Christmas & The Urn

Originally written December 29, 2011
Christmas Day was a good day. Since my husband and I were hosting dinner at our house this year, I was distracted with decorating and cooking. Although we got off to a late start, everything turned out well. We opened gifts, the food was a hit and there was lots of laughter. As the night came to a close, I grabbed my big sisters hand and lead her to my bedroom, telling her not to forget to tell Jolie “Merry Christmas”. Without much thinking, I took the urn down from the top shelf and placed it in her hand.
“I’ve never touched it before”, she said.
All of a sudden it dawned on me that she hadn’t and that it might be too much for her. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that. I quickly took it back from her and apologized. She said it was ok and took it back, but I think holding the urn made everything real again. We then talked about positive things for 2012 and moved right along.
I asked my dad if he was ok talking to Jolie before her left, he said “yea”. He looked the urn and seemed ok, so I took it down for him. All of a sudden his eyes welled up with tears and he turned away from me.
Jolie’s death was only the second time in my life that I’ve ever seen my dad cry. The first time in was in 2007 when his sister passed away from breast cancer. Growing up, I always thought my dad was Superman. He has a hard exterior and is the one that fixes everything and has everyone elses weight on his shoulders. He doesn’t let anything happen to anyone he loves.
I hugged him and told him I was sorry. He said he’d never even seen the urn before. For some reason I thought he did. Then again, I was pretty out of it for a while after giving birth and don’t remember a lot of things that happened for a few weeks after.
We sat and talked for a little while. He’d never really expressed to me how he was dealing with his grand daughters death, as his main priority when around me is making sure that I’m alright. He told me that the day she died was the first time in life that he ever truly felt powerless. He couldn’t do anything. He shared some other things with me – we talked for a while.
Because I’ve been so trapped in my own world, sometimes I forget how hard Jolie’s death is for my family. I need to be more concious of that. Besides my husband and I, I know my dad took it the hardest.
If she were still here, my daughter would have more love than she’d know what to do with.
I suppose I’ve become numb to looking at or holding the urn because I see it everyday. I’ve never looked at her ashes though.
Sometimes when I look at it I think, “I can’t believe this is my reality”. Never in a million years did I think that I have a deceased child. There are days when I think that I’ll never be able to come back from this and I’ll be broken forever. There are days when I want to dissappear and go into hiding instead of talkng to anyone. Sometimes people sense the sadness in my voice and I tell them its ok although they know I’m lying. It’s just that, at times I feel there’s no reason to explain because they don’t know what I’m going through…and I pray they never have the experience to truly understand. Some days I just don’t know where to start, so I don’t.
This is my new “normal”.