Sunday, May 23, 2010

I ran today up to the top of the road. The trees hang heavy there, the green is so bright at this time of year. The pavement is old and cracked, and no light comes through the trees in springtime. Today, as I ran, I listened to Richard Shindell and thought of Charlotte.

That stretch of road always reminds me of driving to the hospital; this suprises me. I drive this stretch of road at least twice a day, every day. Yet when I run, and the trees hang over my head, and I enter into the clearing and see Turkey Hill silhouetted against the sky, I always think of that drive. I think of the drive, and then I think of coming home, and more specifically what it felt like to be me when I came home.

It is no exaggeration to say that I had absolutely no desire to live when I came home. I was listless and limp and lost. I pondered, in an intellectual way, the fact that I did not care much about my life anymore. I wondered if this meant that I actually wanted to die, and I quickly determined that I did not, because I knew that as much as I did not want to live I would never have the energy nor the will to make this happen on my own. Furthermore, any time I considered the possibility of my life actually ending, I would be flattened all over again with a new wave of grief; this one for Greg, and for my own parents. So while I was apathetic about living, I did not actually plan to die.

The truth was that while at that moment I could have cared less about living, I did always maintain that there was something worth living for, and what fueled this belief was very simple: I loved Charlotte. Having had her made me sure of what I could some day have: a child of my own to love and keep. While I had no confidence that this would take place in the near future, I knew that it was a possibility. And so I wanted to be alive later on, so that I could experience this for myself. If it could be so amazing to love someone who had already died, I could hardly fathom what it would feel like to keep that person forever.

So I was caught in this space. I cared not a bit for anything at that moment. My life was quite literally without meaning; I had no definition. I was neither here nor there. I was a mother, but I had no child. I had left my job, but had no reason to stay home. We weren't a childless couple, but we had no children.

I simply existed for what seemed like a long, long while, knowing that anything would be an improvement upon where I was then. And time marched on.


Hope's Mama said...

The hope of another child is all that kept me going as well. I thank my lucky stars each and every day that my sweet Angus arrived 15 months later. And I thank them that your Liam arrived 11 months later, followed by your sweet girls, Aoife and little Fiona.
We're so lucky, despite how unlucky we have been.

Beth said...

this post represents where I am in life right now. 10 months past the death of my daughter, not yet 2 months past my miscarriage, and on a daily apathetic struggle for my own life.

thank you for sharing not only your joy, but your grief, past and present