10.19.2005

Talk Is Good, Tact Is Even Better (More About Kat)

Last night I talked with Celia for a bit about Kat's suicide. Celia is really traumatized, she saw Kat every day and feels as though she's lost a sister. She feels so badly for Kat's husband and baby girl Sadie; she is trying to present a brave happy front as she babysits Sadie, trying to keep things normal for her.

But Celia is downhearted herself and finds it easier to muster her best cheer outside of Kat's house, away from Kat's photos, away from her things, away from the house where they spent so much time together.

I invited Celia to bring Sadie over for a play date with Mali this afternoon, while Leelo was at school. I opened the door to see Sadie standing there, with her lavender terry jump suit, big Mali-style cheeks, blonde hair, and dark serious eyes. It took all my will power to not snatch her up and squeeze into her all the love and attention I'd have given her mom in an instant, had I known how she needed it. We all would have. I still gave Sadie as much attention as I possibly could, carting her around and describing her environment to her, Badger-style, giving her lots of hugs.

Oh that sweet baby. I still cannot make the logical connection between her tiny little purposeful self and the permanent absence of her mother. Neither can Celia, even as she tells Sadie--as kindly and tenderly as possible--that her mommy won't be coming back. Sadie spent a lot of time not wanting to let go of Celia's skirt.

Mali eventually woke up and eyed Sadie warily, then enthusiastically poked her visitor in the eye and nostril. Since neither of the two has been socialized or spent much time with other babies, Celia and I are going get them together again on Friday, and perhaps weekly on Wednesday mornings. If Celia is kept on as Sadie's nanny.

Celia just needed to talk, that is how she processes. Mostly she is wondering what else she could have done. Kat was open about the fact that she was having a rough time, but she also told Celia that she was seeking proper treatment. Celia said she was concerned, but she really didn't see any significant change in Kat's behavior. Even so, she is going to beat herself up about this indefinitely, as she is too sensitive to operate any other way.

We are all full of what ifs, shock, and confusion. Ep saw Kat more than any of the rest of us, as she would occasionally drop by for daytime visits with Celia, and Kat would often be there. She is especially shocked that Kat did something so irrational, as she considered her to be one of the most logical and rational people she knew. Positively Spock-like, she said.

Celia said that Kat didn't really have any local friends to talk to, that she knew of. Celia tried to get Kat to go to our weekly bad moms coffee, several times, but Kat just couldn't do it. I felt like I'd been stabbed when she told me this. What would it have taken to encorage Kat to come? A mere one-line email? A phone call? Would feeling as though she had a place in our group been enough? Did our close-knittedness feel exclusionary? Another opportunity for endless-loop fretting.

Another thing Celia said is that Kat's husband doesn't want the facts of her death hushed up, in fact he wants it discussed in case that will help another severe depressive seek help. Specifics will probably be mentioned during the service tomorrow. We bad moms will be arriving together, armed with kleenex.

I had never been to a Deadwood funeral before this month, now Ep and I will have gone to two in little more than two weeks.

I can't stop thinking about Kat, and am dealing by keeping as busy as possible. Meals to four families, two tonight and two Friday. Seymour is being patient as I make like a dervish.

On the way home from delivering the meals and picking Seymour up from the CalTrain station, my cel phone rang and displayed Seymour's parents' number. I had a bad feeling and asked Seymour to take the call.

Turns out Seymour's cousin Rick had passed away. He had been sick for a long time, and in fact had been in a coma while we celebrated his niece's wedding this past weekend. So while it was not a surprise, it was still a blow. He was a sweet, loving man and we will all miss him

I was so very glad that Iz isn't here during all this, because she really got on well with Rick. Plus she finds the deaths of people she knows so disturbing that she pleads with us to not mention their names ever again. I figured I could break it to her slowly and gently.

I hadn't counted on my mom's underestimation of Iz's eavesdropping skills. I called my mother to tell her about Rick, and ended up telling her about Kat as well, how she was not able to overcome her post-partum depression, how she ended up jumping off the GG Bridge. My mom then handed the phone to Iz, who had apparently been in the room with my mom the whole time.

Iz: "Mommy, what is this sad thing that happened?"

Me: "Well, sweetie, cousin Rick died yesterday. He was very sick and he didn't get better. Are you okay?"

Iz: **whimper** (She loved Rick.) Then,
"Mommy, Grandma said something else, about someone jumping off the GG Bridge. Who was that?"

***FUCK!***
Me: "Well, Iz, you know the lady Celia nannies for? She was very, very sad. She had a problem with the chemicals in her brain, and they wouldn't let her be happy. She tried to get help, but she thought she couldn't make herself better, and so she jumped off the bridge. I promise I will never, ever do that, because my brain isn't like that. I promise. Do you understand? Do you understand how much I love you and that my brain is okay and so I couldn't ever do that?"

Iz, distressed: "Mommy, we met Kat at the park, with Celia and Sadie. I met her!"

Me: "I didn't know that, Iz. Are you going to be okay?"

Iz, still distressed: "Mommy, I don't want to talk about this anymore, okay? Please?"

Me: "No problem, but let me know if you change your mind. I love you very much."

Nice one, Grandma! FUCK. FUCK.

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