Friday, October 1, 2010

This is a blog about living with loss...well I guess it's about a lot of things and maybe nothing really...

I woke up this morning realizing that I am not me anymore. I don't even look like me. I have days where life seems almost normal but not my normal, like I skipped over into a parallel universe and I am living a life that is almost exactly like mine but not really. I would have liked to stay where Stevie never died but I guess this me would still be here in this hurting place.

For me everything broke when Stevie left. It started cracking when she was diagnosed but I was able to hold us together with hope and make-a-wish trips, I was able to pretend for both of us, for all of us that we just needed this journey to bring us closer to something bigger and at the end of the road would be a healthy kid who endured this gigantic thing and someday it would be her story to tell. I never let myself truly believe that I would be sitting in front of a computer writing my story, well her story, our story.

For those of you who have not lost a child...

I understand that losing a pet, a friend, a grandparent or even an aging parent is difficult, painful and has it's own process, but losing a child is a different animal. I am not saying my grief is more than yours, if you have ever lost someone you love grief is grief but again this breaking is something different it has to do with the order of things, it's primal, it goes against what we are made out of as mothers.

Unfortunately I know a lot of mothers who have a lost a child who have also lost a husband, parent, and or best friend and they say that the loss of a child feels like your own death.

Forgive the drama but anyone who is a parent has had the scary dreams, the worries, the emergency room visits what I am going through is the thing you fear most. We are designed to protect and love our children it is so much a part of who we are that we can not really separate ourselves from them completely even when they have children of thier own.

When your child dies a part of you dies. For some people all of you dies, life is too unbearable. I understand that level of pain, all of us who have lost a child do. If you havn't I am betting that it isn't too hard to imagine.

My point is that life breaks when the your child takes her last breath, you break, and I am not sure you ever really recover from that, I think it's permanant. I know a woman who I connected with when Stevie was having radiation, her 8 year old son did not survive treatment and I watched her die, her skin changed color, her eyes her voice and the way she walked. She lost her ability to dream, to hope, to want anything, her will was destroyed. She now has chronic pain, does not leave the house unless she has to and has become invisable in her home.

There is a spectrum to this as there is with all things, I am broken but I endure because I am designed to. That does not mean I don't crash and burn, I think it's what saves me. I honor my grief. That is hard for some people to understand, they think OK you lost a kid but you have the rest of your life to live, you have other children at some point you get over it and get back to business. They grow tired of this new you that isn't as much fun, that doesn't laugh at the old jokes, that might not find the little things important anymore. You have joined a club they would never want to pay the dues to join. They need you to be you, thier friend but you have changed in a way that they can not understand.

I had an event at my store, it was big and wild and it was a great distraction but I found it hard to be there 100%. I had dinner out with wonderful and interesting people but I felt the need to fade into the background when my default is to be front and center.

Is this growth? Is this new me going to be a better me, a stronger and more certain me or am I turning into my own kind of ghost?

It is all about changes, I have shed my old self and new skin is growing, I am turning into a different person. I am excited and frightened. This new me will have to be strong because I will always carry my daughter inside me, every memory, every morning, every whispered secret, the smell of her, all of her.

I want the old me back, I want my daughter back, I want to time travel back to a place where cancer had not knocked down the door. What I have is this and I am learning to live with broken, learning to accept change, trying very very hard to understand that my grief will always be a part of me but it does not have to be all of me.

18 comments:

Jessica said...

G, this concept "It's against the nature of things for a mother to lose her child; the parents go first" is SO recent. Just 100, 150 years ago, almost within living memory, what was rare was for a family NOT to have lost a child. It was commonplace. It was dreaded but expected.

Even my mother's generation -- she was born in 1908 -- had a saying, "Nurse the baby through the second summer." That way the baby drank clean, sterile breast milk instead of the bacteria-ridden water and milk of the time.

It's obvious that this has tremendously affected the way mothers feel about their children. We expect them to survive. Now the rare thing IS for a child to die. Now it does seem "against nature". It seems "primal" for a mother to feel that way. But it isn't.

Jessica said...

How did our great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, and ancestresses all the way back endure the grief? We know that they looked on babies differently. Even today, very orthodox Jews don't sit shiva for a baby in its first month because it's not really considered "live born" until it has survived its first month. So much can go wrong, and until just the last 60 or so years could not be fixed, that you waited to see if a baby would survive not just birth but the first few weeks.

My sister's oldest son wouldn't have. He was born with the muscle at the bottom of his stomach closed so that food didn't get into his gut (pyloric stenosis). He got an Apgar score of 10-10 (the highest possible) when he was born, but within a few days he was projectile vomiting all his milk because it went into his stomach but not his gut, and was not digested. Just 100 years ago he would have died.

Jessica said...

I would have died of thyroid cancer in my youth so I wouldn't have had any kids. My mother would have gone through that grief: losing a child to thyroid cancer at 12, 14, 14, maybe older (it's slow-growing).

She did lose a baby born just a few weeks premature, same as Jackie Kennedy's election-year baby. They both died of lung immaturity that is easily dealt with today. My mother's baby was born in the 1930s, Jackie's baby was born in 1961 IIRC.

Jessica said...

In Japan, babies just before and just after birth are called "water babies" -- still on that fragile drifting edge between a baby that grows and survives, and a baby that has congenital problems, or that gets an infection or some other sickness, and dies.

So common, worldwide and through time, in the millenia before public health was taken for granted: safe drinking water, food, medical care which we all take for granted now, almost all over the world (things haven't changed much in sub-Saharan Africa and other wretchedly poor countries though).

But is it different with babies? After all, you don't really know a baby the way you knew Stevie after 19 years. Miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, loss of a newborn -- they're all crushingly sad but can't be as dreadful as losing a child you've known and loved for years.

But losing even an older or an adult child, especially a girl, was also common 100, 150 years ago. Women died like flies in childbirth from the Renaissance onward -- as soon as midwives (who were quite clean in their work) were replaced by male doctors for delivering babies. Male doctors would come from the sickbed or the operating room to the childbirth bed with their coats sticky with blood, their hands filthy, and stick those dirty hands up into a woman's womb, introducing bacteria that resulted in childbirth fever. And women died. As many as a third of middle and upper-class women, who used doctors. died in childbirth. (Ironically, poor women who could only afford midwives did better.) Read about Dr. Semmelweiss in Vienna who grasped that you can transmit sickness from one patient to another, and can stop it by simply washing your hands. His fellow doctors laughed at him. It wasn't until a century or so later that the importance of cleanliness was grasped in medicine. And the the antibiotics were discovered in WW II, and the entire face of medicine changed.

Jessica said...

But poor women died too, of infection (childbed fever, milk fever) and of other things, as they do in childbirth in the third world today. "Unsafe motherhood", as the World Health Organizaation calls it, is still a killer of millions of women, and we are still fighting it.

Obstructed labor, infection, hyperemesis gravidarum, a hundred other things.

And of course these women die in their late teens and early 20s, and most have (had, in our world 100 or 150 years ago) mothers who had to survive the loss. As did / do their other children.

Men died of wounds, broken bones, a hundred work-related causes. Everyday life causes like infection, diptheria, cholera. My own grandfather fell from a horse in his early 20s in 1911. He broke some bones when the horse stepped on him, and got some abrasions and probably internal injuries. Within three days he was dead, leaving a wife and 3 little children behind him, before Social Security or life insurance. And he also left a mother, who had managed to survive the birth of two or three children -- at least one of whom did not survive her. But it was not unusual.

Today, those wounds would have been treated in the ER and he probably would have been home in three days, happily on the road to survival.

Jessica said...

I've always heard the stories of the effects of these deaths on my grandmother and mother and her brother and sister -- but my great-grandmother also experienced the grief of the death of her young son. But at least she shared that grief with huge numbers of other mothers. Did that make it easier? It was certainly different.

I'm just telling you all this, G, because I always read, here and elsewhere, this taken-for-granted statement, "It's against nature for a child to go before its parents" -- and it's not. It's a great and wonderful gift of the public health and medical care of the last 100 or so years.

On the other hand, it's made the loss of a child something so rare and therefore so difficult to experience, because it is so rare and so few women have gone through it, that it's changed how we think about children and their lives and deaths and how they affect us as their mothers.

Jessica said...

My daughter-in-law is having my first and probably only grandchild in 19 weeks. None of us even think about the possibility that she might die -- about 4 million babies are born each year in the US, and perhaps 250 or 300 women die.

Bot she has hyperemesis gravidarum -- extreme, severe "morning" sickness that lasts all day. She's gone to the ER several times because she had to be rehydrated. She couldn't keep even fluids down and her blood electrolytes were getting dangerously unbalanced. Her heartbeat was becoming irregular, as happens when the electrolyte balance gets out of whack. Just 100, 150 years ago she would have gone into shock, her heart would have stopped and her organs failed and she would have died -- as Charlotte Bronte (the author of Jane Eyre) did die. (She lived as a spinster for about 35 years, "finally" got married, and died during her first pregnancy of HG.)

Today she wouldn't even have been considered a particularly old mother -- although her doctors would have called her an "elderly primigravida" as they did me when I had my first baby at 29. Today she would have been treated like my D-I-L -- she goes to the ER, gets a bag or two of fluids, and goes home feeling sick, but basically healthy and certainly not about to die. Nobody expects anything but a completed pregnancy and a healthy baby despite the HG.

Going back to Charlotte Bronte -- her mother was long dead -- in childbirth -- but if she hadn't been, she would have experienced the death of her mid-30s (i.e. young, today) daughter and unborn grandchild. Today, I don't even worry about it. We do occasionally have concerns about the baby, but not that seriously.

Anyway, I'm sorry to have written so much. It just hurts me to see women grieving, as something unnatural, an event that was commonplace, dreaded, but almost expected so recently. It is, sadly, natural for parents to outlive a child or two. Jane Austen's immediate family was considered especially rare and fortunate in the late 1700s because her mother had several chiidren and all of them lived to adulthood.

She did not, however, escape the death of Jane at age 41, when her mother was in her early 70s. Or the deaths of two sons, one at sea and one of sickness, when she was much younger than that (they were in their 20s and 30s, so she would have been in her 40s-50s, maybe very early 60s). And again -- none of them would have died today because they would have gone to the doctor, been diagnosed and treated, and survied.

Jessica said...

My daughter-in-law is having my first and probably only grandchild in 19 weeks. None of us even think about the possibility that she might die -- about 4 million babies are born each year in the US, and perhaps 250 or 300 women die.

Bot she has hyperemesis gravidarum -- extreme, severe "morning" sickness that lasts all day. She's gone to the ER several times because she had to be rehydrated. She couldn't keep even fluids down and her blood electrolytes were getting dangerously unbalanced. Her heartbeat was becoming irregular, as happens when the electrolyte balance gets out of whack. Just 100, 150 years ago she would have gone into shock, her heart would have stopped and her organs failed and she would have died -- as Charlotte Bronte (the author of Jane Eyre) did die. (She lived as a spinster for about 35 years, "finally" got married, and died during her first pregnancy of HG.)

Today she wouldn't even have been considered a particularly old mother -- although her doctors would have called her an "elderly primigravida" as they did me when I had my first baby at 29. Today she would have been treated like my D-I-L -- she goes to the ER, gets a bag or two of fluids, and goes home feeling sick, but basically healthy and certainly not about to die. Nobody expects anything but a completed pregnancy and a healthy baby despite the HG.

Going back to Charlotte Bronte -- her mother was long dead -- in childbirth -- but if she hadn't been, she would have experienced the death of her mid-30s (i.e. young, today) daughter and unborn grandchild. Today, I don't even worry about it. We do occasionally have concerns about the baby, but not that seriously.

Anyway, I'm sorry to have written so much. It just hurts me to see women grieving, as something unnatural, an event that was commonplace, dreaded, but almost expected so recently. It is, sadly, natural for parents to outlive a child or two. Jane Austen's immediate family was considered especially rare and fortunate in the late 1700s because her mother had several chiidren and all of them lived to adulthood.

She did not, however, escape the death of Jane at age 41, when her mother was in her early 70s. Or the deaths of two sons, one at sea and one of sickness, when she was much younger than that (they were in their 20s and 30s, so she would have been in her 40s-50s, maybe very early 60s). And again -- none of them would have died today because they would have gone to the doctor, been diagnosed and treated, and survied.

Jessica said...

My daughter-in-law is having my first and probably only grandchild in 19 weeks. None of us even think about the possibility that she might die -- about 4 million babies are born each year in the US, and perhaps 250 or 300 women die.

Bot she has hyperemesis gravidarum -- extreme, severe "morning" sickness that lasts all day. She's gone to the ER several times because she had to be rehydrated. She couldn't keep even fluids down and her blood electrolytes were getting dangerously unbalanced. Her heartbeat was becoming irregular, as happens when the electrolyte balance gets out of whack. Just 100, 150 years ago she would have gone into shock, her heart would have stopped and her organs failed and she would have died -- as Charlotte Bronte (the author of Jane Eyre) did die. (She lived as a spinster for about 35 years, "finally" got married, and died during her first pregnancy of HG.)

Today she wouldn't even have been considered a particularly old mother -- although her doctors would have called her an "elderly primigravida" as they did me when I had my first baby at 29. Today she would have been treated like my D-I-L -- she goes to the ER, gets a bag or two of fluids, and goes home feeling sick, but basically healthy and certainly not about to die. Nobody expects anything but a completed pregnancy and a healthy baby despite the HG.

Going back to Charlotte Bronte -- her mother was long dead -- in childbirth -- but if she hadn't been, she would have experienced the death of her mid-30s (i.e. young, today) daughter and unborn grandchild. Today, I don't even worry about it. We do occasionally have concerns about the baby, but not that seriously.

Anyway, I'm sorry to have written so much. It just hurts me to see women grieving, as something unnatural, an event that was commonplace, dreaded, but almost expected so recently. It is, sadly, natural for parents to outlive a child or two. Jane Austen's immediate family was considered especially rare and fortunate in the late 1700s because her mother had several chiidren and all of them lived to adulthood.

She did not, however, escape the death of Jane at age 41, when her mother was in her early 70s. Or the deaths of two sons, one at sea and one of sickness, when she was much younger than that (they were in their 20s and 30s, so she would have been in her 40s-50s, maybe very early 60s). And again -- none of them would have died today because they would have gone to the doctor, been diagnosed and treated, and survied.

Jessica said...

How can mothers learn to accept the death of a child today, when it IS so rare? When novelists and reporters and TV journalists and women in conversation all say "It's unnatural for a parent to outlive a child." Not knonwing how lucky, and how wrong, they are.

It can't help to learn that it was not rare 100 or 150 years ago. Our view of children has still turned completely around, such that we expect all of them to survive us. Nowadays, the vast majority of women do live into old age and die before their children.

This is just another horrible evolutionary mistake, I think. Mothers must have been designed to live through the death of a child without "breaking", as you say, or there would have been a majority of broken women. And there weren't. Mothers lost their babies, and grieved. They lost their daughters in childbirth, and grieved. They lost their sons in war, in workplace accidents, in everyday life accidents like my grandfather's. They grieved but they didn't break. I was lucky enough to know another of my great-grandmothers -- also the survivor of one of her children -- and she was far from broken. Why didn't she grieve and grieve and lose part or all of herself as you have? How did she manage to put it behind her, such that she could be present, could laugh heartily, could adore her other children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren? Make quilts, host family reunions, all of which I remember?

Jessical said...

How did they do it, these millions of women who are out grandmothers? Why didn't they break? Was it because they saw it differently? Was it because there were so many other other mothers to explain the grief and listen to it and understand? The handful of other mothers you've found don't seem to have helped. I don't think they would help me either. I think I would break too. I had a great grief myself, and part of me was lost. I changed. I didn't break, perhaps, but I was changed -- until something else healed me.

I don't know. I just want you to know that, as rare and sad as it is today, losing a child is not "against nature". It is, instead, "natural" -- if natural is what is common and expected and what most people experience.

Mothers are designed to live through the deaths of children, without breaking or being forever in grief such that a part of themselves is always in that space, with the rest of them not entirely present, in that space too, grieving. I don't know if it's possible to regain that outlook on the world or whatever it was, but God, G, when I read your posts I wish it were.

Obviously I don't wish that children died as they used to, people died as they used to, before and after their parents, death being a constant possibility and even likely presence throughout life. I just wish that the strength to endure it and to see it as part of the "natural" lifespan had not been lost too. Becausee some children will still predecease their parents. And it's too sad to see their parents die too.

Gabriell said...

Jessica,

History is memory and learning from it takes rational thought and introspection.

Losing a child is primal, even a 100 years ago.

My grandmother passed at 90 and she still grieved a still born baby boy named Anthony. My sister named her first son after my grandmothers child so that my grandmother would feel the honor, the not forgetting.

Mothers grieve because they must and I have yet to meet a grieving mother old or young that is not in someway broken. We do not forget, we do not go on as before. Not now not ever.

Until it happens to you, there is no way to understand it. While my daughter was dying I was part of a group with over 500 members who were taking care of children with brain tumors, our numbers never dropped for everyone child that died another was diagnosed. This is just brain tumors I am talking about... and this was just one small support group of thousands.

If you research childhood disease, and childhood terminal illness you will see that the numbers are large, maybe bigger than you realize. Cancer is killing our children because we live on and in poison because we are humans and are greedy, lazy and do not see or care about the long term damage we are doing to ourselves and to our planet.

Our planet will survive it has for billions of years, it is us we are really hurting, we are destroying the one thing that gives us life.

I thank you for your post and for the thought you put into it. I also understand that you can not understand, and trust me I am glad you can not, my prayer is that no mother has to endure this.

This history is not new to me and I do understand that I am not the first mother to lose a child nor will I be the last...but this was my child, this is my lost, and my heart feels this pain in the deepest most sacred way.

When a mother finds out she is pregnant there is a bonding (assuming she is mentally and physically healthy) that is almost secret. She dreams of this child, talks to it, strokes her belly not to comfort herself but to offer comfort and affection in the only way she can.

When this child is born there is a hormonal rush that nothing else can compare to...not even falling in love, this is bigger. As much as you love your partner you will always love your child more.

There is all kinds of biology and physiology involved but what is bigger is a silent communication that begins when this child is born, there are promises, and a knowing that no one can explain.

No, you are not suppose to nor do you expect your child to die. A mother will protect her child with her life. If there is little food she will give it to her child first, she will crack open the jaws of an alligator, lift a car, jump into freezing water to save her child.

That child is an extention of your body and of your soul, that child is all the hope in the world.

It is a tragedy that children have died and do die, it is sad and unfair. It is also a great celebration when we as humans are able to find ways to keep that from happening. I wish there was a cure for childhood cancer.

I am a mother who has lost a child and if I had been alive a thousand years ago you would hear my cries for miles and miles in the night.

Again thank you for the time it took for you to reply, I hear your effort to offer comfort.

Gabriell said...

Jessica,

History is memory and learning from it takes rational thought and introspection.

Losing a child is primal, even a 100 years ago.

My grandmother passed at 90 and she still grieved a still born baby boy named Anthony. My sister named her first son after my grandmothers child so that my grandmother would feel the honor, the not forgetting.

Mothers grieve because they must and I have yet to meet a grieving mother old or young that is not in someway broken. We do not forget, we do not go on as before. Not now not ever.

Until it happens to you, there is no way to understand it. While my daughter was dying I was part of a group with over 500 members who were taking care of children with brain tumors, our numbers never dropped for everyone child that died another was diagnosed. This is just brain tumors I am talking about... and this was just one small support group of thousands.

If you research childhood disease, and childhood terminal illness you will see that the numbers are large, maybe bigger than you realize. Cancer is killing our children because we live on and in poison because we are humans and are greedy, lazy and do not see or care about the long term damage we are doing to ourselves and to our planet.

Our planet will survive it has for billions of years, it is us we are really hurting, we are destroying the one thing that gives us life.

I thank you for your post and for the thought you put into it. I also understand that you can not understand, and trust me I am glad you can not, my prayer is that no mother has to endure this.

This history is not new to me and I do understand that I am not the first mother to lose a child nor will I be the last...but this was my child, this is my lost, and my heart feels this pain in the deepest most sacred way.

When a mother finds out she is pregnant there is a bonding (assuming she is mentally and physically healthy) that is almost secret. She dreams of this child, talks to it, strokes her belly not to comfort herself but to offer comfort and affection in the only way she can.

When this child is born there is a hormonal rush that nothing else can compare to...not even falling in love, this is bigger. As much as you love your partner you will always love your child more.

There is all kinds of biology and physiology involved but what is bigger is a silent communication that begins when this child is born, there are promises, and a knowing that no one can explain.

No, you are not suppose to nor do you expect your child to die. A mother will protect her child with her life. If there is little food she will give it to her child first, she will crack open the jaws of an alligator, lift a car, jump into freezing water to save her child.

That child is an extention of your body and of your soul, that child is all the hope in the world.

It is a tragedy that children have died and do die, it is sad and unfair. It is also a great celebration when we as humans are able to find ways to keep that from happening. I wish there was a cure for childhood cancer.

I am a mother who has lost a child and if I had been alive a thousand years ago you would hear my cries for miles and miles in the night.

Again thank you for the time it took for you to reply, I hear your effort to offer comfort.

Gabriell said...

Jessica,

History is memory and learning from it takes rational thought and introspection.

Losing a child is primal, even a 100 years ago.

My grandmother passed at 90 and she still grieved a still born baby boy named Anthony. My sister named her first son after my grandmothers child so that my grandmother would feel the honor, the not forgetting.

Mothers grieve because they must and I have yet to meet a grieving mother old or young that is not in someway broken. We do not forget, we do not go on as before. Not now not ever.

Until it happens to you, there is no way to understand it. While my daughter was dying I was part of a group with over 500 members who were taking care of children with brain tumors, our numbers never dropped for everyone child that died another was diagnosed. This is just brain tumors I am talking about... and this was just one small support group of thousands.

If you research childhood disease, and childhood terminal illness you will see that the numbers are large, maybe bigger than you realize. Cancer is killing our children because we live on and in poison because we are humans and are greedy, lazy and do not see or care about the long term damage we are doing to ourselves and to our planet.

Our planet will survive it has for billions of years, it is us we are really hurting, we are destroying the one thing that gives us life.

I thank you for your post and for the thought you put into it. I also understand that you can not understand, and trust me I am glad you can not, my prayer is that no mother has to endure this.

This history is not new to me and I do understand that I am not the first mother to lose a child nor will I be the last...but this was my child, this is my lost, and my heart feels this pain in the deepest most sacred way.

When a mother finds out she is pregnant there is a bonding (assuming she is mentally and physically healthy) that is almost secret. She dreams of this child, talks to it, strokes her belly not to comfort herself but to offer comfort and affection in the only way she can.

When this child is born there is a hormonal rush that nothing else can compare to...not even falling in love, this is bigger. As much as you love your partner you will always love your child more.

There is all kinds of biology and physiology involved but what is bigger is a silent communication that begins when this child is born, there are promises, and a knowing that no one can explain.

No, you are not suppose to nor do you expect your child to die. A mother will protect her child with her life. If there is little food she will give it to her child first, she will crack open the jaws of an alligator, lift a car, jump into freezing water to save her child.

That child is an extention of your body and of your soul, that child is all the hope in the world.

It is a tragedy that children have died and do die, it is sad and unfair. It is also a great celebration when we as humans are able to find ways to keep that from happening. I wish there was a cure for childhood cancer.

I am a mother who has lost a child and if I had been alive a thousand years ago you would hear my cries for miles and miles in the night.

Again thank you for the time it took for you to reply, I hear your effort to offer comfort.

Gabriell said...

Jessica,

History is memory and learning from it takes rational thought and introspection.

Losing a child is primal, even a 100 years ago.

My grandmother passed at 90 and she still grieved a still born baby boy named Anthony. My sister named her first son after my grandmothers child so that my grandmother would feel the honor, the not forgetting.

Mothers grieve because they must and I have yet to meet a grieving mother old or young that is not in someway broken. We do not forget, we do not go on as before. Not now not ever.

Until it happens to you, there is no way to understand it. While my daughter was dying I was part of a group with over 500 members who were taking care of children with brain tumors, our numbers never dropped for everyone child that died another was diagnosed. This is just brain tumors I am talking about... and this was just one small support group of thousands.

If you research childhood disease, and childhood terminal illness you will see that the numbers are large, maybe bigger than you realize. Cancer is killing our children because we live on and in poison because we are humans and are greedy, lazy and do not see or care about the long term damage we are doing to ourselves and to our planet.

Our planet will survive it has for billions of years, it is us we are really hurting, we are destroying the one thing that gives us life.

I thank you for your post and for the thought you put into it. I also understand that you can not understand, and trust me I am glad you can not, my prayer is that no mother has to endure this.

This history is not new to me and I do understand that I am not the first mother to lose a child nor will I be the last...but this was my child, this is my lost, and my heart feels this pain in the deepest most sacred way.

When a mother finds out she is pregnant there is a bonding (assuming she is mentally and physically healthy) that is almost secret. She dreams of this child, talks to it, strokes her belly not to comfort herself but to offer comfort and affection in the only way she can.

When this child is born there is a hormonal rush that nothing else can compare to...not even falling in love, this is bigger. As much as you love your partner you will always love your child more.

There is all kinds of biology and physiology involved but what is bigger is a silent communication that begins when this child is born, there are promises, and a knowing that no one can explain.

No, you are not suppose to nor do you expect your child to die. A mother will protect her child with her life. If there is little food she will give it to her child first, she will crack open the jaws of an alligator, lift a car, jump into freezing water to save her child.

That child is an extention of your body and of your soul, that child is all the hope in the world.

It is a tragedy that children have died and do die, it is sad and unfair. It is also a great celebration when we as humans are able to find ways to keep that from happening. I wish there was a cure for childhood cancer.

I am a mother who has lost a child and if I had been alive a thousand years ago you would hear my cries for miles and miles in the night.

Again thank you for the time it took for you to reply, I hear your effort to offer comfort.

Gabriell said...

Jessica,

History is memory and learning from it takes rational thought and introspection.

Losing a child is primal, even a 100 years ago.

My grandmother passed at 90 and she still grieved a still born baby boy named Anthony. My sister named her first son after my grandmothers child so that my grandmother would feel the honor, the not forgetting.

Mothers grieve because they must and I have yet to meet a grieving mother old or young that is not in someway broken. We do not forget, we do not go on as before. Not now not ever.

Until it happens to you, there is no way to understand it. While my daughter was dying I was part of a group with over 500 members who were taking care of children with brain tumors, our numbers never dropped for everyone child that died another was diagnosed. This is just brain tumors I am talking about... and this was just one small support group of thousands.

If you research childhood disease, and childhood terminal illness you will see that the numbers are large, maybe bigger than you realize. Cancer is killing our children because we live on and in poison because we are humans and are greedy, lazy and do not see or care about the long term damage we are doing to ourselves and to our planet.

Our planet will survive it has for billions of years, it is us we are really hurting, we are destroying the one thing that gives us life.

I thank you for your post and for the thought you put into it. I also understand that you can not understand, and trust me I am glad you can not, my prayer is that no mother has to endure this.

This history is not new to me and I do understand that I am not the first mother to lose a child nor will I be the last...but this was my child, this is my lost, and my heart feels this pain in the deepest most sacred way.

When a mother finds out she is pregnant there is a bonding (assuming she is mentally and physically healthy) that is almost secret. She dreams of this child, talks to it, strokes her belly not to comfort herself but to offer comfort and affection in the only way she can.

When this child is born there is a hormonal rush that nothing else can compare to...not even falling in love, this is bigger. As much as you love your partner you will always love your child more.

There is all kinds of biology and physiology involved but what is bigger is a silent communication that begins when this child is born, there are promises, and a knowing that no one can explain.

No, you are not suppose to nor do you expect your child to die. A mother will protect her child with her life. If there is little food she will give it to her child first, she will crack open the jaws of an alligator, lift a car, jump into freezing water to save her child.

That child is an extention of your body and of your soul, that child is all the hope in the world.

It is a tragedy that children have died and do die, it is sad and unfair. It is also a great celebration when we as humans are able to find ways to keep that from happening. I wish there was a cure for childhood cancer.

I am a mother who has lost a child and if I had been alive a thousand years ago you would hear my cries for miles and miles in the night.

Again thank you for the time it took for you to reply, I hear your effort to offer comfort.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel like this is very appropriate, but I am unsure about any other way. I have read your blog for years now, and at some point began reading Angela Fox's blog and following Hadley's story... and now I am aware of Angela's health. It breaks my heart, and as Angela struggles to blog, I hope that you can perhaps update on her condition. Strangers are praying for her.

Olivia said...

As a mum I cannot imagine your pain. I can imagine just how profoundly it changes you, and my heart continues to ache for your loss.