I guess that sounds a little strange. After all, I either went or I didn't, right? Not exactly.
Feeling emboldened, I quietly slipped into my purple 'nice' dress and my dress boots this morning and then quietly slipped back downstairs to join the others. Part of me wanted it to be a non-event. I wanted to just get into the car and take the short drive like I had every single Sunday for many years before my world fell apart. Who cares that I hadn't been since before Logan passed away? It's not as if it should be a big deal to go to church.
But on the other hand, it was a very big deal. Huge, really. It felt like a step of faith. And I haven't taken many of those lately. So it felt like a good time.
But in hindsight, I don't think it was.
We arrived. I got out of the car. I remember wandering sort of blindly along. A few people noticed me and said hi. A lot of others... didn't. And that was okay. I didn't want to be a spectacle. But at the same time, I wanted to feel... important, I guess. Not that I'm any more important than anyone else. It's more that I'd hoped that people would think 'wow, she's here. After all of that shit she had to deal with, she's finally here.'
I guess that's a little vain. But if I weren't me, it's the way I'd look at someone who was me. If that makes any sense. Maybe it doesn't.
So I went in. A few more people said hi. And then the music started and I had to leave. I can't cope with music yet. I can't deal with the way it seeps into my core and throbs and moves through me like mercury. I'd planned to sit outside and sip my coffee for a few minutes, but it didn't turn out that way. No, I sat outside and cried for a long while. A very long while. Every time I'd start to collect myself, the tears would start all over again. And I didn't want to be seen sobbing. Not after everything. I didn't want to be that pathetic person who's life went to hell a few years ago and just can't seem to get past it. At least, not publicly. I can be her in private, but in public, I can't cry. I especially can't sob uncontrollably.
So I sat outside by myself in the cold, trying to figure out if I was still angry with God after all. And I don't think I am. I think I'm just profoundly sad. I know that people want to say Oh, I've had awful things happen to me and I know how it feels but, well, you don't. Not just because you haven't lost a child, but because you're not me.
I don't say any of this to alienate anyone else. Though I fully realize that it's precisely the kind of effect this kind of statement has on others. It's just a feeble attempt at putting myself out there (sans the sobbing hysterically in public part, of course).
So, yeah, church. It wasn't really what I'd hoped it would be. I'd hoped to feel like I was home again, but I didn't. If it's possible, I think I felt angrier and more alone and more sad than I've felt in a long while.
Of course, it's probably my fault. It must be, after all, because it's probably me who's changed, and not anyone else. I lost my child. And I have to live with the fallout. And being there reminded me of how much the past few years have changed me. Of how much innocence and faith and trust I've lost. And I was profoundly jealous of the people who walked by; the people I used to know whose lives haven't been transformed --ripped to bits and pieces, really-- by a maelstrom.
I have six more days to decide if I want to go back. Or if it's time for me to find a new place to meet God. One that isn't marred by painful memories.