This weekend was glorious.
Beautiful, sun-shiny, goodness.
It was the kind of weekend where you want to spend every moment soaking up the sunshine. I did a lot of that, and I intended to sit here and tell you about it.
But, then I realized that’s not what I want to talk about.
Instead, I want to tell you the strange truth of good moments and the unexpected guilt that comes after, like a bad taste in your mouth after a delicious meal.
Friday night, I went through some old pictures of my parents’ visit in October and found this one of me and my nephew.
When I came across this picture, I was overcome. It is everything, everything that I want in my life.
A child at my feet. A handsome husband behind the camera. A smile on my face.
It at once brought me joy at the memory and mindnumbing grief at the loss of my own babies.
I am learning that joy and grief are not mutually exclusive in this life.
This is especially true on those days when I forget. Days like yesterday when the sun shined so brightly that I couldn’t see a cloud in the sky.
I spent yesterday afternoon with my friend. Portland Farmer’s Market. Delicious lunch. Starbucks and people-watching. Taking random pictures of random things.
It was wonderful. And, yet, when I came home, I found myself lying in bed, my hot cheek against the cool pillowcase, sobbing, longing desperately for the children I will never hold.
It isn’t time for me to move on yet.
I can’t be healing this fast.
It isn’t fair for me to be happy again this soon.
And, yet… It is time… I am healing… And, it is fair.
If there is anything I am grateful for about losing my pregnancy, it is having the opportunity to understand the tremendous responsibility that a mother feels for her children. From the moment I realized I was pregnant, I was humbled and terrified at the prospect that I — me, little old me — was 100% responsible for the development and growth of what turned out to be two little beings.
I am still working at coming to terms with the fact that it wasn’t ME that failed my babies, but rather… circumstances.
I am also still struggling with the idea that I can be happy in my life if they are gone. The responsibility I felt during my pregnancy toward them has extended well beyond the loss of them. In my everyday life, I struggle with the feeling that I need to grieve them enough, that I need to miss them enough, that I need to feel sorrow enough.
Any little moment of happiness means that I’m moving on… moving forward… moving away from something that literally meant the world to me. I still have my moments where I would rather embrace grief and be closer to them than chase happiness and move away from them.
It is a process.
This weekend was a reminder to me that time heals… that what is broken really will eventually mend itself. And, though I may never be quite the same as I was before, I will feel like me again. Perhaps, a smarter, somewhat stronger, more compassionate me.
In many ways, I suppose it is fitting that Easter weekend has felt like such a turning point for me. It is, after all, the time when Christians celebrate the resurrection of a religious figure who died so that the people of the world could be forgiven, and so, as a result, we can forgive ourselves.
These things remind me of the omnipotence we hold within ourselves: the power to overcome and choose happiness, to grasp the reigns and become master’s of our own fates, to forgive ourselves because it’s what we’d do for anyone else. These difficult times are opportunities to remember the beauty and the reason we cling to life, which is in and of itself a fleeting promise.
This weekend has reminded me that the engine of inner peace is driven by me. It is really only up to me to make the choices I need to make to smile again without the burden of accompanying guilt. I’m working on it…
Wishing you well…