on sadness

22 May

Dear George,
I have wanted to die many times. Literally, of sadness or disappointment or overwhelm. Figuratively, of embarrassment, sheepish and sinking. That wishing to disappear into yourself that comes with unrequited love or particularly spectacular falls. You don’t know that feeling yet, but you will. And this idea, that you will someday wish yourself away: it absolutely kills me.

You cry about as much as any baby does — maybe even a little less. We are lucky in that respect, and try to understand you, what you need, what you are trying to communicate, so your wanting doesn’t escalate to desperation. There are other times, though, when you are clearly sad. This also kills me. You have so little to be sad about; what will I do when the feeling is bigger and can’t be nursed away?
I read Jenny’s blog post about her mother’s death and I am terrified of you living through this experience. If I do my job correctly, you will stop clinging to me at some point. You’ll stop searching my face for reassurance in questionable situations. You’ll be decreasingly reliant on me. But apparently that won’t be much consolation if, when I die, you still love me (which I hope you will).
I swear I won’t be so egomaniacal about everything.
Love,
mama

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