I remember the first couple of weeks and months after saying goodbye to my precious Jonah at 30 weeks gestation due to a heart condition as extremely difficult and filled with so many ups and downs, I felt like a marionette doll living someone else’s life, because there’s no way that much sadness could be…
Maybe it’s just a regular day, an innocuous date on the calendar. Maybe it’s a milestone, holiday, or anniversary. Maybe I felt it coming or maybe it arrived unannounced and uninvited. In truth, it doesn’t really matter because it’s, simply, a dark day. A day where grief will cover and swallow me whole. It will pull me under and refuse to let go. With nowhere to hide, I am unable to escape the pain in my head and heart. Every bit of my soul will be exposed and I will be left unhinged with the unnerving realization that my baby girl is forever gone.
My baby is gone…
She is not coming home…
I will never get to hold her again…
I can’t change the past and…I cannot go back and save her…
The grief comes and is so black and heavy that I can physically feel it settling on my chest. Grief stands there and laughs as I try to pull myself up, but I can’t see past the tears in my eyes.
I hate these days. The days where I can’t find any happiness in my life. I can’t find any purpose. I don’t want to try to be grateful. I can’t pretend to be alright. I can’t force a smile for the sake of my husband or son. I don’t want to get out of bed. I can’t.
I don’t want to look for the positive, the sunshine, the good things in life…they are too hard to see. They are lost and attempts to find them only heighten my distress. I don’t want them. I’ve given up, I only want the darkness.
These are the days where I no longer want to know about death or grief or child loss. I become angry hearing and seeing other stories of heartbreak, knowing that there is an entire community of people suffering just like me. I shout, “I’m done, I don’t want to be apart of this group anymore!” I want to distance myself from it all. My heart can’t take it.
I want to be alone. No one is able to comfort me, no one understands. No one has the cure.
I hate my memories. Images of laying in the hospital room helplessly holding her, not knowing what to do or say, watching my husband hand her to the nurse who will take her away. I want these memories gone, I hate them. I want my daughter. I don’t want to hold her in my heart, I want to hold her in my arms! But these precious memories are all I have left, I can’t lose them too. Even as I sit wounded in the shadows, wishing the flashbacks would ease, I can see how fickle grief’s contradictions are.
I didn’t ask for any of this. I hate this whole experience!
How the anger and rage, bitterness, fear, jealousy, resentment, and guilt all burn into my skin. The savage emotions make the room spin. The disdain leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
I feel so unbearably small and helpless. Worthless. Disposable. My courage has vanished. My voice, my story no longer matter– they are lost among the sea of tears and screams– lost among the others. I have nothing left to offer and I believe I’m failing her again.
This can’t be who I am. This can’t be who I’m supposed to be.
I am exhausted from fighting– fighting for myself…my daughter…my family. Fighting for happiness. All I want is to be normal. I want to be naive. I want to be whole, no longer broken. No longer damaged. No longer secretly writhing in agony.
I’m tired of trying to get people to understand. To understand that it still hurts. That she is still the last thing I think about before I fall asleep. God, I wish people would just understand! I wish they would imagine the feeling of leaving a hospital without their child. But they can’t; they can’t imagine such a catastrophic thing happening. They don’t have the capacity. But, I do. I hate that I know this.
And so the cycle goes, on and on, endlessly reeling.
The dark days, they happen, I will not say they don’t. I no longer fight them, I will not win. I can only wish and hope and pray that tomorrow will be better.