How Can A Mother Ever Breath Again?

September 19, 2008

In short – you don’t.

Not the same way you did when your child was alive.

I finally sat down and watched “One Tree Hill” last night (don’t judge me, at least it’s not “American Idol” or “Dancing With the Stars” and you know you watch trashy TV too).  I have been a fan of the show for a while but this episode was about grief and loss.  I knew it would be a tough one and I debated whether to watch.  Since hubby was at karate tonight, I decided to sit down and see how far I got with the episode.

That line, “how can a mother ever breath again?” is brilliant.  It’s brilliant because it’s true.  I can’t explain to you what this pain feels like.  I can’t articulate how somedays the pain sits right in the middle of my throat and I am lucky if I can eat or drink or speak.  I used to watch shows like this and think, “gosh, that’s awful and so sad” but now, now I know.  I know.  I hate that I know.*

And in someways, I think I am lucky.  My children didn’t died in front of me.  They didn’t suffer, there was no illness, no accident, I didn’t have to “pull a plug,” there was no horrible malpractice, there is no one to blame.  They just died.  It’s hard to say that still, 5-6 months later.  They died.  They are no more in the physical world, only my heart.  There is no tomorrow for them.  But there is something comforting in the quickness and gentleness of it.  That’s what we members of the “Stillborn Sorority” do, we find solace in things that normal, regular, non-grief stricken people would never think about.  It’s a form of acceptance that borders on a secret handshake and is ridiculously morbid in the real world.

So I don’t breath the same way I did before I lost them but I am still breathing.  Some days it’s harder than others but I have come to the realization that I will be able to survive this.  That’s more than I could say 6 months ago – even just 2 months ago.  I literally felt that I would never be able to move forward, that I would be “stuck” here in this vast deep, dark ocean of grief. 

But honestly, I am scared at how quiet I have gotten.  Do you remember that scene in “Steel Magnolias” at Shelby’s funeral when Maylin loses it?  She freaks out, she screams that “no, this isn’t happening.  Why?” and she starts to tear at her hair and get angry.  Do you remember that scene?  Well, I can tell you, that’s grief.  That’s new, raw, painful grief.  I have done that.  Thrown pillows, hit walls, screamed.  Done it all.

But now?  Now I am quiet.  I am sad and lonely and angry but I don’t scream and cry like I used to.  I’m just quiet.  I go to yoga and acupuncture and I live my life but I am still so sad and so lost.  I don’t know if this quietness is good or not.

But quiet or not, good or bad, I am breathing again.


*Yes, I know it’s make believe but it’s still very realistic.  I am many things but delusional is not one of them – yet.


3 Responses to “How Can A Mother Ever Breath Again?”

  1. KB Says:

    Interesting that you just wrote this, Sis. I kind of wrote something similar only my writing is never concise like yours and I always have a little more tone of angst. 😉

    For a while, too, I sort of felt like I needed to hang onto to cling to that rage – the throwing, yelling, breaking and sobbing. I felt like if I wasn’t rolling around in those intense feelings and letting them thoroughly run their course I just might be betraying my baby.

    I also wanted to give the feelings their time b/c Lord knows I don’t want a “complicated greif process” that shows back up in 20 years. It is bad enough hainv grief and loss – I didn’t want it to become “complicated” right!

    I get what you mean by quiet – still sad and mad,yet quiet.

    I also get the “stuck” – I was a little stuck earlier this week, asking (yelling and crying) to my husband, “How am I supposed to live knowing this – having had this experience!!!???” I felt like, “I can’t. It won’t happen. Living will end. All living must end.”

    But…then you/I/we move through it. And living goes on, differently, but it goes on.

    I think quiet is OK. I think it is time for a little quiet. Let’s try and just savor this little bit of quiet while it is here.

    Excellent post – thank you for sharing! XO Katie
    PS Also let’s savor quiet b/c when we do get pregnant again we just might be hysterical. 🙂

  2. i love steel magnolias. in fact, they were showing it on tv a few weeks ago and i was getting nervous anticipating when shelby dies because i always cry at that part.

    this time, though, i cried even harder when maylin got angry – that same scene you were talking about! i feel just like she did at that moment.

    i wouldn’t worry about the quiet. even though it doesn’t feel like it, you’re getting further in your healing process because you don’t feel the need to scream and shout. i had a period of quiet as well, and i even started feeling guilty because i felt like if i wasn’t reacting like that, then it means that i don’t care anymore or didn’t care as much. now i know that it’s normal to move on. you’ll never forget your sons, but in time, you will be able to make some sense of this all.

  3. Gretchen Says:

    I hope it’s not the calm before the storm.

    I think you are moving forward in your grief and one day, you will breathe again. I think though, that you will never breathe the same as before your boys graced you with thier lives, as short as they were. I still love you and continue to pray for your healing (and Tim’s too!).

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