Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pick Up and Drop Off

My daughter and I have a 2.5 mile drive together from her preschool to our home. Lately on that drive, she has been telling me, every day, only when we are alone, that she is so sad that Eva can't come back. Every day. She said that Eva is her best friend and that she wants her sister. All I can do is validate and agree with her feelings and try not to drive off the road.

Her grief is new in a way. It is expanding and taking shape as her understanding of what she has lost is just beginning to dawn. As knowledge and understanding have spread their weight over me and become a general pall rather than an acute agony, I have grown accustomed to its constant presence. Certain muscles have been conditioned to bear the load, even as others have atrophied. But this three year old wonder of mine is just awakening to the twin she'll never see. She is just starting to map her life knowing that she should be going to the park and playdates and to bed at night with her other half. And my validation is a pity. It's meaningless and feeble, just as my mother's "no one ever said that life was fair," was such a poor substitute for wisdom or comfort.

My grief is new in a way. I have long known that Eva's death would be experienced by each of us in a way unique to us. I knew that the time would come when my twinless twin would really mourn. My grief for her loss and her sadness is like stirring a great cauldron, raising those bits that had sunk to the bottom of the pot and started to burn, nearly but not entirely, forgotten.


  1. Ouch. I'm so sorry that you have to watch your daughter grieving for her sister. I wish there were more words that held real comfort for you and for her.

  2. I've come back to read this post several times but I still don't know what it is I want to say.
    That I'm frightened.
    That I've tried to imagine a conversation with a similar theme every day for the past nearly two years.
    That my own imagined validation sounds equally meaningless.
    That my own imagined future steering wheel starts behaving equally erratically.
    That imagining isn't the same as living.
    That I am so very sorry.