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It seems like I am floating, without a tether, without a compass, without a map.
It seems that there are a flurry, a fury of things that vie for resolution.

How I nourish my little, is one item.

There is a group I have been upon the outskirts of for quite some time. More recently, I am being slightly, randomly drawn in. Now I am a part, I guess. Now I am quested after. However, it took me having a baby having a living baby for that to happen and it is still leaps from full inclusion. Yet, they as of me. Ask for the finite resources I am not sure I would like to give.

Budgeting is great and money is stupid.

The few ladies I became accustomed, or at least expectant to speak with seem to be indisposed. Though it is possible I pronounce harshly.

I just. Seem. Unhooked. What holds me where I am? What brings me back to itself? Caresses my cares, soothes my hurt, reassures my doubt?

I know. I know what it should be. What I should say.

67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6: 67 – 69

Where shall I go? For You have the words of eternal life.

But, even that feels like defeat. Should I not be capable of steering somewhat? Should that be an answer to my utter frustration? Should I have been here already? Before? How much sooner?

What was I doing with my life, all this time? I should be wiser. More well-spoken. Better traveled. Have more to offer to my family.

My family. Is it really mine? Is this hurting three of truly four mine? Is it mine we are one less? It sure seems like it. It sure seems like, had I made another decision we might be rightfully four. Or, or would we be three without this little four? Who does this? Who sets up family increases just to KNOCK THEM BACK DOWN?

But we are not three because just three are visible. We are four and hurting.

I looked into cremation services. For my son. That we buried. Nearly TWO YEARS ago.

And while I may not cry as often, the deepening loss is perpetual. Shall I bring him home? Knowing that his tiny little vessel no longer houses his heart of hearts? That his mind is not there? Where is my son? Who has him? Why won’t thy give him back? Why give him to me, let me feel him, know him, play with him, see his incredibly still chest on the monitor, birth him, smell him, hold him, place him against me in an attempt to warm him, understand the true meaning of death in his lifeless earthly form, kiss his confoundedly impossibly heart-shatteringly unjustly cold face, watch him be taken away again and again? Go through the same things with his sister. But watch her breathe, learn, grow, develop, exceed. Every moment colored. Each milestone hosts a murmur:

This should be my second time doing this. When would Charlie have done this? What would he be doing now? Would he be encouraging her? What difficulties might he have had? Where is he now? Why isn’t he here?

It is not her fault. But we I have been waiting for a baby for two years and she is moving rather quickly toward toddler.

Now, our BEST EXPECTATIONS is her pointing to a grave, smiling, saying, “Charlie!”

This is our best case scenario for our children knowing each other.

And I am met with such meaninglessness that it demeans and lowers my grief: The Lord knows. God needed him. Put it out of your mind. Maybe there would have been something wrong with him (As if I would be more okay with a dead child than a sick one – both hurt). It will get better soon (If you are not speaking from exact experience, even if you are – go away). Have another one (This one just blows my mind.) Challenging my count of children (Go away and never come back).

Meanwhile, another can mourn their damn dog for months and continue to receive public sympathy while my timeline ran up around, oh, 6 weeks.

And I am floundering in  all of these things.

Maybe one day someone will find me. I have no idea where she ran off to. But I hope she is safe from the suffering of this world there. Maybe she should just stay put.

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Machine

I don’t want to just be
a baby-grow machine
my current identity
as what is growing in me.

I am elaborate and kind
I have thoughts in this mind
there are many things to find
if you’ll only take the time.

I don’t want to just be
a life-hoarding entity
to feel the lives within me
are somehow my enemy.

I have value beyond words
feelings sometimes absurd
experiences that hurt
it all adds to my worth.

I don’t want to just be
a baby-grow machine
a woman that makes dreams
while hers are set to stream.

I am writhing right before you
can’t you see how I adore you
does my affection bore you
has my touch now tore you?

I don’t want to just be
concerned with flips in belly
heart flips come now seldomly
as resting is my duty.

I am yearning to be seen as
the queen a king indeed has
to leave behind the thought past
and be shown a crown cast.

I don’t want to just be
a baby-grow machine
there is so much complexity
in the other parts of me.

Don’t you see
I can’t just be
a baby grow machine
Don’t you know how it hurts me
to not fully be seen
I am able to do more mean
than sleep and eat and pee
I can accomplish great things
if you come along with me
And do no longer shrink me
to baby-grow machine
I am wife and life, humanity
even if it can’t be seen.

Do not only leave me be
a baby-grow machine
i have award never-ending
if you come away with me.

I don’t want to just be
a baby-grow machine
i always need you baby
will you come onward with me?

Musings

So, I bought my husband, among other things,  a robe and slippers. I have two robes, but find myself slipping into his. I love this husband of mine. His cologne is on the robe.

Douglas the Douglas Fir Christmas Tree has been derbies. The lights and one blue ornament I have just seen are all that need to be removed now. Then, he will go out.

I often wonder why so many people respond to the death of my child with, “You can have another one.” with a pat and a small smile. Really? Your dog dies and people fall all over themselves with sadness and well wishes. My child that I grew and loved and birthed passed from being a part of me to being separate and cold. Yet, no one tells the pet owner to just, “Get another dog.” They are allowed their grief, their sadness. The pet is allowed to have exited and been enough on its own. But my baby, supposedly, and my grief can be replaced by, “Having another one.” What is the disconnect with the value of human life vs. all others?

Since my classes are nearly over, I am preparing to return to full-time work. I have been on a 37 hour schedule for a while. The work load never decreased, only my hours. Therefore, I need all 40 hours to complete my tasks. I look forward to working hard and working well. To completing more in a nice timeline.

Each day I look forward to the return home of my honey. To his hugs and voice. I am so glad he is mine. He is my constant through this winding, scary, hilarious life we walk together. We have never raised our voices to each other, never sworn at the other. We try to listen and value the other’s words. We tread gently when one is upset. We apologize and accept responsibility. We try to give grace, seek understanding. I strive not to hurt him. He protects me, as well. We are one. When one of us is wounded, we both take the pain. He is so very kind to me. I try to love him well. We are one.

Oh, what a year this has been. What a terrible, joyous, difficult year this has been.

Lately, babies and their mothers are everywhere. That is what it is. The hard part is the ones that are rubbed in our faces. Women cannot help being pregnant, but they can have some sensitivity. Some imagination. How could someone with child, or already a parent, NOT understand the possible pain associated with spouting it off, to me?

We sent out birth announcements with our Christmas cards. Days later, DAYS, a friend, eager to share, made the first thing I was exposed to in the early morning, the news of her brand new pregnancy. Is there no understanding, no empathy. You have just received a fresh reminder of the son that I buried five months ago, and your first thought it not, “Maybe I can wait on this?”

Since the friend missed the obvious painful error in her actions, I squeezed out a ‘congratulations’ and cautioned myself to have little to do with her, at least for a while. If she was unable to see this, why should I expect her to tread any lighter in the future? If I involve myself too much, this will be a long, painful pregnancy, and it’s not even mine. Therefore, I will be careful.

I don’t yet understand how careless people can be sometimes. My baby is dead and you expect, what, happy tears for your brand new one? Please. Leave the nonsense outside.

Whew, this month has been seriously busy. Full time work, school three nights a week, 80 hours of clinical time on an ambulance, my missing son. I haven’t been to church on a Sunday all month. Legitimately, every weekend was consumed with 12 hour shifts and counting down the minutes until I got to see my husband again. Oh yeah, being a wife and trying (not super successfully) to keep our home warm and peaceful and…tidy.

This month, I had my first opportunity to see an attempted resuscitation in progress. I was recruited to complete compressions on this young kid. Technically, he was an adult, but far too young to be gone. I experienced the sight, smells and process that goes into a ‘Code.’ By the time one of the doctor’s called ‘Time of Death’, I was invested. I realized, as I removed my gloves, as the minister called for a moment of silence, some mother and father, surely anxious in the waiting room, would be painfully brought into my reality. Their son’s heart was still, despite truly heroic, extensive measures. The death of a child is a terrible, terrible thing. No matter when it occurs.

Tomorrow, I get to rejoin the church going world. I get to temporarily remove myself from the field of physical life and death, into the realm of spiritual life and death. I am striving to understand the difference, the gravity of it all. That kid didn’t make it. My son and him are in the same realm, physically speaking. A body without its soul.

As my son’s due date has come and gone, and Charlie himself has come, and gone, I am grateful for various things. I was able to hold and kiss him. Able to be present during his every moment. I am certain he knew neither hunger nor pain. For a husband who loves me deeper than I can comprehend. For a family that tries to understand. For the prayers of those that love me.

**Super side note: Anything bearing resemblance to “There is a reason, We will understand later, God has a plan,”  or other useless words that attempt to mitigate our grief experience is unwelcome and will likely result in some distance. Seriously, it does not help and I am sorry for the times those words have come out of my mouth. Honestly, I think even if I heard the ‘reason’, I wouldn’t be convinced it was worth my son’s life.

Angry

Yesterday morning I was pretty snippy. I just felt short. I don’t know why.

This afternoon has been awful. It seems like no matter where I go or what time I head there I simply can NOT be early. Leaving earlier than normal still lands me at my destination either the same time as leaving TWENTY MINUTES later or LATER THAN NORMAL.

It occurred to me that perhaps I am trying to be taught the lesson of patience, since it can’t be time management as I leave ridiculous amounts of travel time before I need to arrive. Instead of me learning to be patient and docile and content it just beats me down. It just feels like He keeps beating me down. It keeps feeling like no matter what I do lately it is not good enough, or simply not enough.

And instead of feeling closer and more trusting, I feel utter fear and disdain. The One who holds it all in His hands…it feels like He’s crushing me. Bearing down on me. Squeezing out of me all light.

Others have said how strong I am. How I am ‘doing it.’ Doing what? Feeling like I can’t manage this hole inside of me and NO ONE can see, NO ONE actually cares. NO ONE follows up.

There was a time where I would have said that I have a good group of friends. Let’s run down that list, shall we?

C – For over a year I was always the one initiating contact. Since July, NOTHING. Not one phone call that was not a ‘return’.
M – A couple texts, but only 1 or 3 or so calls answered. A smaller number returned. L – Whatever.
M – Alright, I guess. It seems like EVERY phone call is about my dead baby. You’re stuck on this, for we only talk when I am down.
L – When I needed most to talk about mundane things, if I didn’t call you. I didn’t hear from you.
F – Once. Though you might know some of what I have felt.
E – Once.

There are more, but those are the closest, the ones that most come to mind. Though ‘praying for you’ is nice to say it does nothing for the other parts of me.

And I wouldn’t say that I’m losing my faith. More so losing my taste, for the things that disappoint. Continually disappoint.

And all of this, alone and together, makes me feel so very, incredibly, ANGRY.

Up-cap

I feel nauseous all the time now. I thought it was because of  a meeting I was nervous about. I thought it was something I had eaten, too much dairy. I thought it was because I was hungry, tired, had eaten too much. I thought it was because I was worried about an appointment. I thought it was because of the atmosphere at work. I thought and thought and thought…

But, I am still nauseous all the time, now. I am feeling sick to my stomach most moments. I am lost and upset and confused and angry. And sick. to. my. stomach.

And I have never felt so very alone. It’s like people think it has been long enough and things are back to normal. For them, perhaps. But my normal is without a child. My normal has left a hole without measure. And I am so, very nauseous.

It seems that the empathy set aside for grief is gone. When I say I have had a rough day or a hard week, everyone asks, “What happened?” As though they expect a ‘new’ thing to have happened.

“The very same thing that happened before. That thing that both made me a fully recognized mom and member of a group all too forgotten. My son, who I never held in my arms while he still had life in him, was buried just three months ago. That is what happened. Is that so easy to forget?”

Of course, one cannot be that open, that honest with most. One or two, maybe. But not the majority. Not most of the world.

And as a grieve and re-learn how to live life and deal with this never-ending nausea it feels pretty bad to know those around me don’t understand and don’t seem to want to.

 

His lead

This is my husband
reading
Scripture.
This is my husband
leading.
Sometime he reads
while I do other things.
But this is my husband
reading
Scripture.
My heart longs
to follow
this man.
Do I always read when
he does?
No, not often.
But I want to.
And the more I see him
reading
Scripture
the more I want to follow
suit.
This is my husband
reading
Scripture.
This is my husband
leading
well.

Dear son

Today, dear son, I spoke to your grave
and today, dear son, I felt pretty brave
and your dad touched the box you were in, yesterday
and today, dear son, I stood at your grave.

Today, dear son, I admired my body
today, I did, though your Dad always applauds me
and today, the dips and hills swelled softly
and today, dear son, I thanked my whole body.

For the months that it kept you, safe and warm
and the way it protected you, daily from harm
and the way your Dad kissed and oiled o’er your form
and today, dear son, you’re still safe and warm.

Today, dear son, I looked at your plot
and the earth did begot a wondrous thought
and I picked up a rose without blemish or spot
and I laid it back down, beauty on your plot.

Today, dear son, I missed your heartbeat
and I shuffled a little around on my feet
and your face, like your Dad’s, came before me so sweet
and today, dear son, I savored his heartbeat.

Today, dear son, I walked deeper in love
something that I know you know so much of
and today I felt close to the man ‘Richard of’
and today, dear son, I remembered your love.

Today, dear son, I thought of your flutter
and my heart softly uttered, scarce more than a mutter,
“How lovely, how holy the gift hood of mother.”
and today, dear son, I felt such a flutter.

Today, dear son, I woke up with hope
and I prayed such a prayer well before I spoke
and your Dad and I love you with so wide a scope
and today, dear son, you gave me such hope.

Today, dear son, I spoke to your grave
and today, dear son, I felt pretty brave
and your Dad touched the box you were in, yesterday
and today, dear son, I stood at your grave.

July 23, 2015

I picked out what I would wear to bury my son in tonight.
Simple black on black.
I know that he is no longer there, that his body, without his soul is just a symbol.
Yet, it seems wrong to treat his little vessel with anything but the highest respect.
It DID house his soul for a time.
The entire time we had him.
It allowed him to kick and flip and drink and pee.
It kept him here with us. With me.
That little, perfect body, held within it a soul too beautiful to be seen.
How gracious, we can get so close to one another.
He knew Dad’s voice as well as he knew my heartbeat.
And even when his heart slowed to half of mine, it held him.
This little, red housing, held my little boy.
Tighter than I could. Closer than I have yet to hold him.
And while, he lives on in the presence of God, this vessel ties him back to me.
Allows me to visit and think of him often.
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
There is no better place for him.
Not our home. Not Dad’s arms. Not even my womb.
How I wish he were in one of them.
Instead, he is more alive than I have yet become.
And his ten fingered, ten toed, tiny mouthed vessel, is here.
So, I can be as close to him as humanly possibly.
I picked out what I would bury my son in tonight.
As I cuddle up for sleep, holding an identical blanket to the one he will be wrapped in for all time, my heart sorrows within me.
Oh, that I could see his face and touch my lips to him again.
Instead, I clutch this blanket. Hurry my husband to bed. Hope we haven’t forgotten anything. For, in only 12 hours, we will arrive at the site.
Where what remains of Charlie on Earth, will be placed into the ground.
Sealed in a vault, that he may be best preserved.
I chose what I would bury my son in tonight.
And I despise it.
May the Lord continue to show us His grace and shower on us, His peace.