The last triple date that we will experience in our lifetimes, a lovely trifecta of lucky numbers, a choice date for weddings, a golden birthday…mine. Thank god it’s over.
I’m not looking for anymore best wishes, I’m not asking for pity. I couldn’t even write on my birthday, or the day after, because I was so messed up. I just have to get this out to the universe…send my anger hurling, release the flying monkeys, spew out the poisonous agony so it doesn’t consume me.
I’ve never been good at remembering numbers or dates. I still carry around a handwritten cheat sheet of friends and family members’ birthdays, but I have always loved my birthdate 12/12. Easy/peasy. And for years now, I’ve been bragging about how my birthday this year was going to fall on a triple date. It’s not something everyone can claim. Though I usually like a low-key birthday, I started prepping my husband early on. 12/12/12, I’d tell him, I want it to be special, something different, something big.
Be careful what you wish for, right? What an annoyingly stupid saying…yet it keeps hounding me. This year, my birthday was definitely different. A day, and date that will not be forgotten.
Because it hurt. It *really* hurt. It triple-dog-digit hurt.
I didn’t plan to wallow. In fact, I planned not to wallow, and I tried not to let the build-up take on a life of its own. I somewhat calmly, took the day off, and went to a wonderful spa with a friend, nestled in snow-sprinkled pine trees, the sky was brilliant blue, the outdoor pools had steam swirling off of them. It was a beautiful way to spend the day. No phones or devices. Nice and quiet.
But as we returned home from our outing, I felt the dark cloud settling in to the pit of my stomach. I had phone calls, messages, cards, even a little package awaiting me…many kind wishes on Facebook. Of course, people wished for me to be happy, so kind and caring. And I tried. I really did. But somehow every word of kindness, every wish of happiness just seemed to plunge the dagger deeper. It was like bitter venom spreading through my body. I couldn’t read the cards, open the gift, or return a single call. No massage or treatment, no matter how deluxe, was going to wash away what I was really feeling.
Completely devastated. Sick to my stomach, bleeding from the heart, feeling the cold rawness of death, the reality that keeps re-inventing itself, every day born into a new form of grief that is trying to help me come to grips. That’s just how this whole grief and loss thing goes. It ain’t a steady state. It ain’t a predictable date. It can’t be tamed. Happy Birthday? What else can people say? Of all those optimistic sayings scattered around the internet, I have yet to see a handy phrase for my true circumstances.
Dear Birthday Girl. This one is going to suck. Forget the happy, just let that pain in. Go on, rub the salt in those wounds, dig the dagger in your heart, tear yourself down, throw that birthday cake against the wall, shred the cards, trash the messages, bear the burden…of this life. The pain and the beauty. Here’s a shovel, start digging – down – into the deepest depths of pain, ‘cuz that…that is the only way out. That is the only way you will get the happy back.
Seriously, this is not being written with cynicism. How do you “wish someone well” as they embark on an inevitable journey of pain?!
The best Facebook message I had was this:
“Happy MotHerFuCkiNg Birthday girl, I will drink a shot for you tonight…”
That sentiment actually did help a little (quirky caps and all). Probably because I swear too much…one of the reasons I haven’t sent my mom a link to this blog. But it’s my party and I will cry if I want to. I will swear if I want to to. If I could kick 2012 in the ass, I would kick it harder and farther than anything I have ever kicked in my life. In fact, I’d rather kick it in the face. And with this, I hope to spare everyone from cursing on New Years, when we finally leave the damn twelves behind.
Happy fucking birthday to me.