Monday, January 23, 2017

Darkness

After Miriam died the world went dark for me. Dark and still and motionless. Everyone else's lives kept moving and mine completely stayed still. The day we came home from the hospital I was in physical pain, but I didn't care. My heart had been shattered. I had the recovery of giving birth but without the baby. I had never felt more empty in my whole life. 

For 4 months I carried her inside of me. She was my constant companion. Practically everything I did was for her and all of a sudden she was gone. I had so many hopes and dreams for this baby girl. She was going to be so mighty and fierce. She was going to be loved and kissed and hugged tightly and often by us and her two older siblings. But, when we came home she wasn't there. Her body was at the funeral home and her soul was in heaven. None of her was with me.

I wondered how I would get out of bed the next morning. Or any morning. Ever. I didn't understand how that could happen, but I did it. I got out of bed but it was a struggle. I wondered how I was supposed to care for the two kids that needed me. It seemed like far too overwhelming a task when my heart, body, and mind were broken and not functioning.

I shuffled through my days in a fog, unsure of how to function. Friends and church members volunteered to bring us meals and I don't know what I would have done without them. But I couldn't open the door to see the people who brought them. The anxiety of seeing or talking to anyone was overwhelming. People sent emails and texts and I knew it would be impolite to not respond but I just couldn't. Every single task in front of me felt like slogging through an enormous pool of mud. Even my body didn't make sense to me. God didn't make sense to me. All I could tell myself was, "I should have known this would happen. I never should have believed that we would actually bring home a baby. I should have known better."

I cried a lot. But, probably not as much as I should have. When I think to that period just a few months ago I see it through the lens of a very dense fog. I couldn't see anything around me and I couldn't do anything productive. Everything was dark. So dark.

When you are in the literal darkness it can be scary. You can't see what's around you or how to get your bearings. The figurative darkness is the same. Everything you thought that was true about life, faith, God and love seemed so clear before the darkness settled in and clouded your entire view. 

I will never understand how a woman can hold her dead child in her arms and not be an entirely different person afterward. I view my life now in two parts. Before Miriam died and life made sense, and after she died and life made no sense. I always knew that children died and that God made the rain fall on both the just and unjust, but now life just seemed especially cruel since it happened to me. To us. And to be sure, it's not like life was perfect or easy for us before this either. Infertility was dark and hard and confusing and faith shifting. But, the death of a child? It's a darkness, confusion and faith shifting that I didn't know existed. I knew it would feel tragic, but I didn't know it could feel this dark.

3 comments:

  1. I understand. And I am here with and for you.

    There is little else to say. You wrote this beautifully and I get it. I know our losses were different, but the feeling of life shifting out of kilter and the complete lack of sense in the “after” world THAT is just the same. Eventually you will feel some tiny lights in the dark- but where life was whole before- it will never be whole again and that became ok for me. The darkness is all you can see because it is the piece that is missing. It’s the part of your heart Miriam has with her. That’s what I like to think about my dark part anyway, that my son has that brightness that used to be there.

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  2. I'm glad you're writing and sharing with us. You're not alone.

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