The sky is a saturated blue, the drying, yellow leaves contrast it with a fiery glow. The sun is strong as it casts out summer heat, despite the date on the calendar. I try to embrace the warmth and the leaves while they last, before long the trees will be bare and snow will tempt the air.
Lately, I feel a nagging feeling in my heart. I do my best to choose happiness when I can, to smile and enjoy the world as it is. I absorb the sun and breathe in the changing wind. I run at dawn and take a moment each day to embrace the sunrise. I work frantically (there is no other way in a Kindergarten) and allow room for humor. I am so often at peace.
But this nagging slips quietly into my heart from time to time, and it tugs at my memories. It has me rereading this very blog, back to one of my first posts, Raw.
I found myself, the other day, inside the sweltering house as the remains of summer danced about outside my window. I leaned over my laptop, poring over the words and details. I recalled writing the first draft of that post on my phone, it was much longer and went into more details about the days following my loss. I depicted breaking into tears in the night, waking up each morning and crying before I could even will myself to get out of bed. Mourning morning sickness. I detailed the horrific pain my body was wracked in following my d & c, a terrific muscle cramping throughout my whole body, a stiffness in my neck and jaw that I was later able to attribute to clenching my entire body during contractions. I focused on the morning I woke up and the physical pain was gone, and suddenly the hurt had multiplied tenfold. It smothered me, I felt I couldn’t breathe. I described how I had told everyone, yes, it’s ok to talk about your baby, no, I don’t need to have a memorial, no, pregnant women don’t bother me. Withing days, I regretted such bold statements as I felt lost, hurt and angry.
I kept this saga on my phone, stored in my notebook, for weeks. Occasionally, I would open it up and reread the story of my battle, and I would ache again. I would connect myself to my pain, as though to make this empty spot feel real. To put a name to this unease in my heart that whispers to me that my scars are showing.
So, as I found myself reminding myself of all the vicious details of my bitter loss, I wondered, and still wonder, what has triggered this slip into solemnity? For so long I’ve felt so positive, so happy, confident in my ability to regain my life. I’ve been content and calm, and balanced.
Perhaps it’s the changing leaves, the signal that this time is over that steers me to reflect again on my own crucial time that ended so quickly. I wrote, recently, about my connection to pain in the days and weeks after I lost the baby, and depicted how I am taking a stand against it, refusing to live under her weight. I still feel like I am accomplishing that goal, I am not a slave to pain.
But, even as time moves on and I move on, I am not the same. I am strong, now, but the broken places still show and those spots where the glue has dried and chipped fragments are missing, those spots still throb. I am here, I am not swallowed up by my experience, but the truth is, it is still raw. It still hurts, after all this time.
It still brings tears to my eyes and a hurtful shudder to my heart. As I read, vision blurred by tears, I clutched at my stomach and found nothing there, so I clutched at my necklace, the firefly charm in my baby’s honor.
I wasn’t wearing it that day.
So, I found myself clutching at my heart, as it beat relentlessly in my throat. It pounded out a mournful song, each thud echoing “gone, gone, gone”.
It still hurts, because she’s still gone.
And so, I see, it always will.