Friday, December 14, 2012


last year i bought a tree from the church lot up the block. i dried the roses from nathaniel's service and put the petals in clear ornaments, and decorated the tree with these. we put lights on the house. the energy of the grief pushed me forward. nathaniel was gone five months christmas day.

this year, the living room is full of boxes. empty and flattened, most of them right now. we've spent most nights these past months at the farm. i commute about 40 minutes to and from the city now.

i honestly don't know how i feel about it. most days i just feel confused and overwhelmed. we bought a farm. i moved my city chickens out there. the dogs. the cat. we have some furniture at the farm house. books. my art supplies. i bought and have been raising 10 ducklings. i bought 4 geese.

i like the birds. i hate the commute.

i'm trying to get the city house packed up but every time i try i get so stressed out. i don't know if it's going to happen. there's a deeper sense of inertia now - some leaden force that binds me in place.

i try to motivate my world by imagining some beautiful life that probably would have never been had nathaniel lived. 11 acres on an island. my own studio. but it feels like someone else's life that i'm trying to put on, like a jacket that looks great on the model but might not fit me. like some shitty consolation prize.

i don't know if it's just because of the holidays or if it's something else. if my body reacts to the moving with anxiety and pain, do i just then stay put? or do i push forward through the pain and try to imagine a different life? try to invent myself again?

i am still grieving in my body intensely. the pain is back in my breath today. i've actually had some success working with my breath for about the past month, which is amazing because i couldn't work with my breath for more than a year after nathaniel died, and my breath had been my number one coping skill for years. i've had some success with just slowing waaaaay down. walking very slowly. bringing mindfulness to my movements. but some days the anxiety just picks up and shakes my being, and it feels like my world could come apart with one or two sentences.

i know the stress is not good for my fertility. i know the stress is not good for me at all. but i can't seem to get away from it.

what do you do to manage the stress of grief?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

mom face

recent conversations about faking it inspired this piece

mom face

nose to nose with a living baby
baby smiles
baby kisses
baby gurgles
baby face and mom face reflected together
this is how we both learn

raising a living child
face to face
my son knows this mom face
is his mom's face

when my baby died
my mom face still
expected connection
first eye contact


muscles involuntarily
twisted in a mask of pain

this revealed a new story
in my mom face

black eyes
broken teeth
swollen, beaten down

my living son witnesses his mom's face
by his own brother face


i try to smile

remember my mom face
the unbroken story
of childhood
and motherhood

i hide

can he see me? what does he see?
my body takes over and i cry out


i cannot be lost.
i am completely lost.


peer closely and see
my own little girl face
her baby is gone

peer closer and see
his little boy face
lost without his little

two lost children
playing mom face
son face
searching for baby brother's face