Friday, May 18, 2007

Looking Back

The uninitiated think that your troubles disappear when the subsequent baby arrives. Really, that is a horrifying thought. Because the idea that one child can replace another is absurd. And it would be to the uninitiated, too, if they gave it any thought.

But life is different now. I need to try to put that difference in words.
When C. died, I saw my world through the fog of grief. For the first six months, I could barely breathe through it. Every single thought/word/step/action was made in the context of grief. I had a son. He died. My heart thumped out that rhythm over and over.

It was as if I was living on some Newfoundland outcrop, enveloped by that pervasive sea fog. Breath in the dampness. Feel it on your skin. Strain your eyes into that whiteness.

You know that something exists on the other side of the fog, but there is no way for you to reach it. You are frozen in time and place.

As time passed, it was easier to bear. There were good people along side of me, peering off the edge of the cliff into the mist. Maybe it was clearing a bit.



As we went through our year of trying to conceive, it was like a smoggy Toronto day. I could see where I was trying to go. But the thick air still hung around me. It wasn't great, but you can live in Toronto. There are good people there. They can be friendly and caring.


Since BB came into our lives, it is so much easier to see through the fog. More like living in the Prairies. Beautiful sunsets. Wide open vistas. The occasional foggy day.

What this doesn't describe is the intensity of pain that I feel. The intensity hasn't diminished much. What has left is the feeling of walking around in a fog of grief all the time. I have a bit of mental clarity back.

Our second child has given me that gift. The gift of clarity, purpose, and joy in my world that was previously defined by mists of confusion and pain.

A Canadian perspective on my current state of grief as we go into this long Victoria Day weekend.

11 comments:

Bronwyn said...

Those pictures are beautiful! And what nice bottoms ;) I'm glad you have some clarity. I guess the fog will always be there, but it's nice to have patches of clear sky...

Cheek said...

The photos and writing in this post are beautiful.

niobe said...

I love your descriptions, especially the one of the Newfoundland fog. And what a great idea for an extended analogy -- it makes your passage through grief so much more concrete, almost tangible.

Still, it's kind of sobering to hear that, at least for you, the intensity of the pain hasn't diminished much.

Julie said...

So very well put. What a beautiful post. (((hugs)))

Lori said...

It's hard to describe what it means to bring a subsequent living child into the world after the loss of another child. I know I have struggled to put that into words before too.

The loss is still there. It still hurts. But there is also this new glorious light in your life that really does help to push the overwhelming darkness away.

kate said...

Happy Victoria Day...i hope you had a nice weekend.

Yes, this is very well written, very well explained...

Ruby said...

Beautiful post and pictures.

Hope said...

I usually lurk, But this post has made me come out of my shell. You pretty much sum up my feelings in this blog. After having 2 births without problems my 3rd birth was awful. I had twin boys. 1 living son and a stillborn son. I did not have the courage to try again, I was a coward and got my tubes tied instead. I miss my son. Yes I have 3 living children but they can't replace Samuel.

AJW5403 said...

This post of yours I could have put in my blog. Very well put what a great post.

Kendra's mom said...

Very well put. We have also decided not to try again. There are days when I wonder if it is the right thing and so many people have tried to convince me that I should try again, but let them first walk in my shoes (heaven forbid) and then say that.

Ben said...

Hi. I came across your blog after doing a search in google.

Your post is beautiful. It describes precisely the journey I feel I am on, as I lost my daughter, Amy Isabel in Sept 2006. She was stillborn at 41 weeks.

Thank you for sharing,
Mary-Lou (Ben's wife)