Yesterday I got the sudden urge to make cookies, something I don’t think I’ve had the time, energy, or desire to do since I got pregnant with Zoe. The fact that the dark chocolate chunks in the cupboard were going white spurred me on. Catherine came into the kitchen and said smelling cookies made her think of the tea party we hosted at the church last October, the day of Bernadette’s ultrasound and discovery of the cancer in her liver. Catherine wanted to have another tea party, which is a nice idea, but I knew (and know) I just don’t have the heart to do it again. The last one still burns as a painful memory in my mind. Not all the fun we had, that was the great part, but the memory of Bernadette laying on the couch before we went, then her laying her head on the tables to take a rest every ten minutes during the party. Cuddling up in my lap to rest. Our very last moments before finding out that she was seriously ill. My last moments of feeling like life was good.
Some time during the weekend, Marc took Zoe down to the beach for a walk and played with her in the sand. It made him wonder how he would make sandcastles this summer without Bernadette always there to help him and be his biggest fan.
Sunday night when Catherine was going to bed she was agitated and when she finally told me what was bothering her it was the fact that she was going camping with her Meme and Pepe very soon for her birthday present but she just couldn’t see herself going without Bernadette. I told her Meme admitted to having the same apprehension. All these little things that we normally take for granted become hurdles we now have to get over, like going out all together as a family knowing someone is missing. I didn’t think all the tiny daily things would be so difficult.
The last couple days reminded me of when I read C.S. Lewis’ book “A Grief Observed”. I remember him saying that he could go to work and perform his job easily enough because it was what he always did but when he was done work all the grief would come flooding back. In a way Lewis was lucky, he had an escape. Bernadette was part of our every waking moment so there is no escape, no part of anything that she didn’t touch with her presence or herself, not cleaning, baking, eating dinner, bedtime routines, playing at the beach, or camping. I suppose it can be summed up in the idea of ‘first summer….’ but it reminds me more of the saying, “Death by a thousand cuts.”