Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Imagine it

A friend emailed me (hi friend) and I think she hit the nail square on the head...

To be honest, I do imagine what it's like, but I don't
know if I'm right. I imagine you're almost numb. I
imagine you just feel finished, just plain finished
with all this. Sort of a "screw this all, I'm moving
on" feeling. I imagine you are so hurt that you can't
even feel all the pain and that instead you are numb
and angry. I imagine you have just flipped a master
switch somewhere to turn it all off, as much of it as
you can, that you're stepping outside yourself now to
survive, that you appear to be "functioning" much
better than you were after Alex's death, but that
you're really on auto-pilot because the wound is so
deep it doesn't even bleed. I don't presume to know
how you feel, but I do try to imagine.

You're right -- it absolutely sucks that the rest of
the world can return to our lives. No matter how many
hundreds of times a day I think about you and Steve
and your boys, I can always turn my thoughts back to
my own life. I imagine that has to be one of the most
infuriating things of all. But it's true. You're
right -- it's the way it is. It's one more thing that
must make you feel so terribly alone and angry.

But let's be clear. I'm not angry AT ANYONE. I'm just angry. I don't want anyone to spend their lives in mourning with us...we've got the mourning covered pretty well ourselves.

I'm just angry.

And sad.

And tired.

I haven't even cried the cry. Maybe you know the cry I'm talking about...if you're lucky, you don't. Sure, I've had short bursts here and there...but I've kept it to a minute or less. I have to control something. And if I don't control the tears, I will never be able to stop them.

And I'm right back to square one with the questions. Why did this happen? What am I really crying about? Comparisons are inevitable...but did I want THIS baby or A baby? In this moment, the moment where I contemplate hurling my full coffee mug at the wall and smashing it into a billion pieces, I would take ANY living baby.

But how to mourn an unfinished baby? I just don't know. At least with Alex, I knew bits and pieces about him. We had time. There was no time with Travis. He came and went before he was even real. And if he wasn't real, how can I miss him so much?

I have only a handful of purely happy memories surrounding Travis' existence...

Finding out I was pregnant and emailing my friend (same friend from above) before even telling Steve.

Calling Steve in his car as he was pulling up the driveway and telling him, "I have something for you that's way better than a candy bar." (I'm not so sure a candy bar wouldn't have been a better choice)

Calling my mom and rambling into the phone...something like, "I was going to wait to tell you until after dinner, but then I thought I'd be obsessing all through dinner about how to tell you, and I really want to enjoy dinner, so I'm just calling to tell you now and save myself the mental torture...I'm pregnant."

The lone card I got congratulating me (thank you so much Amy).

Buying the purple bear and the little yellow bear rattle for Travis.

The countless emails of support and love from the above mentioned friend, all through my all too short pregnancy.

Laying so awkwardly in bed that night and feeling Travis move on the outside...and sharing that single moment with Steve.

The set of charms from the same friend, arriving in my mailbox just in time for Alex's birthday. As coincidence would have it, also in time to welcome me home from saying goodbye to Travis. But knowing they were sent in love and remembrance of Alex...and love and anticipation of Travis' arrival makes me smile nonetheless.

That's it...that's all there is. No late night rituals. No special foods that would make him dance in my belly. No songs or voices that would incite special responses. How I wish we had more time. How glad I am that we didn't have more. How angry I am that he had to hang in there as long as he did and put us through this. How does one wish for less and more all at the same time?

on auto-pilot because the wound is so deep it doesn't even bleed

Yep...that's a perfect description.

Aren't wounds that don't bleed...deadly?


Sarah said...

UGH... 'the cry'... I feel like i'm always afraid of it. I've only had a couple.

I hope being at work today isn't too horrible.

I can imagine the auto-pilot feeling, maybe because I have my own version. I'm sorry your back at the starting blocks of grief. I'm sorry your wound isn't even bleeding and hoping it's not too 'deadly'.

V said...

I had 'the cry' about 3 weeks afterwards. My mom had just left and I had been back at work for 2 days. I stayed home the 3rd day. I was walking across the kitchen with my cup of coffee and had the strongest urge to throw it across the room. I didn't. I put it down and threw myself onto the floor and cried like never before. I felt slightly better the next day. There have been many more tears. I am going through a bad patch at the moment (almost 2 months later). Isn't it funny how many people ask you how you are doing but you just know that they really don't want the truth. If I gave them the truth they would probably run a mile.

Even though we have never met, and our circumstances are a bit different, I am thinking of you a lot. I wish you the strength to carry on but also the strength to grieve.

Diana said...

I think about you constantly. I feel so much sorrow and anger towards the universe for you, and for everyone else this happens to. Please know that we care for you.

MB said...

I just don't know what to say. There are no words that seem like they mean enough. I'm just so fucking sorry.

Sherry (Hallesmom) said...


R said...

You are not far from my thoughts. Ever. I say "I'm thinking of you" because I am, and because I Don't know what else to say, friend.

Kathy McC said...

That pretty much sums it up. (((hugs)))

kate said...

Yes, your friend did hit the nail on the head. She is very wise. And i am just so sorry ((((hugs))))