Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today I talked to a new friend, I think she will be, who is six weeks out... six little, lonely weeks away from her little girl. I could have set the phone down and bawled. My body ached for her. Hurt like there was battery acid being poured down my throat, to imagine that echoing, ricocheting silence that bounces through her life and thoughts. I could feel that hot void in my arms where my baby should have been, I could imagine her in the car driving and knowing that there was nobody else there, and knowing that this was not right. I could remember that stultifying mystery of every moment of the day, my body crying out for my child, my life empty of meaning.
I remember thinking, how can this go on? How can I go on like this, when this is never going to go away?

This is where I begin to think, think hard, because I don't know how it was that things changed, and when they did, but somehow over the course of years on end, that knife that twisted in my chest, that salt that drizzled the wound every single day began to lighten. There was warm sunshine on my back, and I was able to bathe my wounds in warm water and sing softly to myself while I did it. I live in a new place.

I told this woman today about how part of what is different for me now is that I trust Charlotte, because she is more and more real to me as time goes on. She is changing me now, as she has changed me since she was born. I have never loved a single person the same since she came into my life, and I never will. Knowing with such extreme clarity that she will always, always be with me eases some of what felt so terrifying.

Even though, as I write this, the other side of me shouts in a tinny, sarcastic voice: I want the real girl, and I don't want any of this spiritual, wisdom crap of her always being with me. I want the real girl. This other side of me bangs her fists on the table and feels utterly unsatisfied with the course of events in every single aspect of their existence. And I respect this half of me, too, because she is also right.

6 comments:

Hope's Mama said...

Yep, both are right Carol. I too think I'll always want to stamp my feet like a two year old over the unfairness of it all. For you, for me, for your new friend.
Even at 14 months out, the thought of being 6 weeks out makes my chest tight as well. I ache for anyone in that place now. Where it is all too raw and fresh. I hope your friend is ok and knows that she is supported and loved. I wish there were no new members to this awful club.

Beth said...

i'm so sorry for your friend.

you write so beautifully all the time. i also feel that i love more deeply now.. like i never have before.

but i dont want it that way. i want to love people a boring, regular amount. with katie here. here in my arms.. not swirling around like a spirit, making me a better person.

MK said...

Did you tell her it gets worse before it gets slightly better? No one told me I would feel so bad and at 6 weeks out, I think I was still numb...6 months, that was the worse...I felt crazy, like I was losing my mind...wait, I still feel like that....

Bess said...

Your words are so stunningly beautiful, I feel I will always think about you and your daughter. I will mourn for you, dear stranger, and I will rejoice in the beautiful moments yet to come. Thank you for your words and for your bravery.

Erika P said...

Thank you Carol...just...thank you. For everything you do for all of us. And this new mama...I think she's going to be my friend, too. I hope so.

Christy said...

Carol--This is something I am going to keep and reread a few times now and again. How you describe Charlotte changing you is something I've been curiously wondering for a long time. I know CHase has changed us...but exactly how? I cry with you for your friend. I hate it for her and I hate it that you know what she is going through, but it is good that you can help her--that is what she needs. You know exactly the space and words needed or even the need for no words.
Thinking of you,
Christy