Friday, February 29, 2008

31,020 minutes, and counting

Shannon was born three weeks ago today. 31,020 minutes ago (give or take a few minutes). She lived for 17w5d or 177,120 minutes. As they say in Rent, how do you measure the life of a woman or man?

When your child dies, you no longer measure your time in days or hours, but in your minutes. You can go from laughing to crying in mere seconds, and then find something to laugh about again. Time slows down to the point where three weeks has seemed like an entire lifetime to me. My birth experience, and the time I had with my little girl seems like it happened so long ago, but it only happened three weeks ago. I don't know if the altering of time is a defense mechanism that your mind creates to distance you from the intense pain of losing a child, or if it is just another manifestation of the surreal world that people who lose a child find themselves living in. Because no matter how long ago it all seems in my mind, my heartbreak and my tears over the loss of Shannon are right there, just mere seconds away.

Other people's 'everyday' makes no sense to me anymore and doesn't interest me much either. My 'everyday' now consists of integrating how I deal with the loss of my child into everything else that I have to accomplish to continue to be a functioning member of society and to meet my obligations to my job and my family. Most of the rest of it is complete and utter BS and a waste of my time to bother with.

I thought that I would know that I was alright when I had some control over when the tears come out but that isn't it. Maybe some part of me will never be alright, because my life has been altered in a permanent and unfixable sort of way. It is so easy to understand how a person who has suffered a loss can just shut down or not get out of bed, or just have no life left in them or not want to cook or clean or care. It is because there is no bottom to the well that moms like me fall into when their baby dies. There is no bottom to the sorrow or the anger that we are capable of feeling for ourselves and others who have been through a similar loss. But, minute by minute, we all work our way forward to the new reality that is our lives after loss.

No comments: