Friday, November 5, 2010


Everywhere. They are everywhere. My daily life is now like walking through a war-torn country.

Today we were out running an errand and E wanted to get lunch. We went through my usual "I have no appetite, you need to decide where..." discussion, and he finally pulled up in front of one of our favorite spots. We haven't eaten there in a while, it seemed innocuous enough. I went in, put our name in, and stood waiting for our table.

All of a sudden. Explosion. I flashed back to the last time we were there. It was E's birthday. We had just gone to our first ultrasound. Saw the baby's heartbeat. My little gummy bear. We ate lunch, smiling with our joy and expectation. Afterwards we drove over to my mom's house to show her the first photographs of her grandson.

And just like that, I was brought to my knees. The tears started to fall, slowly at first. E asked what was happening, I tried to tell him. I couldn't breathe, I could barely speak...I got out enough of a description for him to realize what I was remembering, and he grabbed me and walked me out of the restaurant. I grabbed him outside, and started sobbing. (Right outside a baby store, it's like some cruel trick that they seem to pop up whenever I'm having an incredibly hard time.) We decided to walk somewhere else for lunch. Of course at this point there was no way I was going to be able to put anything in my mouth - eating has become so difficult even when I'm doing those hard moments I can't even swallow, much less actually eat anything.

The second place we ended up was a place I went with two old high school friends for a minireunion last spring. Again, a place I totally associated with being full of hope and excitement and anticipation about my pregnancy. I sobbed while E ordered his lunch to go, and we silently walked back to the car to drive home, to our home, where at least I can more or less anticipate where the landmines will be and choose to visit them only at times when I feel particularly strong....

I've managed to handle being at my "regular" haunts pretty well lately. It's the less-frequently traveled-to spots that seem to hold the bigger bombs, the ones that rip me to shreds so instantly. And I've talked about this with other BLMs, or seen it written on others' blogs, that it's so often the shocks that we don't anticipate that hit us the hardest. I never would have thought that going to this area in town for lunch today would have hit me so hard. I couldn't anticipate it. And just like that, I am blown to pieces, all over again.


Sarah said...

When I come here, I am humbled by the fact that I have no idea what you are going through. You write so poignantly about such gutwrenchingly awful things, and I feel so close to you, but I know that I can't really truly understand what this feels like. I just wish I could hold you and cry with you when these landmines come up. I wish I weren't so far away.

Maddie said...

Huge hugs. It'll be like this for a while. I just stayed home most of the time - that way I knew what I was up against mostly. The waves keep coming but eventually they're not a high and further apart so you get a chance to breathe and maybe even laugh before the next one comes along.

I struggled with eating as well and used to drink those meal replacement drinks instead sometimes. You need to look after yourself physically even though it'll be the last thing you feel like.

Maddie x

Jenn said...

Ah, yes, happens to me, too. I'll be doing so well and then all of a sudden some little thing I never thought would bother me just about slays me. Hugs to you, it can be so hard.

Hope's Mama said...

I've had the same sort of thing happen. It hurts so much, especially when you don't see it coming. That's the shitty thing with grief, it can sneak up on you like that.

hayley said...

hi beautiful woman,

I respect you so much for trying somewhere else for lunch, for being out in the world. it is so understandable that you would have no appetite now but you take care of your body, give it the nutrients it needs to heal.

much love to you


zubeldia said...

oh, Sarah, it makes so much sense that the unexpected moments would be even more shattering than the everyday reminders and landmines.

I wish you were going to that restaurant with Otis. I wish it so much, my friend.

Take good care, sarahlu. love you.

sarah said...

Thanks, friends.

In today's mail was a letter from the state, since I had gone on disability after giving birth, this is their standard followup so that I can file for an additional six weeks of FMLA to "bond with my new baby."

I started to howl, scream in cry. The noises that came out of me today are ones that emerged from deep dark crevasses, they were primal, terrifying, unending. I howled and moaned for at least an hour, probably close to two. E held me as the dogs looked on in absolute terror.

Eventually I emerged and found it in me to get my butt on the elliptical and zoned out to some TV while working out. Sweating helped. I also got out my yoga mat for the first time in over 10 weeks. That's another post all together.

It feels like those sounds, those primal, raw, overwhelming, mother's love-grief screamings and howls are now just below the surface, right there, all it will take is one little scratch to get them to emerge again. Gah, this is so scary.

kate said...

It is so heart breaking and scary to read your words... I am glad Erik was with you. I can't imagine anything deeper or more painful than a mother's love-grief (what a perfect description). My heart aches when i think of what you are going through. I remember you writing about going to your mom's place to share the pictures of Otis. I remember the joy of that visit so clearly. I am so sorry that Otis is not here and that you have to get bureaucratic letters in the mail punching you in the gut when you are already down. You are constantly in my thoughts.

Kate xx

æ said...

You are constantly in mine too. I remember the "gummy bear" day like it was yesterday. Remember smthg with ren on twitter like "well technically HE gave ME a gummy bear" (for his bday).

Oh my sarahlu.

I read a book about grief once and the woman in it just walked and walked and walked. That always appealed to me, and it makes me think of the powers of the elliptical.

If it's possible to promise this because I mean it with all of my self...we won't let you drown Sarah, we won't.


æ said...

"oh lulu"!!!

Not like that, you know right? Wow there is so much shared history on this page. I love you to bits.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Sarah. I know all too well what you describe here. It seems like the hidden mines are everywhere- I live in a big small town where it is all so familiar.

It is scary- all of it. Maybe the not knowing of what is up around the corner.
I am walking with you mamma and I am sending you love and support across the country.
Love and grace always...

Anonymous said...

Wondering if the book Ash thought of is She's come undone.... I remember the character walking for ages after someone died- just can't recall the exactness of it.

æ said...

It may have been...Wally lamb right and I remember really liking that book. The walking's so soothing in that continuous, monotonous movement way--actually trance like and I find myself wondering if yoga flows do that dome for you Sarah. xo

fia said...

Sarah, my much-much-much-loved friend.

I want to tell you just that I am reading. That I am honored to read your words and to bear witness in whatever way I can to all that you are experiencing. I am sending so much love. I wish you - if it feels right to you - I wish you ease, love. I wish you an increasing circle of safety, so that your beloved places and haunts may once again bring you comfort. I guess I imagine that familiar places will be forever changed, but I hope - I believe - that over time the raw anguish will change to loving memories, to tenderness and sadness, but that this unbearable pain will gentle to something that feels easier to carry.
xoxoxoxoxoxox a million times over; wish so much I could offer you that in person.

lolamako said...

Almost 8 years since this was posted, but I found your blog and here I sit two weeks out from losing my girl in the last moments of labor. March 7th we lost her for the first time, the 8th we took her off life support.

These landmines, all from the "before" when I was so happy. We spent 9 months preparing for her, doing work on the house, I was taking care of myself in a way I hadn't before, and all for what? To come home a shell of myself with no baby? These before things, the landmines, bring me to my knees.

I'm going to work my way through your blog. I need to see people surviving this, because somedays it feels like I can't.

sarah said...

Lolamako, oh my, yes, your grief is so new, and so raw. I tried to follow your blogger profile to see if I can get in touch with you, but there's no contact info. I would love to talk more, and there's a recent piece written by Hanen (whose blog I believe is linked here) that speaks exactly to your need to see people surviving. I so remember needing that EXACT support after Otis died.

I'm here, abiding with you, 8 years out.

With love,

sarah**$$ $#$nidy (with no spaces or symbols, just the nine letters of my name all together) AT gmail dot com