Tuesday, February 07, 2006


When we attempt to imagine death, we perceive ourselves as spectators.
~Sigmund Freud~

When Death came calling, he only visited me briefly. But he was here...in my body...touching my soul.

Death took only that part of my soul I had given to my unborn son. But he was here...in my body...touching my soul.

Was he icy and cold like something evil? Was he warm and loving like something seen on an episode of Touched by an Angel? He was none of these to me. Death was silent...like a thief in the night...here...in my body...touching my soul.

What he stole can never be replaced. And for that I am sad and angry and perplexed.

But beyond the grief and sadness is a fear that he didn't leave...that he lingers somewhere in my body. What if he lurks somewhere in my soul waiting for me or my next unborn baby?

It's more than finding your home broken into when you arrive home late at night. Is the intruder still there? will I ever feel safe in this space again? And even if he is gone, there is the knowledge that he was there...amidst your possessions...stealing a part of your life away from you without your even knowing it. This wasn't my home...this is my body...my soul.

How do I find that sense of peace again? I haven't felt a sense of immortality since I was a teenager and a friend was involved in a car accident that nearly killed him. I have always acknowledged that life is a fragile and delicate thing that can disappear in the blink of an eye, or the changing of a traffic signal. But we still live our lives with so much trust...trust that the person driving the other way won't cross the line and drive head first into us...trust that we won't be struck by lightening today...trust that the bacteria in our body won't kill us or our unborn child.

We can acknowledge the fragility of life without ever really looking at what it means...how it affects us. Freud was right, we perceive ourselves as spectators. In my case, I was an unwitting participant in Death's game and now I wonder if my trust in life can ever be restored.

I wonder if I can ever again feel as though my home...my body and soul...are even somewhat safe from him. Will I ever shake this feeling that the intruder is still lurking in the shadows?


Sarah said...

I started replying here, but it became a post.

kate said...

No, and yes...is what i would say. He may always lurk in the shadows but you will grow accustomed to him being there. And as more hours and days pass without him visiting, you will relax your mind a little and trust a little more -- that he will not come again today. But you will not forget.

lauralu said...

justin called me in the middle of my comment and i lost my train of thought...as well as my comment box, so god knows what nonsensical fragment you may or may not have gotten from me.

at any rate...

i'm sorry that you feel death is a person, one who is out to get you and your children. that must be a very scary, vulnerable place. i hope you find some peace over this.

Windfall Woman said...

Catherine, words fail me. I can only speak of loss outside my body -- being my beloved grandmothers. I know that the pain used to hit me so badly that I would have to pull my car over and throw up. Gradually, the pain subsided to a dull ache. Now, it is bittersweet pain and memories. I can't imagine how you feel it all except that I know it must be worse. I'm sending you many hugs and praying for some peace for your soul. That's all I can really do.