Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sometimes, when I look back

Sometimes, when I look back on that day and the days that followed, I feel this incredible sadness.  Not only for you and what you went through, not for the fact that you died and being without you, but also for my own life, my own heart, for Chris' life.  The pain, hurt, loss and heartbreak during the month before you died, your death, and the time afterwards, is just so horrifying that this happened. And to me, my son, my husband.

I tell myself that there are much worse things that happen to millions of people every day.  When I compare our situation to all the suffering around us, we have so much to be grateful for - the love and support we received from family and friends, the knowledge that you knew nothing but love from those around you, and that you died peacefully.  I try not to get weighed down feeling sorry for myself that such a terrible thing happened to my first child.  But I don't deny that pain.  To deny it would minimize or take away from the joy and happiness that you brought us for almost 8 months.  The fact that other people suffer does not take away what we went through.  I allow myself to feel compassion and sadness of your loss. That my heart can break, over and over again, and still continue to beat, to have the capacity to love, is amazing.
If you're really listening, if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.” - Andrew Harvey

I worry about my grief sometimes, I try to push it aside, bury it beneath busy days, distractions, responsibilities.  But, somehow, the grief finds it way to the surface.  If not acknowledged, it will fester and enter the dark places of my heart.  Slowly, I am finding ways to recognize my grief and be comfortable with how it changes.  There hasn't been a day that I don't think about you, and I am comforted knowing that you are always with me.  I am thankful that you are our little angel.

I miss you, Nico.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bits of gratitide amidst many tears

Four months ago today I delivered my son  at St. Joe's Hospital.  I held his body in my arms and saw him for the first/last time.  After 20 hours of labor and 4 weeks of anxiety and fear, little Nico left this world before really ever having a chance to see it.  I still cannot believe it's been 4 months.  I sometimes cannot believe that I've made it through today, still walking and working and living and breathing and sometimes even laughing.  I can go back to that day and the days prior like it was just yesterday and I'm flooded with the same feelings of sadness and grief.  We have a long journey ahead of us, but we're getting there.

We just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, a time of giving thanks, a time of being thankful.  But I kept thinking "I cannot be thankful, there is nothing only emptiness and sadness."  How do we begin to celebrate this day when my son is dead?  What goodness is there in my life to be thankful for right now? 

But as I really think about those questions, I find that I still feel blessed and lucky.  As I look back at these past 4 months and see that both Mr. C and I have survived this time mainly  because of the love and kindness shown by our friends, family and each other.  I have friends who I can call and just cry to and they understand, I don't have to apologize.  I have a husband who has been by my side and never left, although it was scary and we were in unchartered territory.  We have a family who is loving and kind and supportive and gentle.  We are truly lucky and blessed and I'm thankful for the prayers for peace and healing.

Nico's death has changed me in profound ways.  I don't know what the road ahead will look like, but I don't think I'll ever be the same as before he died.

I know that my sufferings since Nico's death will be endless, life continues and our story is still to be told.  But I hold on to the love and community and those little blessings in life, for which I am grateful.

. . So you must not be frightened
if a sadness rises before you larger
than any you’ve ever seen, if an
anxiety like light and cloud shadows
moves over your hands and
everything that you do. You must
realize that something has happened
to you. Life has not forgotten
you, it holds you in its hands
and will not let you fall. Why do
you want to shut out of your life
any uneasiness, any miseries, or
any depressions? For after all, you
do not know what work these conditions
are doing inside of you.
                                - Rainer Maria Rilke