Today marks nine months since I’ve seen her face. Before Ana died, I never realized how many parallels there are with birth and death. both events are transformative, life changing, life affirming. Yes, even death is life affirming.
There is a sense of expectation, of waiting, in both cases. I knew what I was waiting for when I was pregnant with Ana, and I think I know what I’m waiting for now–to reconnect with her, to discover new meaning in my life, new purpose, a new will to move forward. When I was pregnant with Ana, I couldn’t wait to meet her, couldn’t wait to be a mother, couldn’t wait to have my body back again. She was ten days late, although in retrospect, she was born exactly on time. She came when it was time for her to come.
Does that mean she left when it was time for her to leave?
I don’t mind waiting now. I don’t have the desire to rush forward before I figure out how to absorb the loss of Ana in a way that lets me carry her with me into the next year, and the next. It’s so fascinating, even comforting, to absolutely sit still in a moment and without feeling the least bit impatient for the next moment.
The obsessive need to chronicle time–to label every minute piece of it–is a human construct. I keep saying that to Jim, that this or that is just a construct, as if I’m some kind of existential shaman that stepped out of the Matrix or something.
Christmas is a construct.
Politics is a construct.
Work, play, lawns, dog sweaters, social media…all of it’s just a construct.
Nine months after she died, I’m still trying to figure out what’s real. Ana wasn’t a construct, so how can she be gone? My children are the only things in my life that don’t feel constructed–they are (were) fully fledged beings shaping themselves. My life has formed around them, the way a tree grows around a stone, adjusting the roots and the trajectory of its trunk to accommodate the immovable object. What happens if someone takes the stone away?
The tree falls.
Except Emily is still here and I’m still standing.
So…nine months (just a construct). I woke up this morning feeling as though Ana was close–her spirit, her joy. In the last months of her life, she took a lot of comfort from creating art. She drew in a small sketchbook nearly every day. She also created a few paintings and I want to share one with you. I think this was her last painting and it’s entirely complete. She used metallic acrylic paint on a tiny 5×7 inch canvas. When I look at it now, I think that this is absolutely the place where her spirit is happiest–standing on a beach, looking at the metallic blue ocean, in a body that’s beautiful and strong.
Heaven is just a construct, but Ana’s soul is real and I know she’s somewhere beautiful.