Friday, March 14, 2014

Waiting for Morning

Psalm 30

I will exalt you, Lord,
    for you lifted me out of the depths
    and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Lord my God, I called to you for help,
    and you healed me.
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
    you spared me from going down to the pit.
Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
    praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.
When I felt secure, I said,
    “I will never be shaken.”
Lord, when you favored me,
    you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
    I was dismayed.
To you, Lord, I called;
    to the Lord I cried for mercy:
“What is gained if I am silenced,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
    Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
    Lord, be my help.
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.


The taste of regret is bitter, acidic
It rises up unexpectedly, choking me with its taste
How do I make this lingering disappear?

How could I have known to make that birth plan?
The one where the baby is dead.
How do you make those decisions,
In the split seconds when your world is ending?

You claw at the surface,
Gasping for air,
Mumbling out the first thoughts that run through your head.
I want this done.

And in the moments and days and months that follow,
The bitter taste starts to rise.
It tastes like regret.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Desperately Seeking an Identity

I have been in a bad place lately. Very bad. The last several weeks it's been hard to see the light, to feel any joy. I've realized that a lot of my feelings came from "playing the game". 

You bereaved mamas know, the game of life that society wants you to play. 

Without even consciously making the choice I fell into the patterns and roles that are expected. Laughing at the right places in conversation, smiling and making jokes, being busy and involved in life, not talking about grief and depression and babies that die. 

It turns out I wasn't able to balance this identity alongside my grief. As soon as my mind wandered "there" I'd shut it off, afraid I'd get emotional. The result was pure misery. Not only was I not being true to myself and my feelings, but I wasn't behaving like Emma's mommy. I was closing her away in a place where it didn't hurt so much. Perhaps that's what I needed in those moments, some time for my mind and heart to protect themselves against the constant weight and ache of grief. But in the end I felt worse, and guilty. 

In the early months my identity was solely based around Emma's death. I lived and breathed blogs, research, support groups, and anything related to stillbirth. In the last few months it's been the opposite. I've tried to fit back into the mold of my old self. 

Neither of these identities can survive for long. I cannot live the rest of my life with my only identity being that of a grieving mother, but I also can't go back to who I was, to act like I'm okay and "normal" when I'm not. 

So now, for the third time in eight months, I seek to discover my identity. This time the one that allows me to live my life, but also to accept and embrace my grief, and in turn my precious Emma.