This year is almost over, already. Is it ridiculous to say that I don't want it to end? But that would also be a lie, when all I want is to jump into next year and find something happier, something easier, something less painful than this year has been.
I've come to the end of my journal as well. Usually it's enlightening and rather amusing to go back and read through it, and see how far I've come and what all has happened. I tend to write some ridiculous things that should never be seen or read aloud! But this time... this time my hands shake and my eyes blur and sometimes I can't get through half an entry before dropping the little spiral bound notebook and holding my head.
"May 24, 2011
...I want you to know beautiful music. I want you to be familiar with all of the great classical composers and their many thousands upon thousands of works. I want you to fall asleep to Andrea Boccelli, Sarah Brightman, Celtic Women. I want to dance with you to the music of my heritage - fiddling! In all of it's glorious forms from Jerry Holland, Jennifer Roland, Winston Fitzgerald... Oh, I can't even think of all the music I want you to know!
Lovely child of mind, I'm so looking forward to getting to know you. Learning your language, personality, characteristics... you're a whole new person, yet made up of your daddy and I. I want to be the best mother on earth, even though I know that's impossible. I want you to love us as much as we're going to love you."
I couldn't even fathom my own joy. Yes, I was hellishly exhausted, but I felt as if we'd been chosen out of all the humans in existence to do something special, something big; to change the world with this baby. We were, at the same time, terrified. Everything was going to change, our lives would always be different. We would never be just David and Charisa again, but that was okay. We'd have a little Christmas baby all our own, to gush over and love and screw up in our own perfect way.
"June 18, 2011
I've carried you in my body for 14 weeks. Fourteen weeks today. I've never felt you move... never heard your heart beating... but I have loved you. Oh! how I love you! I knew you were there by the soft swell of my belly, the heightened sense of smell because there were two of us now, the exhaustion I felt as my body gave all of it's energy to you. You, my baby, needed it to be strong and healthy, to grow and develop. I knew I loved you by the dreams which filled my heart. Dreams of your tiny hands around my fingers, dreams of your perfect little body in your daddy's arms... I love you because you are made of both your daddy and me. You are the perfect combination of our love together... My first baby; full of every potential and every good thing. I love you so!
But yesterday the doctor told us that your heart was not beating; your life is not there. He was so cold and abrupt that it made me disbelieve him. He can't be right - I know you're inside me, wiggling and swimming and growing. As David and I just stared at him, stunned beyond words, he let a flurry of medical terms fly at us and eventually made some form of a condolence. And that was it.
I saw you in the ultrasound. You looked so tiny and lost and still, your little chest dark and vacant where a heartbeat should be radiating off the screen. I wanted to hold you and shake life into your barely-formed body. I could see your perfect head and tiny spine connecting with wee little arms and legs. How could you look so complete, and yet be missing so much?"
As I died in the face of the harshest loss I've ever known, I knew that nothing would ever be the same after this. I knew that this grief was cutting an eternal gash in my soul, and all kinds of buried issues would come to light. I knew that David and I were changed, and that the bliss we'd had for two years had come to an abrupt and violent end.
I was unprepared for the immense feeling of failure, the doubts that I would never be a good mother. How could I be, when my baby was inches from my fingertips and I had no idea - no premonition, no instinct that he was in trouble? The agonizing helplessness as I waited for nature to finish the process. The anger at needing medical intervention after 3 weeks of waiting; I couldn't even end the damn process on my own. Looking back, I know it's because we were both too stubborn. I wasn't ready in the slightest to let go of my child.
Hell sucks. Grieving sucks. Grieving while going through hell sucks.The depth of insanity I fell into cannot be described, and I couldn't escape it. Healing has been slow, so slow in coming. Every relationship in my life has suffered, especially my marriage. It's unfair that in the midst of grieving when you should be leaning on each other for strength, you're both too shattered to even sit on your own.
But though healing is slow, it has come. Quietly, carefully, almost invisibly at times. We've lost everything, been stripped down to skeletal framework, and lived somewhere below rock bottom. Yet, as the Psalmist cries "You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side." Ps. 71:20,21
I don't want to face Christmas without a newborn baby. I want to be terrified that next year wont be better. I don't want to leave this year - the year that we became parents. But none of that really matters, because time wont stop for the grieving. And in a way that's a good thing. If we stopped here, we could never find the beautiful things up ahead.