity I have had alone to process it.

Hugs to you all and sharing the only wisdom that seems to make sense of what I am feeling, and that coming from a blue fish who has the privilege of short-term memory loss.