One Thousand Days

Published 1 year, 5 months ago

It has been one thousand days since our daughter took her last breath.

I don’t know if it’s a cruel irony or a fortunate happenstance that this coincides with an upward adjustment in my antidepression medication.  It was necessary, because I was losing the will to do anything but the bare necessary minimum to function.  Now I can actually initiate conversation, and see life as something other than a state to be passively endured.  But the surge in serotonin reuptake inhibitors has also distanced me from grief.

I can feel, distantly, the despair that accompanies this milestone and its root cause.  I can feel, distantly, the instinct that I should bring that despair closer, to mourn a little more and honor Rebecca’s memory. It stays on the horizon of my awareness, something to be noticed when my gaze happens to turn that direction.  Not more.

I can feel, distantly, the conviction that this is abnormal and should be unacceptable.  Maybe that’s true.  Maybe it isn’t.

Instead I remember the face of my daughter, and the aura of a smile suffuses my heart.

I still miss her.  I still, from time to time, wonder how I managed to get this far in the wake of so shattering a loss.  I honestly didn’t think I’d have the strength.  Maybe I was born with it.  Maybe it’s paroxetine.

I don’t know how I’ll feel toward the end of the month, when I reach 210 days, and I guess in some ways it doesn’t matter.  The day will come, the day will go, and it will be whatever it is.

Very much like a life.


  1. Hugs.

  2. Still sorry. For what it’s worth, I remember her smile too, despite never having met her in person.

  3. I only saw her in pictures on your site, but she clearly always lit up a room. So sorry for your loss.

    I’ve taken antidepressants, too. At first they just made me numb, even when my mother died. I felt that they were emotional novocaine. But my doctor switched to a different drug, and then I could feel things but still overcome depression. You might want to talk to your doctor about other options.

  4. Charlie: much appreciated. This actually is the medication that helps me feel without being overwhelmed. It’s just, the dose I’d been on wasn’t cutting it any more, so we went up to the next level. The timing just happens to be that I’m at the top of that initial surge right now, which is making the grief distant but other emotions very present. Many of them are positive emotions.

    It may be that this is the Real Me™ right now, once the paroxentine clears away the depression. Or, maybe I’ll realize over time that this higher dose has skewed me too far off center, and we’ll try something else.

  5. One day at a time. You are loved, wanted and cared for – always. Many big hugs,

  6. I’m sorry for your loss, close and distant. {{hugs}}

  7. Eric, I’m sorry you feel this way. Think of this higher dose as a respite from your overwhelming grief. Just enough to get you through. It doesn’t mean your grief is any less. And, it doesn’t diminish Rebecca and her importance in your life. I have gone through intense grief in my life and your feelings are very normal. They will ebb and flow for the rest of your life. Take care.

    Jeff

  8. We do what we need to do to survive. One day at a time, past each marker and on to the next. Such an unimaginable loss, prayers each day for strength and perseverance.

  9. I hope the new does settles out usefully for you—mine have sometimes been great and sometimes totally failed, but trying is how you get there. I’m glad you have a helpful doxtor. We send love and love and love.

  10. We think of her often, especially her massive, warm smile. Sending big hugs to all of you.

  11. Eric,
    thanks for sharing. I’m just getting aware of the fact that it is extremely difficult to find consoling words. Sure enough you’ll get through your grief one day although it will never vanish completely, still having you miss Rebecca when you think of her. She’ll be always at the center of your heart with the others still alive.
    Take care, all of you.

  12. Eric, I don’t know your pain of losing a child, but I do know the specter of depression. I was diagnosed with it 18 months ago and am now on *two* antidepressants. I went from being an empty shell of a man, unable to work or carry out the responsibilities of being a husband and father, to being back at work and back in life. They’re life-restoring drugs and I’m thankful for them every day. Carry on and all the best to you! And don’t second-guess your depression medication any more than you would second-guess an antibiotic or antihistamine. They all have their value when you need them.

  13. Eric, likely you do not remember me from Ontario and Lexington, OH days. Your mother was a dear friend; we babysat each others’ children. My children are Michele Aurelio, about your age, and Joe (Joey), about Julie’s age. Your Mom passed your outgrown clothes to me for Joey to use. We gardened and canned tomatoes together in your Ontario kitchen, we shared recipes, were in garden club together, and we were in a dinner club where six to eight couples met monthly sharing an international-themed covered dish menu. Later,me hen we moved to TN, your parents phoned us, and your Dad put on a Julia Child-voice: we laughed until our sides ached.
    It’s March now, planting season, and though I garden no longer, I’ve been thinking of Carol ever so much. I remember her saying we must plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day. We had many discussions about Rachel Carson.
    I grieve for your losses, Eric. Your Mom will ever live in my heart. Jean (Aurelio) Dunn

  14. Read this after reading your great CSS Grid article, which was tagged with Rebecca. So sorry for your loss; I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child, although right now it’s my younger 30-year-old brother fighting colon cancer.

    Your comment about antidepressants caught me too. You might look into how to improve gut health with high-quality pre- and pro-biotics. My wife has been taking some really good ones (many OTC ones are useless, and many others way too expensive) and just from that has been able to reduce, and recently, eliminate the antidepressants she was on for 15 years.

    Saying a prayer right now for your family…

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