Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stuck in a moment at 4 am

Sometimes grief is a weird thing. It is like running around in a dark room that you are completely familiar with, except that this time someone moved a wall. And you run right into that wall, unexpectedly and painfully and find yourself gasping for breath in your bed at 4 am, when you have to go to work in a few hours, crying uncontrollably and wondering what the hell just happened to you.

After I looked at the clock, I realized it was 4 am, which was the time when Shannon was born. So, was the time significant? I don't think so, the grief I felt was not about her birth, it was about what happened next. It was about the time we spent with her after she was born. The end of the time we spent with her. Knowing that we would never see her again, when is it the right time to let go, to give your baby (your dead baby) to someone who is going to walk away with her and take her somewhere where you will not see her again until you pick up the urn at the funeral home. The person who is going to take your daughter somewhere (where?) into parts of the hospital that regular people don't get to go.

When do you, when can you, let go? How do you decide that it's time? How do you get to the point where you'd rather leave the hospital than stay there with the body of your child, to get away from the hushed voices and the people who walk past your door with the butterfly on it and the doctor who keeps coming in to say he's sorry. How long is too long to stay? When it is better to leave your dead child to return to your living child? The one who doesn't know that his sister is dead, the one who only knows that mommy didn't come home the night before.

Barry Manilow says, "letting go is just another way to say I'll always love you so..." Kate Winslet, in the sappy end to the sappy Titanic, tells her doomed love "I'll never let go." It's all crap.

You never let go, it all keeps coming back. No matter whether you are a day or a week or a year away from that terrible day. Even if you wanted to let go, you can't. And I don't know if I want to. Because I think it is always supposed to hurt on some level.


Lynne said...

You wrote about something I can't imagine doing...letting go for that last time. Reading about it makes it that much more understandable how grief can go on indefinitely and feel as fresh as if things were yesterday. If I feel so bad reading about your loss, just how bad must you be feeling? It's so true - words convey a glimmer but words can't really express just how hard and painful it all is.

Tristansmommy said...

I think your right, we never fully let go. You said everything so perfectly. Big HUGS!! Thank you for saying everything I was feeling today!!

Shannon, be close to mommy always, she loves you with her entire being!!