We’ll float on maybe would you understand?
The days get shorter and the nights get cold
I like the autumn but this place is getting old. -Modest Mouse
Fall is a paradox. Through increasingly chilly days, the sun may shine, but it provides no warmth.
I have often felt that throughout grieving. From an endless number of hugs, words, gifts – I see the sunshine from the people I love, on a continuing basis. They are there, shining. And yet I am still in a vastly chilly place, where I shake to my bones and often cannot stop trembling. I see the golden rays. I acknowledge that they should make me warm.
I see my children playing, and the warmth of their carefree expression is counteracted by a noticeable absence. The loss is further strained by numbers: I can only picture Theo, Quentin, and one other child. It was either Theo, Quentin, and Nelle. Or Theo, Quentin, and Iris. Not both. If Nelle had lived, there would have been no Iris. Iris only existed because we lost Nelle. An eternal paradox of “only one” and yet neither is in this picture. But they could not have existed concurrently. Like fire and ice, they are opposites.
The past few days have felt increasingly cold and longing for something that is not there. Something that would have made our family complete, provided that warmth, has been stripped aside and left us bare and trembling.