Monday, July 22, 2013


I know I've written a few times in the past about the ways in which our experiences since October have changed us - there are certainly many. The one that has been most on my mind lately is a change with which I cannot seem to make any kind of peace. Fear.

There are a million ways in which this new companion manifests itself. Most prevalent is the overwhelming fear that something is going to happen to the rest of my family - I am positively terrified that something horrible is going to happen to my girls, my husband, my parents, my siblings, my nieces, my nephews and the list goes on and on.  In fact, there have been weekends when Chris was supposed to take the girls out somewhere and I have literally been in tears begging him to just stay home that day because in my mind, I was certain they would never make it home if they left. God love him, he always hugs me and agrees to change plans for that day so they are relatively safe at home while I sleep. I know that it isn't a terribly rational request and I usually feel guilty for it, but at the same time I can literally feel the panic welling up in my chest in those moments and unwillingly begin to envision my life without the three of them.

Just as prominent is the unsettling feeling that we can never again expect to have a healthy "normal" pregnancy.  After the shock of receiving Aaron's diagnosis and the time that I have spent talking with other parents who have survived devastating losses, the odds of anyone ever having a healthy pregnancy seem dire, at best.  Even if we are blessed with another "healthy" pregnancy/baby, there is no doubt that I would spend nearly every moment of that pregnancy waiting for something to go horribly wrong.  At this point, I know too much - the innocence that I used to have about pregnancy is long gone and I am all too aware of the fragility and blessing in creating and sustaining life.

When I'm not in a panic about something happening to a loved one or potential loved one, I am just waiting for some expensive catastrophe with the house or the van or with one of our jobs.  In my mind, the van is a ticking time bomb just waiting for a costly repair bill, every major appliance in the house is just biding time before it quits working and needs replaced, or one of us will unexpectedly be unemployed and our finances will simply crumble.  The fact of the matter is that things do go wrong and we should probably expect them, but it's like I exist in constant waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under us again.

I am well aware that this level of anxiety, fear and apprehension is far from healthy.  It comes as no shock to me that I have trouble sleeping or that I am in an unending state of turmoil.  It is no surprise that this constant conflict is exhausting.  Unfortunately, simply knowing that many of my fears are irrational does nothing to make them any less real.  This is one of the wounds that leaves a deep scar on those whose lives have been changed in less than the blink of eye.  While some may feel it less intensely than others, there is a part of the soul that will never heal completely from that kind of life-shock.  It is actually something that I have heard others in the babyloss community mention frequently and I would suspect that it probably holds true for other sudden, life-altering events as well. 

I think that's one of the reasons that I have had such a hard time facing this particular demon.  It isn't just something that I need to "work through" or "wait out."  I'm afraid this one is going to be a lifelong change - I may get better at coping with it and I will probably learn not to let it dictate so much of our lives, but I will never again feel the blissful ignorance that comes from lack of experience. 

So I have to confess that my original intention was to end this entry above the picture, but as I was searching for a fitting image, I came across this one.  It led me to do a little reflection (which, after all, is one of the points of keeping this space) and here is where I ended up: I can still be depressed about losing our son; I can still be anxious about what may lie ahead...but I need to be more mindful of this: every moment that I spend lost in either of those is a moment where I miss the beauty in front of me.

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