It's getting easier. Does that mean I'm being disloyal to my daughter's memory?
This month the 3rd passed without a single tear. Up until now, each 3rd of the month resulted in my complete and utter meltdown of tears and sometimes even screams. When did I turn this corner, I wonder. When did the tears turn into memories? I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment, because then I might be able to better help some other mother going through the same thing.
I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating: grief is not linear. I don't expect that there will be a straight line from here to a lifetime of no tears over Stef. I expect I'll shed many more tears.
On April 3rd, it will be one year since I got the news of her passing. I say it that way, because she actually died on the 2nd, judging by her condition. I will always know she died that day when I had the dream about her. It was her coming to say goodbye to me, so I know that on some level, she knew exactly how much I loved her - and still do. On that day, I am planning to be getting a tattoo. I have to find a good shop that will give me an appointment for that day, preferably around noon, when I got the news. The pain of the needle going into my skin will remind me of the pain I felt in my heart that day. The design is going to be of an open heart with a little swoosh on the top. If I think I can bear it, her name and birth/death dates will also be on my shoulder. I will bleed, because she can't anymore. I will suffer, because she is no longer suffering. I will commemorate her.
Tattoos were a point of contention between us. She wanted to get one before she turned 18, but I refused to sign the consent. When she turned 18, she got a large full-chest tattoo of her own artwork. Later, she added pink birds to the back of her neck, pink and blue bubbles around her bikini line, a symbol of The Umbrella Corporation (from Resident Evil) on the inside of one elbow, a drawing from one album of Holy Molar (a noise-rock band from LA) behind her knee (ouch!), and a large tattoo on each hip - one said Mom and the other said Dad. Take from that whatever meaning you will. I don't know if she had more, but I wouldn't doubt it. She was really into body art and piercing, even body modification (though I don't think she did any of it). She had large ear plugs plus cartilage piercings, and she had a septum piercing. "Did you sneeze?" I asked; "I snotted all over the guy," she said.
My daughter had her own style, but she knew that tattoos weren't part of mine. It would amuse her to think of me getting a tattoo in her honor, but I can't think of a better thing to do on the one year anniversary of her death. I will carry that tattoo with me to my own cremation chamber, living with that memory on my shoulder every day.
Of course I love and miss her, but it's getting easier. It had to.
Peace - D