Posted by: Louise | May 24, 2012

Right where I am: 3 years 13 days

I have watched you transform in front of me.

Last September I started a dance class, contemporary dance, not salsa or ballet or step. There is an element of risk in that, an inability to hide behind a formula of steps, a little bit of all being vulnerable together. I love to dance and had been promising myself this class for years, but there was always something, college, pregnancy, K’s choir on the same night. This year the space was there and I grabbed it.

We are a flotsam and jetsam of women, some fit as fiddles, some battling the want of an evening in front of the telly, some graceful, many of us doing our damnedest not to crash into walls, all of us coming to dance, and leaving with soaring hearts and aching limbs.

I didn’t join this class to move, I told our dance teacher the other night, move in my body, yes, but not move in my life. But something has shifted.

She has watched the transformation, my leaden heart gradually lighten, my soul begin to open. She has heard my story, knows my loss. She saw my sad heart there on the dance floor in front of her before ever words were put on it. And I cannot say in words what has shifted, but I feel it in my body. I feel my daughter and her ever present absence everyday, but these days, some days, I feel Laura with a smile in my heart.

Is it three years? Already?

Where am I?

We moved to the suburbs over Easter while our house is being renovated. Three days after we moved to our little three-bedroomed semi I came home to find my kids had engaged all the local kids in ‘colouring in’ our house. In this place where all houses are the same, the wall around our house was meticulously coloured in with chalk and was a beautiful rainbow of colours.

It’s ok, our parents are artists. We are allowed to do this, they reassured the other kids, as the frenzy of chalking continued.

I don’t know myself in this house. My stuff, our stuff, is boxed and locked up in a garage somewhere. We had to pare ourselves down for the move. We brought Laura – her photo, her teddy, some butterflies and shells and a collection of heart shaped stones. Is this our daughter? We brought these things because we couldn’t pack her up and store her in a garage, but it is strange. At home, these pieces of our absent child are blended, mixed in amongst the rest of our life. Here they are everything and this house feels more like a shrine than our home ever felt. And I don’t know what to do with that, except wonder…

Where is Laura?

I was chatting to the Boy Racer (not so little any more) the other day. Our conversation turned to the letter “L” for a reason that is lost on me now. I said it is easy for me to remember because my name begins with “L” – Louise.

Louise he repeated….. and Laura….. and Love.

She is a part of us, our missing child. She is a part of how we love each other now.

Right where I am, my mind is filled with what tiles to choose for the bathroom and whether to plaster or wall paper and how to get from a to b and back again when our lives revolve around one corner of the city and our current home is on the opposite side. And in this suburban home there is no broadband and the wifi is a dongle and it doesn’t like my laptop and my connection to the world of baby lost mothers is weak and unpredictable so I am forced to find new bearings and it is strange….

But the past three years have been about finding new bearings, both within and around me, and I am still here and gradually learning how to move, and even dance, in this new place.

***

I hope you don’t ever feel you are alone in missing Laura.

That is all I want, really. I don’t want to feel alone in missing her. And those words were perhaps one of the most beautiful gifts I received this year. That and the fact that I do not feel alone in missing her.

I thank you all for that.

This post was written in response to Angie at Still Life with Circles “Right Where I Am” project. Last year I was here.

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Responses

  1. There is certainly a strength in numbers when we all come together to grieve. Angie is wonderful at rallying the troops.
    Missing Laura with you.
    xo

  2. ….these days, some days, I feel Laura with a smile in my heart.

    It’s ok, our parents are artists. We are allowed to do this, they reassured the other kids, as the frenzy of chalking continued.

    *****

    What your kids say – to you, about you – speaks volumes. This house, no matter where it moves, is a good house, a love house.

    Your Laura is missed here, too. A candle burns and she is not forgotten.

    xo Cathy in Missouri

  3. That is a beautiful sentiment. I hope you never feel alone in missing Laura. I love your writing. It makes me feel got, and human, and in awe of language. This is three years, and I get three years now. And this. Thank you for sharing this with us. As always, you just articulated it beautifully. Love to you.

  4. You are not alone in missing her. It’s so interesting how life transitions in year two and three, how it gradually becomes about living with what we have even as we miss what we want.

  5. You are not alone. And your section on your dance class with really beautiful. Remebering Laura. ❤

  6. This is beautiful.
    And, “I hope you don’t ever feel you are alone in missing Laura,” oh yes, what gift.

  7. I love it that you’re dancing in this new place, and I love it that Boy Racer knows that Laura’s name goes with your name and with love. And “She is a part of how we love each other now” made my breath catch in my throat. Sending love.

  8. “I hope you don’t ever feel you are alone in missing Laura,” — what a gift of words.

  9. Oh I just love this post. That vision of you dancing and the children chalking the front of the house, with their artistic parents looking on approvingly. But what I like the very most is your description of Laura and how she is part of the love within your family.

    You write so beautifully Louise, thank you for letting me get to know your dear family a little through your blog and please know that are far from alone in missing your amazing Laura Grace.

  10. You are never alone my friend. Especially not in missing her. Sending love and light as always from across the pond.

  11. I know of two people i love who stayed together long beyond they should have because of the memory of a lost baby. It’s terribly sad to have had that happen, I think, but I can utterly understand why it did. Early on after Freddie I told my stoical and live in the moment husband that I could stand him to grieve differently to me only if he managed not to try to pretend Freddie never happened. I think being allowed to remember in company is pretty essential really.

  12. So very sorry for your loss…. Laura knows she is loved…your post is beautiful…thank you for sharing ❤

  13. Beautiful post and thanks for taking part in the project. Like your L, M is a constant in our house. My daughter and I draw letters and play scrabble and M is always for Margot. Our dead children are often in the little things, for which I am so grateful.

    Love and peace to you,

    Josh

  14. L…for Louise and Laura and Love. This makes me smile.

  15. I love this post… Thinking of you and Laura.

  16. Wow, this post has me in tears. First, I love the dance class. What a beautiful metaphor for life. I’m so happy for you. That others can see the shift in you, well, it’s just awe-inspiring.

    “She is a part of how we love each other now.” This will stay with me for a long time.

    Missing Laura with you too. ♥

  17. I joined a dance class this past year too – I don’t attend regularly but I fele something lightening in me too.

    And this: “Louise he repeated….. and Laura….. and Love.” I cried because, as always, it’s the little ones who see life and death and grief so clearly.

    Thank you for enriching my day with your beautiful words about your precious girl.

  18. The dance class sounds like an amazing thing to do. Learning how to move in this new world, finding one’s bearings, it all resonates with me.
    “She is a part of how we love each other now”. So beautiful.
    Thankyou for your beautiful writing.

  19. What lovely words and sentiments you have shared. I’m learning so much from those of you who are so far into this baby loss journey. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Oh wow. That is exactly right, I don’t want to be alone in missing mine as well.

  21. ‘she is a part of how we love each other’ That is just exactly it for me. You aren’t alone in missing and loving your daughter. And seeing it put the way you’ve put it makes me feel like I’m not alone either. thank you.

  22. “she’s a part of how we love each other now.” Such beautiful words. I’m so sorry your precious Laura is not in your arms.


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