Usually when we think of nesting we imagine a pregnant mother and her instinctive need to prepare the ‘nest’ for their new member.  I think of organizing, painting rooms, folding tiny baby clothes that were lovingly washed in Dreft.  I see her rarely taking a break, but when she does she  sits in the glider and just takes it all in.  I remember nesting… working so long with a big belly and swollen ankles- but not able to stop.  I would tackle massive projects to create more space in our lack of space.  It’s kind of funny to think of all the prep work we do to bring home a baby only just bigger than a football. 

Gone are the days of nesting for me, of preparing for new life to join us.  Gone are the days of sitting in a glider and imagining what my lovely will be… or will they have hair?  I love the nostalgia in those memories, I can almost feel those days when I think hard.  I can feel that inside push to ‘get it done’ even in a body that was so tired, sore, swollen and ready to pop.  It’s pretty amazing the instinct and how strongly it would strike me…

I see myself going through similar motions every January.  I see it starting just after I take down the tree.  I always try to find a way to keep the house light, especially in this dark time.  Days are so short… so cold.  I get an idea and a strong pull to finish it.  I work even when I am too tired to, too sore.  I just have to get this house in order and ready and organized… only it is no longer for new life.  My body and mind and soul ‘nest’ to prepare for my lost life.  I know the pattern, work and work and work, sit and breath, look around… celebrate and slump.  It goes like that every year for the past 5 years.  Instinctively I ‘nest’ to prepare for the heavy times in this loss…

Everyday my brain thinks of this day 5 years ago… these aren’t the same as the year of first misses.  The pain doesn’t feel the same, maybe because my body and heart and mind are prepared in some way, maybe that is part of the ‘nesting’.  It is less of the slicing and sharp pain, more of a pain that I feel all the time but feel it with the honor and love it deserves.  I think about how 5 years ago I put her on the bus for the last time, for the last time 5 years ago I snuggled with Mads and watched TV with nowhere to be at night.  What a far cry that is from nowadays…

Today was the day, the day of the doctor appointment, that landed us at Albany Med in the ER.  Today was the day I sat with my daughter and colored the pictures that I keep hung on my fridge.  We sat in a hallway and she drew Arthur and we played TicTacToe.  Today was the day of fear and hope… fear of the answer and hope for a simple fixable answer.  I miss that hope…

Today was the day 5 years ago, when I had to call my baby sister home from Korea, only a little while after she had gotten there.  I remember being surrounded with family and friends and a priest waiting for Madeline to come out from her MRI.  It took forever… that hopeful part of me hoped that the longer the MRI the better results… but we know that isn’t the truth.  I slept next to Madeline that night, in a PICU Nuero room.  I was squished into the crack.  I was scared to move Madeline with all of the sensors and lines attached.  She looked so little and breakable…

She had changed so much, just that day.  My Madeline and her energy and giggle was too weak to be that bit of her.  It was so hard to experience for me… I can only imagine what it was like for Madeline. 

Instinctively my brain works to control what it can in this time… just like an animal packs on pounds for winter, or nursing.  My brain tells my body to get this home in order- so I am prepared for the parts I can’t control.  Nesting… in a way.  I miss the other nesting, the kind that welcomes a new love, a new life. 

I took a few moments to sit and look around, to put my not swollen feet up.  I sat in my Living Room, instead of my nursery… and I am breathing before I start the next job.  I am nesting in the way of this life right now… maybe there is a use in the grief dictionary for this instinct.  I hate using words that don’t do the justice of the feeling… nesting, missing, loss… none of those really touch this reality.  I was told that Eskimos have tons of different words for snow, because every type is so different to them… maybe we need some new words for those ones…

My rest is done, I must keep going now.  I must move and clean and tidy and organize and cook… I must prepare.  I must prepare for my missing.  I must get ready to take a look inside that big hole missing from my heart, my being.



I miss you darling, but more than missing.  I fucking miss your heart, your smile… I miss the sound of your giggle.  I fucking miss your little fingers and your ears with the wrinkle behind them.  I miss your hair and what it felt like… smooth and shiny with no work.  I fucking miss your heartbeat and breath… bug me darling. 


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