Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Life Is

These past few days have been hard.

Reminders of what I have lost are everywhere.  Little girls with dark curly hair, pregnant women, families delighting in their children -- all of these things bring not only a fresh assault of grief, but also visceral physical pain.  I feel like I am being knifed in the gut.  My mouth flaps like a landed fish, lungs aching for air.  I cannot breathe deeply enough.

My throat is always raw, my eyes always aching.  There is no end to the tears.  Even when I am falling on my Father as I should, I cry and cry and cry.  Even when I take comfort in the fact that He understands better than anyone, that He was babylost, too -- even as I run to Him, I know that the pain will not leave.

Not that I want it to.

Everyday I feel like I am shrinking.  I feel lonely, yet fall prey to anxiety when I spend time with others.  I wonder what my place in this world is.  When I was pregnant, I felt like I had become a woman at last.  Now I am a mother, but I gave birth only to death.  Am I still a woman?  Where do I fit in between the new moms and older moms and singles and young couples and grandparents?  There is not space for people like me.

And then along comes the shame.  I see, everywhere, women who are carrying their sons and daughters within them, sons and daughters that will most likely be born and live and grow old before they die.  These women, they remind me of my failure.  Although I know that Eve's death was not my fault, even though I have been reassured again and again and again that there was no cause for her death, nothing that I or anyone could have done to save her -- although I know these things, I feel shame.  My body did not work.  I am a mother who is mother only to the dead.

Sometimes I feel that the people around me who know ours story wonder what I did wrong.  Wonder if I killed my daughter.

I know that I can't help what people might think, might wonder.  But it hurts.  Because how could they not wonder?  It's too senseless of a thing to believe.

And yet it's the truth -- my daughter died, and we don't know why, no one can tell us why.  She was born perfect, but she was born dead. I want to know why, but I can't know why.  There is no answer that anyone but God can give, and He's not saying.

And so, there is the shame.  I can fight it off most days, most nights.  But not today.

Last night I dreamed of the moment my husband showed my daughter's body to me.  Again and again I relived it, the moment when I first knew that this horror was forever.  When I saw her bonnet covered head nestled too still, too quietly, in the crook of her father's elbow.  I dreamed of this moment last night, over and over and over.

I awoke bathed in her death.  I cannot stop reliving it.


  1. Oh Beth. I'm sorry you have to be in this place. I'm sorry you have to face what you're having to face. I wish I could take your pain from you so you didn't have to face grief. You know you're in my thoughts and prayers. ((hugs))

  2. This one hit home and brought tears to my own eyes.

  3. Beth, I think that you're wrong about there not being space for "people like you". I think every day, one blog post at at time you are creating space. Space for someone to come and read and understand and feel less alone. I am one hundred percent sure that NO ONE looks and you thinks that you did something WRONG and that's why you lost Eve. I know answers won't come to you and the one thing you really want to know is why. I'm so sorry for your loss and I wish I had more than just these words. I wish I could sit with you and hear your voice and make you tea and show you, prove to you that you are NOT to blame and that no one blames you. How could you possibly have loved her or wanted her more? I can't even imagine the feelings of grief and despair and loss - but can you feel the strength? You are SO strong to put these words out there. To admit to the shame, to speak of the pain. I hope tomorrow it a better day.

  4. dearest beth,
    i know there is nothing i could say that would ease your pain--there are just no words, except maybe Jesus’ words. may you feel that you are not alone and your journey and your sharing of it, the way you so willingly allow yourself to be vulnerable in this space--this is such a beautiful sacrificial offering to God and to your brothers and sisters in Christ. i, for one, am humbled as i read your words of struggle, of pain, of faith in the midst of the storm. i hope with you for the life to come, when all shall be made right and death has lost it's sting. hugs to you, dear one.

  5. Thank you so much, Jan. Love to you.

  6. [...] if I was having nightmares, specifically repetitive ones.  I told her that yes, I’ve had a few.  Then I told her how I have been experiencing anxiety and small panic attacks, especially when [...]


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