Tuesday, 30 September 2008
The first morning at the blue house. I have only just found the camera again amongst the chaos. Breakfast outside for Minnie. Yes, that is paint all over the table and jam. A whole (tiny) jar of French jam was emptied. 'I can do it all by my self...'
I sat and looked at these flowers in our garden for the longest time. 'Birds of Paradise.' And as we roll into the middle of the second week here it is beginning to feel a little more like paradise. Long afternoons digging in the garden. Neglecting things like unpacking in favour of trips to the garden centre. Hours pouring over our new gardening books and old design magazines. Minnie starting the day by announcing 'I must do my gardening forever' as she heads our the back with her gardening tools.
But there is a big hole. I catch my reflection in the french doors. The roundness of my tummy is long gone. Just an empty place where someone belongs.
Saturday, 27 September 2008
So after Alice died I came home from the hospital and I filled cartons with our lives and squeezed remnants of the things we had lost into suitcases and shoe boxes and old bags. I still had on my hospital wrist bands and I couldn't change out of the clothes I wore when Alice was alive and when she died. I didn't want to wash her from me and waited until the next day before I could do this.
I drove many times between the old house and the new house. The road took me past the funeral home where Alice laid waiting. Waiting for me to change out of my dirty clothes covered in cleaning fluid and dust and to put on 'something nice.' They were waiting for me to come to the room with the lace doilies on the table and the tissue box covers and the reproduction furniture. The room where I was treated with kindness, perhaps with a little too much familiarity, and given the folder containing the invoice. In this room I was brave and almost stoic until I read the first line of the invoice;
1. Infants coffin lined with white satin.
Then I sat crying realising perhaps for the first time what I was actually doing in the room with the potted ferns and the blackwood sideboard and the soft tissues. I was here to arrange the cremation of our tiny baby. The baby that would never lay on my chest, feed at my breast, feel her fathers strong hands or see the smiling face of her sister. Our baby that would not dig in the dirt searching for worms or laugh at the songs and stories we would tell her.
Alice Buttons was cremated on Tuesday 23rd September. We were not there. We held no ceremony. Not because it is not important but because we want to choose our own way to remember Alice.
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
But the next day we returned and the sun was shinning and we felt a little happier to be here. Happier to be here but not happy. Far from happy. Perhaps the furthest I have been.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
I am still in a blur, packing boxes and crying and feeling like it didn't really happen. Often I think that Alice is warm and safe inside me. And then I realise she is not. Then I remember that she is dead.
Family and friends have been wonderful. People I have never met and perhaps never will have sent their best wishes. Flowers have arrived from dear old friends and darling friends close by have taken such wonderful care of us and our darling Minnie. Friends have written such beautiful words.
Our lives will never be the same again.
Monday, 15 September 2008
Sunday, 14 September 2008
‘…we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute, no matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else. And actually, this is how it should be…it is the only way of perpetuating that love that we do not want to relinquish.’
Sigmund Freud, in a letter to a friend after the death of his daughter.
[Freud, S (1929) Letter to Binswanger in EL Freud (ed.) Letters of Sigmund Freud, New York, Basic Books]
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Friday, 12 September 2008
Woodend VIC 3442
OUCH Ink148a Pakington Street
Geelong West VIC 3218
Made590590 King StreetSydney NSW 2042