From my journal, 7.26.10:
I feel the anxiety rising up within, and I feel my heart so heavy, I can hardly hold it up.
I am haunted by the failed attachment between the uterus and the placenta. What is that a metaphor for? Was I not welcoming enough? hospitable enough? embracing enough? Were we not seated enough in our marriage, only months old? Were we not settled enough in our home? Not focused enough on the pregnancy because so much else was going on? The space quickly fills with all of these voices of blame.
From the lofty heights of my view of the broad sweep of eternity, I fell into a pit of guilt and anxiety. My sadness was also there, under the surface, too big to even begin to feel. I had nightmares almost every night that first month, and I went through the motions, just barely hanging on. I felt simultaneously smothered by the heaviness and completely unmoored, unprotected and disoriented.
Hardest of all was this strong sense that my body had failed me, failed Halia, failed us all. There was no comfort in a deep breath, there was no comfort in yoga or stretching, or in any of the other ways I had learned to relax and soothe myself. I often felt like the hairs on my back were standing on end, just like a cat's. I was in a perpetual state of fear. I found it so, so difficult to be with myself. Torture, really.
When I finally gave some airtime to the gremlin voices, to the haunting questions, they did lose a little of their power, but even that did not offer much comfort. Instead, I was faced with admitting to how little I control. I had to acknowledge the mystery: the great, great mystery of this death, of death itself.
Meanwhile, it was summer, and I found that I was not always in the pit of despair, especially when summer beckoned with the joys of going to the beach, of camping by a peaceful lake, and most of all of spending time with G, who although also sad and bewildered at times, mainly just wanted to enjoy his summer.
One lasting memory from our camping trip: James, G and his friend all frolicking happily in the lake while I was forced to remain onshore because of a new round of unwelcome bleeding. I moped a while, but then in a moment of grace, I took out James' set of watercolor crayons and a small piece of paper and played. It was a moment of discovery, learning how to use water with the crayons, and for just a moment I dared to enjoy myself again.
Day 27 of 31, 24 Cheshvan 5774