Posted by Auntie Juju (Julia Gonsalves) on Aug 29, 2011
Scattered post by auntie juju
Aim and Mish are amazing. They are working this mess with grace and humour and perspective. They are fierce and generous and considerate and they absolutely amaze me every time they barter tirelessly with Stella for a dose of Tylenol, every time they watch the sun rise to Lauryn Hill on Elmo’s World, say “use your words” for the hundredth time, read to Gracie, hug each other, shower, brush their teeth, talk about deck stain, tease Marilyn, pack snacks, pack the car, unpack the car, pack the car, search their house for a second McDonald’s camera, fill a bubbas and smile through all the random people who have put their foot in their mouth over and over since they found out their child is dying.
Aim and Mish are amazing. I wish there was a better word for what they are. Magical? The most amazing thing is they are exactly the same way they have always been, working this mess. They are what they are. Wow.
We all have our own unique relationship to what’s happening- a unique relationship to Stella, to the Bruner-Methven family, as well as to cancer, death and dying. We are all grieving and will grieve Stella in our own way, and we are all bound to feel alone in that process- even in somebody’s arms, even when surrounded by tear-stained people, even when we know others are just as sad. We are all sad for our own distinct variation of the reasons. I know I have often felt alone in this experience so far. A strong piece of any kind of grief is inherently just a fucking lonely place. It is what it is.
I have been sitting on this goal of joyful grieving. I can’t be sad all the time. In my specific location in this whole thing, that would mean missing out on having fun with Stellie this summer, and continuing to get to know her. I want to celebrate what she’s given and continues to give us, and I
, personally in my specific location in this whole thing, can’t do that if I’m sad all the time.
I read a lot of Pema Chodron. I am trying to recognize facts as facts, without labeling them good or bad. Stella isn’t going to live as long as we expected. That is what it is. Since she was born, since before, we were planning around an uncertain event- namely her lifespan, along with all of our lifespans. Planning comes with expectation, and expectation comes with disappointment. Not that we can avoid planning, but what Pema helps to articulate is that the bulk of the disappointment comes from the expectation, not from what is actually happening. The way we feel about reality shapes our experience of reality, but it doesn’t shape reality. Whatever, Pema says it better. Go to Caversham and pick up When Things Fall Apart.
Does everything happen for a reason? I think so.
Including this? I fucking hope so.
There are lessons contained in every crumb of our existence. Stella’s short life has contributed and will continue to contribute to who I am, how I parent, how I partner, how I relate to my families. She will contribute to our understanding of the world in a million different ways, she will increase our resiliency, she will improve our capacity to value, love well, know what’s important and make friends with some of our deepest fears. She is a gift that will give, and give, and give.
Good moments with Stella last week- sock feet in wet sand, swinging her over the waves on Thunder Beach, hearing her say “beautiful”
so beautifully when I pointed out the clouds, shopping for the ever elusive make-believe tomato, “Look Mummy I’m crying”, wrapped up in a towel like a little tor-tee-ya, on the raft/ off the raft/ on the raft/ off the raft, “I want to dance” and NO IT’S NOT NONNA’S HOUSE!!!!!!!
There is my scattered post.