Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Leave Your Grief at the Door and Party

Last night we skipped out on the ever-so-raunchy Bachelor Pad and were daring. We went to a party where we knew absolutely no one. Despite being in a mood all day of sadness and self pity, I still showered, dressed in my best attempt at rock 'n' roll gear {a ruffly black blouse and holey jeans} and applied makeup. I'd almost forgotten how to use that mascara stuff. Better get back on the wagon because I start subbing on Thursday and I'd prefer the rest of society not see me looking like hell. Ray arrived home and changed into his best attempt at rock gear as well; an old Von Dutch shirt that looks country and some Rock & Republic jeans that fashionable SIL made him buy while single and still playing the ladies. It had rock in the name, right?

This wasn't our first party full of people we don't know. I write online reviews for a website I adore. Because I am so loyal, I'm considered an elite member and get invited to parties about once a month. Rarely do we attend, but it's an excuse to get out, try new things, eat free dinner, and also provides free publicity for the restaurants and bars we visit. Being relatively new to an area, it's a nice way to pull us into places we aren't as familiar with. We also attended one last summer at a Spanish tapas restaurant that we love. I was pregnant and had no reason to doubt mankind or the art of pregnancy. I was blissful and oblivious and, well, living the dream.

Over 8 months later and I dusted off those party shoes once again. I left my grief at the door like a checked coat to be picked up on our way out. Our main goal was free food and locally brewed beer and then we'd scoot. But you know, even after we were done eating pepper and goat cheese empanadas (p.s. I hate goat cheese-- tastes like feet smells), veggie tacos, roast beef sandwiches, BBQ pork, marinara chicken, salad and gobs of wedding food-style veggies and salamis, we stuck around. There were two bands playing and we actually sat down at a table with two complete strangers (who apparently boycotted the rock 'n' roll theme) and actually talked to them for a few minutes before listening to both bands perform. And in that moment, I didn't think about dead babies or the unfortunate circumstances of loss. I was just thinking about being with my husband, trying to get my hands on all the free vegetarian food I could, and listening to some fun music. It felt a bit like home in that historic railroad roundhouse-- mostly because the California beach cities where I'm from are carefree and left-wing. People dress crazily, tattoo parts of their body that just shouldn't be inked, and lose count on the number of piercings visible to strangers. This place was full of crazies like that and I loved it all. Because let's be honest... the suburbs of Chicago don't exactly burst with creativity or the disregard of society norms. People b-l-e-n-d. And the guy about 10 years past his prime dressed in an old Bad Religion t-shirt creating his own mosh-pit of just himself made the night that much more enjoyable.

On our way home, we left our grief in the back seat. I rolled down the windows, opened the sunroof, turned up the volume, and sang loudly. I miss that life about as much as I miss my son. Grief is so much more than losing someone you love. It's losing you and having a really hard time navigating back to whatever it is that sounded normal before. But no, I still miss him more.

Now I'm holed back up on my couch during this rainy Tuesday just trying to piece together the rest of my syllabus and rubrics for my upcoming course. That, and of course I'll need to catch up on the latest trash TV that I missed last night and eat my weight in chocolate.

It felt good to pretend, at least just for a little.


My New Normal said... [Reply to comment]

What's that saying? Fake it until you make it! Sounds like you guys had a fun night. And you totally deserve one!!

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds like a great night! You know, our friends have been pretty good since Ellie died but I don't think they totally understand that I'm not the same person anymore. And I really don't think that I'll ever get back to that person. I know our family doesn't understand that. It's frustrating.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

So true--I miss the old me, but I totally miss my baby more.

And OMG my high school boyfriend had a Bad Religion t-shirt! I used to sleep in it! LOL. Haven't thought about that for a while...

Josh Jackson said... [Reply to comment]

We check our grief at the door too from time to time, and it does feel pretty okay for those hours, no matter how many glasses I've poured or not. :)

Some normal days almost feel this way from time to time, even without a party or vacation. The grief sort of ebbs and flows throughout the day. And sometimes, as the grief dissipates, I feel okay again. At five months out, I can feel this change in grief evolving and I'm thankful for the breaks it is bringing.

sarah said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds like a fun night. I miss that old, fun, partying me *almost* as much as I miss Otis, too. (Though, really, who are we fooling, I left my partying days behind long before I even got pregnant with O. But my singing in the car days, I do miss those...though I'm finding them popping up ever more often, thankfully.)

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

1. So glad you got out and let loose and partied a little. It feels good sometimes and I feel grateful that we are at a stage in our grief that we CAN have short glimpses of who we used to be.

2. omg I dont know how you west-coasters can live out there for years and years with the threat of frequent earthquakes. I thought I was dead for sure. When we lived in CA, I used to actually pray that no earthquake would strike in the night. Of course it happens thousands of miles away... haha

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

It's nice to be able to go out from time and leave the grief behind, even if its only a short time.
I miss that life also, but agree that I too miss my son way more.