Sunday, May 2, 2010

One year...

It has been one year since I felt my William move for the last time inside my belly.

It has been one year since I saw his still heart on the ultrasound monitor.

It has been one year since I thought I'd never breathe again.

It has been one year since I lost my joy.

And yet...

And yet I can breathe.

And I can feel joy.

And I miss my little lamb just as intensely as I always did...but I have accepted life without him.

We had a picnic at his grave. Nan made him a card and we attached it to a blue balloon...and Nan held it and wished a birthday wish for him and let it go. We watched it drift away---the sky was so blue and clear.

And it was a beautiful day.

And it was a gut-wrenching day. I kept picturing him tottering around (maybe, just maybe taking his first steps by now)...or holding up his arms to me (waiting to be picked up) and saying "Mama." While Nan played on the slip and slide all afternoon, I realized that he would be old enough to ride it with her...maybe sitting between her legs. And I wished and hoped and prayed that God would send me a gift...a sensation of what he would've really been like: his smell, the feel of his little hand in mine, the sound of his voice, his cry, the color and shape of his open eyes, the feel of his head on my shoulder and of his arms around my neck. But those are things I will have to wait for...yet another reason to smile and beam when I think of eternal life: meeting my son. I believe it...and theologians and biblical scholars have debated for centuries whether or not we will know our loved ones in heaven. But I don't feel the need to debate it or rationalize it...I simply believe it--- with a firm conviction no one can take from me.

I just pray he can feel my love for him, even now. It still gushes from my heart---pours forth like a wellspring that refuses to dry up, even in his absence. Lord, please let him feel it....

I spent the entire day crying for my son...but smiling for my daughters. I was totally caught up in an emotional tug of war...grief and longing for Will, joy and amusement for Nan, gratitude and delight for the wiggly baby girl in my belly. It felt like the actual embodiment of the word bittersweet.

As I put Nan to bed and settled down for the evening, I happened to note (for now it has become such a fixture in our home that I tend to forget about it) the inscription on the back side of our front door (a gift from Shannon last Mother's Day): BLESSED. And that pretty much says it all. In the midst of mind-numbing, soul-crushing loss, I chose that word to be carved on my front door (Shan told me to pick any word I wanted). And a year later, I know (for last year I had to simply trust) how true that word is.

And I adore every single one of you. Thank you for your tenderness this past year. Thank you for your prayers. Ah yes: BLESSED...blessed, indeed.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"These are the reflections of the first days; but when the lapse of time proves the reality of the evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences. Yet from whom has not that rude hand rent away some dear connection? And why should I describe a sorrow which all have felt, and must feel? The time at length arrives when grief is rather an indulgence than a necessity; and the smile that plays upon the lips, although it may be deemed a sacrilege, is not banished...we had still duties which we ought to perform; we must continue our course with the rest and learn to think ourselves fortunate whilst one remains whom the spoiler has not seized."
Mary Shelley from Frankenstein
Amazing how things I have read so many many times hold new meaning for me now. My seniors are reading this (which means I am, too), and this passage struck me in a way I didn't anticipate.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

From: Stay or Leave by Dave Matthews
Stay or leave
I want you not to go
But you should
It was good as good goes
Stay or leave
I want you not to go
But you did

So what to do
With the rest of the day's afternoon hey
Isn't it strange how we change
Everything we did
Did I do all that I should
That I coulda done

Remember we used to dance
And everyone wanted to be
You and me
I want to be too

What day is this
Besides the day you left me
What day is this
Besides the day you went

So what to do
With the rest of the day's afternoon hey
Well isn't it strange how we change
Everything we did
Did I do all that I could

Remember we used to dance
And everyone wanted to be you and me
I want to be too
What day is this
Besides the day you went babe
What day is this

I used to listen to this song so much when I was pregnant with Will. I just loved it. I'm not sure why this particular song appealed to me so much at that time--it could've been due to my elevated hormonal state--who knows? I've never been a huge Dave fan, but I always did love a good sad song. And this song is more of a romantic song...I omitted the lyrics that are of a more amorous nature. But the lyrics I included above are so meaningful to me now. Because in some ways it still feels like the day I lost him. In a way, even though I know I've grown some and healed some and learned some, I feel completely frozen in that day. I can't get past the barrier: this wasn't supposed to happen. What do I do with myself now? How can you move forward when your brain and heart still reject what has happened to you?
Sometimes I can't believe that I'm walking around. I can't believe I make small-talk and send text messages and watch tv. I can't believe I function at all, to be honest. Because my heart does not feel functional. It's hobbled---laid low by a pain only my worst nightmares ever even hinted at. At least you can wake up from nightmares.
I still lose my breath for a moment when I pass the baby aisle at Kroger. Or when I walk by little boy clothes at Target. Or when I sit next to someone holding their infant. Or when I hear the name William. Or when I hear this song. And I find it hard to comprehend the existence of a time when those things won't make my breath catch in my throat.
And I can't imagine losing him...but I did.
And I can't imagine losing again. And I might.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I Peter 5:6-7