Monday, December 19, 2011


I'm exhausted today, less drained perhaps than years past, but more drained than I thought I'd be given how "well" the day went.

Yes, yesterday was manageable for the most part. We actually went out in the evening. To a holiday party. And it was okay. In some ways having something to do helped, and it was hosted by my first ever babylost friend so it somehow felt safe.

Just before bed, Brian asked me what we did after Henry died when we left the hospital. I told him we went to his parents house. We ate meatloaf. My parents, his parents, and his brother were there. I think this is true, but it could be a false memory or a mixed up one from some other time. We ate meatloaf and then we went to bed in his sister's old room.

He talked about how sick he'd been, how sick so much of our family had gotten.

Then I mentioned standing by the door at the hospital, waiting for a ride, and he said he remembered that. I didn't know, couldn't remember if he was there with me or not. I felt so separate from everything around me.

Then we said goodnight and he rolled over and then I felt myself break, the shattering I had expected at any point during the day. Before I was waiting by that door, I walked out of a door upstairs. I left by baby, just his body by then, on the bed with a nurse. I walked down a long hall, took an elevator, and stood there, arms empty.

I put him down and I left. And I don't know how I did that, how I came to have to do that, how this is my life, how he is not here.

I split open and everything flooded out. I didn't cry long. Today I didn't have that crying hangover of stuffy head and puffy eyes. I was just tired. I wanted to curl up and take a nap, and perhaps if we didn't have Christmas to celebrate with Brian's family and if I didn't have an insane deadline tomorrow, we might have taken turns getting a chance to do that. But it—life, the world—doesn't stop because I'm grieving, because I'm wiped out and need a break. It never did, never will. (But man, wouldn't it be nice if it did?)

I'm more than halfway through December. I got through the worst day and it's aftermath, tired, but standing. (And every kind word I've received has helped keep me standing and opening to the joy and light that shines alongside my darkness. Really. Thank you.)


  1. Oh yes, wouldn't it be good if we could hit pause on the world and get on with our grief, I long for that.
    I often wonder too, how we left Florence, handed her over (three times in all), when every part of me wanted to clutch her to my chest and run away.
    Still sending you love and peace for the holidays. x

  2. "I put him down and I left. And I don't know how I did that, how I came to have to do that, how this is my life, how he is not here."

    I don't get it either. I don't expect I ever will. Just so unbelievable, for us all.


  3. Oh how I wish that nobody came to have to do that, to walk away from their baby. Their baby's body. It is an awful, awful thing to have to do. And so strange how memories from that time can be so confused and broken up. I find myself asking my husband what happened at various points, even now.

    I wish that you could have had that break, I wish that life and the world would stop. Just for a little while.

    Thinking of you and your family as the rest of this month passes xo

  4. The aftermath is hard, too. I hope you get a break in some form, soon, even if it's a small one. Good luck on the deadline.

    I wish no one had to do this, not in all the history of the world. I don't know how you did it. I suspect, when I did it, it had a lot to do with shock and exhaustion - that's the only thing that comes close to making sense. But I do really feel like I left a part of me, another me, there with him. Holding him. Forever. Maybe that's how we do it?

  5. Wow, that sentence " I left my baby, just his body by then, on the bed with a nurse. I walked down a long hall, took an elevator, and stood there, arms empty." I did the exact same thing. I often wonder how I did that. Was I in shock? Should I have waited there longer? The ride in the elevator was pure torture. All of the "normal" people coming and going. My husband and I holding a boppy and a diaper bag. I can't imagine the looks on our faces. Surely people knew just by looking at us. I relive those moments too. Actually I was doing that just last night. I wish my mind went a little easier on me.

  6. It is hard to remember ... both knowing what is a true memory and feeling the force of emotion that otherwise is so safely tucked away. I'm glad your grief was kinder to you this year. Missing Henry with you.

  7. I like Erica's idea, that there's an old self of ours still there, still holding our babies. That works really well for me. It's quite unbelievable that this is real, still.

    Sending you a huge hug and lots of love as you make your way through the rest of this month.