Thursday, May 31, 2012

right where i am 2012: ten months six days

my fingers tap and reach out through the ethers to try to connect. this internal landscape can be so isolating.

i breathe in and out. i can feel the mark of nathaniel's life and death in my lungs and heart.

i mourn. i wake every morning at 5:30 and journal for about an hour. i scratch out the anger and the rage and the jealousy and the despair and the gratitude and the grace and the fear and the love. i keep a close eye on the wound and probe it, try to keep it clear of debris. i treasure the honesty and truth nathaniel's life brought me. i hate the honesty and truth nathaniel's life brought me.

i take mourning seriously. it has seriously kicked my ass.

i draw almost every day to escape the limitations of words and sentences and to spend time with nathaniel.

i went to vancouver bc over the long weekend - just me and my living son. i laughed - honest, genuine laughter. i only cried a little, in the mornings. yesterday, on our drive home, i was struck at the realization that i hadn't been thinking about nathaniel, his life, his death, loss, or grief, for several hours. it was the first time that happened. i think about nathaniel all of the time.

i've planted hundreds of vegetable seeds this spring and nurtured them under lights. i reflect a lot on the miracle and wonder of what lives and what doesn't and why. my yard used to be lovely, but now it is an urban experimental farm.

i have not gone back to work. my work insurance coverage has lapsed because i don't have plans to go back to work. i don't know when i'll be ready.

i'm not pregnant, not ttc. many in my cohort of loss, both on-line and irl, are either pregnant or actively ttc. i go to real-life support group and there are all new faces. the other parents who lost when i lost have graduated to the subsequent pregnancy group. many of my internet pals are either pregnant or ttc, and their journeys are now informed by pregnancy and new babies. i feel like i'm stuck in remedial grief, and frankly, i'm afraid. there doesn't seem to be an easy way forward. . .

i am changed because of nathaniel, in ways that i can try to describe and in ways that i can't. i'm both more bitter and more loving, more open and more closed. i'm more agitated, and i am not yet more peaceful. i am changed in that i kiss more people. i am not afraid to take pretty much anyone in my arms and plant my lips on their face or their lips. i kiss more people than i did a year ago. i want to.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

a quote i like

"During mourning, we have the opportunity to strip away parts of our self-image that are not authentically our own, to bring clarity to our relationships and determine how strongly the deceased has influenced us. As we do this, we begin to reclaim our lives."

From Mourning & Mitzvah by Anne Brener

Saturday, May 19, 2012

trigger words

today, my trigger words have been pediatric hospice.

pediatric. hospice.

two words that do not belong together. a phrase that brings my mind back to some kind of breaking point. denial? bargaining? torture? comfort? relief? surrender? peace?

whatever happened to goonies never say die? don't we fight until the end and insist on fighting?

the choice was given to me while i was still pregnant. doctors nurses genetic counselors chaplain all nodding heads as i made, what i believed, the best choice. a path of nonviolence. a path of peace. ahimsa.

but the choice has haunted me. even though i'm more than nine months away from my loss, i still play the what if game. it's less torturous now, but still there.

i ask my mom, what if i would have taken a washcloth and wiped his face while he was still alive? made him open his eyes and try to look at me? i wish i could have seen his eyes. she says to me, sweetheart, we don't know if his eyes had even developed. if they were even there. what we did was right.

i ask my midwife, what if we would have suctioned out his mouth and nose and tried to get him to breathe? encouraged him a little bit more? she says to me, sweetheart, that baby needed a lot more support to start breathing. a lot more support. what we did was right.

we made arrangements for nathaniel's body while i was still pregnant. knowing he would likely die (but of course hoping hoping hoping he wouldn't, that he'd fight and breathe and live), we went to the cemetery while my belly was still full of him and made plans. picked out an urn. talked to the balding guy who was about my size and so earnest so earnest so earnest.

i thought that i'd have more peace about this, but i don't. my clinical brain completely understands. my heart absolutely does not.

pediatric. hospice.

making arrangements for nathaniel's body while i was still pregnant.

clocks melting. furniture twisting. time dripping.