Monday, March 28, 2011


I'm so tired of being sad. Bone weary exhausted, really.

I'm not wallowing. Honest. I have newly-purchased cans of paint and two bathrooms ready and waiting. I have crochet projects on the go. I have work scheduled. I have a to-do list that I follow. I have lunch plans with a friend on Friday.

The thing is, when I'm in the midst of the busyness, it's all good. But when I pause to figure out what that nagging feeling is - that sense that someone is watching me, that something is wrong, that I've had a bad dream, that I'm late for something - I realize it's sadness quietly waiting to be acknowledged.

And so I cry. I cry for my dad - for all the pain and indignities he suffered in the months before he died. I cry for me, because I miss him so much. I cry because I haven't yet figured out what to do with this unplanned life. And I cry because that scares the bejeezus out of me.

Fate has been clever and methodical in the doling out of disaster. A miscarriage in 2003, a miscarriage in 2004, Thomas' birth and death in 2005, fertility treatments in 2006/7, a miscarriage in 2007, more fertility treatments in 2008, dad's illness in 2010, his death in 2011. These things seemed to have spaced themselves out, giving me juuuuuust enough time to recover from one disaster before tossing some new horror my way.

The cumulative effect is like sitting beneath a pile of elephants trying to smile while I'm being crushed to death.

This is life. I know that. No one escapes unscathed, and in the midst of the horror is unimaginable beauty. I know that. I know that. I know that. There are bigger disasters. There are crueler fates. There are harder lives.

But, still, this is mine.

The other day I was telling My Beloved that I barely remember the girl I was before that first loss in 2003. I miss her, I told him. She's like a brightly-coloured character in a book - happy and innocent. Not without worry or sorrow, but still buzzing with light and energy.

In his wisdom and kindness he acknowledged her loss, but told me that the girl he's now married to is not just a shadow of the one he once knew. I am better, he says, in some ways. I didn't ask for specifics. I was too stunned and overjoyed to care.

Better. At least in some ways. That's good to know.

I know the fatigue of sorrow will wane. And maybe I'm thinking too hard; worrying about it too much. It hasn't yet been three months since the most recent elephant, after all.

But it would be nice not to be so grief-weary. So very, very nice.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Years ago, not long after Thomas died, I read a post by a fellow babyloss blogger who was struggling with an overwhelming desire to make herself look as outwardly grief-stricken as she felt inside. She wanted to cut her hair, tattoo her body, cut patterns into her empty stomach - do something radical and drastic so that people would know, just by looking at her, that she was broken on the inside. She wanted the mark of grief.

It scared me. But I understood.

I started thinking about her - and the strange need for grief to be known and recognized - this morning at Mass. I'd made small talk with one of the office staff on the way in - a woman who helps me organize the annual Mass of Remembrance for bereaved parents. We both hate the heat, but wished it was a little warmer today. And isn't that funny, because in a few months we'll both be wishing for a crisp day just like this one. And isn't it a shame that while it's going to be warmer tomorrow, it's going to be rainy too. Blah, blah, blah.

When I finally got into the church, I sat down and started thinking about my dad, as I often do when I'm alone and quiet with nothing proper to distract me. Driving is a particular hazard. It often ends in tears.

Anyway, I was thinking that I display no outward sings of grief. I'm clean, my hair is freshly cut, I wear makeup (a necessity to hide the circles and bags my 40s have gifted me), I smile when appropriate, I attend meetings, I work. I am functional in all the ways that matter.

But inside there is so much grief. And no one knows.

It makes me feel like I'm existing inside a plexiglass dome, visible, but somehow unreachable. And thoroughly unknowable. Most importantly, separate. Always separate.

I started wondering why exactly it is that we need to share grief with others. It's such a personal thing that no two people feel or experience the same way - even if they've lost the same person - and yet we're desperate to find people who will listen to us when we need to talk about the aching emptiness a loved one's loss has created in our lives. We want to share, in explicit detail, what it feels like to be without that person; what it's like not to hear their voice tell us we are loved, what it's like to see the empty chair they once sat in, what it's like to want to tell them a story and forget, for a split second, that they are no longer there to hear it.

I want everyone to know how much I miss my dad. How I still cry for him. How agonizing it is to be separated from him. How I still can't fathom that he's really gone and is never coming back.

How I feel like I'm once again hollow inside, waiting to be filled up with whatever it is that filled the empty space Thomas left behind.

And no one knows.

And I don't know why that matters. Except somehow it does.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Happy birthday my beautiful, beautiful boy. 
I will love you always and forever. oxox