Monday, May 10, 2010

The Weight


There is a weight, and it pulls at me.

Threatens to pull me right down, tripping over my own feet, hands fumbling for something to grab onto to steady myself.

My eyelids are heavy, there is a buzzing in my ears. My skin feels tingly.

The world whips past me, but I look up. I see blue sky, and clouds that are fluffy and white and drifting past so slowly. The leaves on the trees are completely unfurled now, so shadows dapple the world. A bird flies over me.

My heart beats somewhere inside my chest.

I have three living children: two frolicking, hilarous blond-headed beauties, sparklingly alive with joy and curiousity and wisdom, and a small, fuzz-headed baby, so delicously milk smelling, a nuzzling, snuggling creature who lives and breathes for me and with me.

This present is so intoxicating it sometimes keeps me away from my past.

It keeps me in a place where I spew it out like rote, like a script I have memorized and speak for someone else. My baby died. I had another daughter. It was a cord accident.

But then May rolls around, and I start to feel the weeping at the edges of my eyes, and I am haunted by the images of myself holding her, wondering why I didn't keep her deep into the night.

But still the days march past, and I laugh.

And then a pastor writes me a letter and tells me I'm doing this all wrong. And even though I think he's wrong, and even though I know for certain that I am reading much more deeply into his words than he ever intended, it is the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back.

It breaks, and I am suffocated now beneath the weight of seven years of sadness.

It feels like a steamroller, and I reckon it'll roll off of me somewhere around next Tuesday.

Until then, I try to breathe.


kris said...

Carol, I don't know who this pastor is or what he or she said...but you? Are doing this right. All of it right--because only YOU know what right is. You love Charlotte, you remember her, you keep her alive in your heart and the hearts of her brother and sisters.

You are on a journey with no map and no landmarks. No arrows pointing you to the next mile marker. You can only follow your heart.

You, your family, and sweet Charlotte Amelia are in my thoughts this next week more than ever.

Hope's Mama said...

I'm so sorry, Carol. Sorry for all of it.
For the unbearable grief you still carry for lost baby Charlotte.
For the insensitive idiot who tipped you over the edge this week.
And for baby Charlotte, who is not here in you arms where she belongs.
I am so sorry and thinking of you loads this week.

Erika P said...

Thinking of you so much this week, Carol. You are doing it right. The walk on Saturday was amazing; you are amazing and a life-line for so many people. Once (when I really needed to hear it) you gave me permission not to expend any emotional energy on anyone but myself...I give you that permission now. I wish I could carry some of the weight for you this week. Holding you and Charlotte close...

Sara said...

I was thinking of you this morning as we walked by Liam's school, realize the the 13th is almost here. The lilacs are almost gone and we've had far less rain when we need, and I note these things and think of you and Charlotte. I wish I could pick up a little of that weight off you; may it lift soon.

rebeccaeee said...

How can anyone tell you what you are and are not doing right? This unique experience happened to *you* and therefore, you are the expert. I am happy you have the sweetness and light of three children who live in Charlotte's shadow. It is possible to be insanely happy and simultaneously wrecked with grief. It sounds as though you have been that way since Fiona came. Hold on tight, May is passing fast.