Birthday pass

photo by  erin purcell

photo by erin purcell

Is it unhealthy and untoward and all other breeds of ‘un’ for me to borrow the helm of a so-called healing community to say christ, but some days I feel completely insane with the fucking rage?

I’m supposed to cap this month of physical reflection by writing about my newfound vegetarianism. I wanted to hear from you about how your consumption has changed after babyloss—have you found anything that nourishes you or silences your demons? Do you self-medicate? Do you deprive? Do you rejoice in food? Choke it down? Do you need wine to sleep?

Because vegetarianism—which, shockingly, has never felt like deprivation—got death the hell off my plate. Three times a day this gave me clarity and peace.

But I can’t write that post. Not today. Today, any claim on peace is a lie.

Today is their birthday, and the vision of two years ago has taunted me on continuous replay. He lies fused and lifeless, purple, swollen, covered with wires and tubes, a vision of pain and of the failure of a womb.



I’m waiting. I’m waiting for you to screw up your face and say No. No! It was not your fault. You didn’t do anything to cause this. Stop it. You did not fail.



You’re totally missing your cue. And I adore you for it.

To you I hold up my ugly and you simply nod at it, perhaps raise a glass. You don’t deny it. You don’t try and reason with it. You know that I’m not so entirely lobotomized as to think I caused the death of one child and the very-near-death of the other. You know that this is the ache and the flailing of a heart, and hearts do not make nor require sense.

I invent a grace that constantly evades me. It’s hard work. I choose to dig for it, and to find it, I need to dig through the horror.

I write on my blog about light and mystery and Liam’s voice and while those sentiments aren’t false, they are sometimes half-truths, for the wholeness of days like these is just too damn ugly for mixed company.

On days like this I pull the car to the side of the road thinking I’m going to throw up. I come close. A physical response to self-loathing, to memory, to having to live with this rage. Rage at the fates, rage at myself. I am dripping and shaking. I need to hit something.


Somewhere out there, someone reads this and says oh my god, yeah, it’s just like that. Maybe you, maybe not. But someone will. And knowing it calms my pulse. Getting it out might help me to sleep tonight. Seeing that you’re not the only one that feels this way might help you to sleep tonight. Who knows.

Christ, but some days I feel completely insane with the fucking rage.

Then I go to sleep. Then I get up again, and shower, and scramble eggs, and try again. Because that’s just what you do.