Life and loss, before and after

Life and loss, before and after

Us mortals, we like to fathom. Make sense. Calculate. Depend on. Plan. We accept that being derailed is part of the journey, and getting back on track reinforces the predictability, the reliability of life. But when life just becomes one derailment after another, do you create a different path?

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Memory

Memory

This is where my memory begins to fade. Wanting, what I now believe was the protection of my sanity, my mind started uprooting entire events and details of Raahi's hospital stay, as I could not bear to remember the nuances, grief sweeping through me like a forceful mudslide. My memory wanted to forget death, and with it, it had to forget life too.

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The look

The look

I do not look at myself with those old eyes of mine. Instead, I now look at myself with my new eyes. Raahi’s eyes. I see her Ma, her newly stylish and still nerdy Ma. We both like how she looks. How has your appearance evolved/changed since your loss(es)? Does making an effort to look "put together" matter anymore to you? What connection, if any, do you now make between how you look and how it makes you feel? 

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dead metaphor

We are honored today to present a guest post by Romina. She is a sometimes teacher, all times mother, living with the loss of her third son. Ellis Tilde Asuro was born still on November 21, 2013.

 

I gave birth to death.

That is not a metaphor.

I gave birth to death

and I don’t know how to wean him.

 

They hint at it. It’s time to let him go.

They don’t speak his name.

I’ve been told he’s getting too old for this.

If I don’t do it now, this may go on forever.

 

I pushed death out of me and he stopped being mine.

I pushed death out of me and I stopped being his.

 

In the nine months since, I could have made a living child.

And in the nine months since, I could have learned to let him go.

 

But in a whole lifetime, I could not create enough life to

bring him near. I could not transform him into the living.

 

Has anyone told you it's time to move on? How do you respond? 

my grief baby

Our guest post today comes from Meghan of Expecting the Unexpected. She lost her daughter Mabel in March, 2014. She writes about her journey:

"'Your baby might die,' they said.  This wasn't the first unexpected news I received in pregnancy. I had thought her Down Syndrome diagnosis and the risk of stillbirth that came with it was my worst nightmare. Now kidney damage, low fluid and pulmonary hypoplasia gave my baby a very poor prognosis. I traveled the pregnancy path with fear, hope and uncertainty. At the end of the road, my daughter was born, alive but struggling. I was gifted six hours with her. Now six months later, I am re-assimilating. Learning to live life childless. Finding my way back to midwifery, to help others find joy in what has brought me grief."

We are honored to have Meghan writing for us today.

 

I startle in my sleep feeling her kick in my belly. Phantom kicks they call them.  But I know differently.  “Hi, baby,” I say.  As I gave away my newborn daughter, pale and lifeless, to the nurse, another baby started growing in my belly.  A seed that quickly grew into a moving, real creature.  She does not speak; she is only a baby.  She is my sorrow, my grief girl, the feeling left behind to fill the space that was meant for my child.  She kicks me in the belly to remind me that even in sleep I can not escape her.  She is mine, a part of me.

Sometime I carry her on my back.  I’m with friends and as I throw my head back in laughter, my head collides with hers, reminding me she is still there.  I suck my in breath, now critical of my easy mirth.  How can I laugh with the outline of a dead baby on my back?  My grief, she clings to me, the shadow of the child she should have been.

I let her lie on my chest, heavy and suffocating.  I recline on the couch, looking at photos of my daughter taken too soon, and remind myself it is only my grief baby, needy and crying out for me.  I embrace her for the moment and then tuck her under my arm, moving forward through the day.

Everyday I carry her around my neck.  I bring the necklace charms, a carrot and the letter M, up between my lips, speaking with my kisses. “I see you, grief.  You’re here. I won’t ever let you go.”


When do you feel grief the most? What kind of shape does it take? Is grief a comfort to you, a menace, or a monster?