Friday, December 26, 2014

On Kindness and This Blessed Season

#writeingrief Day 6--I was afraid to post this when I wrote it a couple of weeks ago. I didn't want to offend anyone's sensibilities or something. My writing isn't about anyone's sensibilities, though, is it? It's about saying what I need to say. It's about exposing my truth in grief. I cannot, should not censor this truth. And so, without apology, here is another piece of my truth. 

“Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day…
only kindness that raises its head from the crowd …
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.” ~from Naomi Shihab Nye's "Kindness" 

“Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore.” I’m not sure whether I agree with this. Nothing really makes sense anymore. Is kindness really the only thing that sends me into the day? Does kindness really go with me everywhere? What would it mean to offer kindness to myself in my grief? 

I guess it means that I make myself get dressed. I allow myself time to write. When I don’t want to write, I may make myself do it. Force may seem like the opposite of kindness, but sometimes I have to make myself get up out of the hole I’m in. Writing seems to be the best way to do that. When I stop writing I stop telling my truth, even if I’m the only one who reads it. Even if I don’t go back and read it. So if I am saying that offering kindness to myself means that I am writing, then kindness is perhaps the only thing that makes sense anymore. Kindness to myself, that is. Kindness could be equated with truth telling. Kindness doesn’t need to be sweet and smiling; kindness can simply be allowing myself (or making myself) feel everything. It’s permission to be pissed and sad and happy in the same moment. 

When I first thought of kindness, I thought of the outward kindness that comes from the actions of another person. That type of kindness doesn’t make sense. Kindness from others that happened because Alaska died is perhaps useful in the sense that I am treated with a gentleness that I need, but so much of that kindness is cancelled out by thoughtless remarks or triggers that seem to do more damage than the kindness or love from another can prevent. This really sounds like an asshole thing to say. I don’t mean that I’m not grateful for the kindness of others, but those actions sometimes are reminders that I am now considered “special” and need to be handled with care. Well, I was special for a while. A few weeks, a few months. Most people have moved on. They don’t realize that I turn around and there is another in-my-face reminder that my babies are dead. 

‘Tis the season for celebrating right now. 

‘Tis the season for kindness and joy and stupid fucking holy songs. 

I should be spending this Sunday afternoon with my daughter and her big brother. Or I should be pregnant, so close to the birth of our little Auburn. Should be. Should be. Should be. No. I can’t have those things. I’m not deserving of those things nor am I undeserving of those things. I’m just living this reality that is both the best and the worst--what I have and what I can’t have. 

I would like to say fuck kindness. 

Fuck the outward pleasantries that mean nothing and do nothing to bring my babies back. 

And fuck this blessed season.