Monday, May 22, 2006

You're so alike...yet different

Comparisons are inevitable, I suppose. Losing baby boys exactly one year apart is freakish enough to make everyone else in the world gasp in horror, so why not join in the fun for myself?

I've spent a good deal of time over the last week going back in time...reading old sympathy notes...sifting through memory boxes...reading what I wrote following Alex's death. I particularly noted how my entries have changed over the past year. It's an almost tangible reminder of the ebb and flow of my grieving process. As I read them, I remembered the entries written through a blur of tears...the entries written with a smile on my face...the entries written out of sheer exhaustion...the entries written when I simply had nothing real to say. It's astounding to me to see the hope and the happiness return to my life...bit by bit...especially now...in the face of complete broken-ness. I read each entry in suspense, hoping that it would turn out well. I'm here living this nightmare and I keep wishing for the freaking happy ending.

It feels like there is nothing left now. Where before at least there was the hope that life would get better, there is now nothing but blackness. I KNOW now. I know what it means to give up hope. And it scares the hell out of me.

My life is now something completely different...something I don't know what to do with. Everyone will tell me, "You still have Sam and Steve." And yes...I know I do...I know I have blessings in my life. But now I know what it means to be given more than you can handle. I know what it means to be turned inward so far that you can't find your way out into the light again. Before, I was dealing with a wrong turn...not correctable...but something you steer around...find an alternate route...enjoy the new scenery along the new path. Now, I'm sitting at the end of a dead-end road...stuck in the mud...in the dark. There is nowhere to go from here.

A friend once wrote me an email (that I blogged about, of course) in which she said:

The image I have had is that you're in a creek or river being swept along in this raging current and you're trying to keep your head above water, and I'm on the bank and there's this chain link fence between us, and all I can do is run along beside the creek and yell these stupid words of encouragement down to you as you're fighting for your life. Sometimes I've wondered if you wouldn't like to throw a rock at me if you had the energy, but still, I keep talking to you just so you know there's someone here and just in case it might help.

Back then, I had delusions that I could beat the rapid and climb to safety on the shore. A whole freaking cheering section could be on the shore shouting encouragment...it wouldn't make a difference. Now I KNOW that I'll never reach the shore and I'm just too tired to swim.

13 comments:

Lola said...

Catherine, I've been visiting your blog though not commenting. In many ways I feel I don't really have the right to intrude on your grief. but I wanted you to know that I am thinking about you. I hope that one day you will feel strong enough to start swimming again.

Sweet Coalminer said...

If I could, I would throw you a raft.

Julian's Mom said...

I know it doesn't make a difference, but I want you to know that my mom reads your blog, and asked about you while she was visiting this past week. The impact you and your family have had upon the lives of strangers is immeasureable.

Jill said...

I think of that email very often especially where you are concerned. Just wanted you to know that in the absence of anything useful to be done for you, I am running along the river bank keeping up with you hoping that just maybe something will crop up that will enable me to help. Some snag, anything. It may never happen but I'm thinking of you ((hugs))

GLouise said...

Hi Catherine- I am stopping by from Rachel's site.
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your precious sons. It is awful, unbearable. I am so sorry.
I will keep checking in on you. Sending you a big hug from the southeast part of the U.S.,

deadbabymama said...

*heave, splash!*

There's the life preserver, grab on and float for as long as you need to. There are a whole bunch of us waiting by the fence to help you with whatever you are able to do next.

kate said...

Before i could tell you that i had been there, that i had put my life together and that you would do so too. Now your experience is beyond mine so i cannot say this -- all i can do is send you all my love. Hold on to that life preserver that DBM threw...

V said...

Hi, you can share my life jacket.
Also swimming(drowning)...

TNChick said...

just float.... keep floating.

deadbabymama said...

And by the way, as someone whose two babies died a year apart on easter mondays I don't find your situation freakish in the least. Cruel coincidence, feels to me like yet another slap in the face from the universe.

msfitzita said...

As Kate said, before I could tell you to hang on because, having been through it myself, I knew there was light (albeit a pin-prick sometimes) on the horizon - a dim hope to cling to.

I don't have any idea what it's like for you now and so I can't give you an assurances about anything really, but just remember that it's only been barely three weeks. That's not even a blink of an eye in grieving/healing terms.

I remember what it was like three weeks after Thomas died. It was dark, confusing, terrifying, lonely - horrific. That's what it was.

There's no light this soon after something so awful.

I hope you find that pin-prick eventually - and I'll be here with (((HUGS)) and a shoulder to cry on if it helps along the way.

Thalia said...

Catherine. I don't have the right words to say anything that makes any sense or isn't just dumb, but I wanted you to know that I'm someone else who is here with you, who is trying to understand just a tiny bit of what you have been through. I'm so very sorry.

Windfall Woman said...

I've got another life preserver too. We're all on the bank ready.