I wander through the world of the babylost moms and find myself awed, and devastated, by our sheer numbers. In my first few days navigating the countless blogs, I found them overwhelming. Now I've settled into a bit more of a familiarity with them. For the most part, I know whose child belongs to whom, and I recognize the mamas as we cross paths in comment sections around the blogosphere.
There are some of us that are so new to the game that our wounds are fresh, gaping open, raw and exposed. We walk through confused, anxious, struggling to complete sentences or thoughts.
Others are a few months down the road. Still struggling with the rawness of emotions from time to time, but living with the wound has become more familiar for them. Their steps are not far ahead of my own, and I find comfort in reading accounts of their "normal" days. Some of their days seem remarkably like my own, drowning in the grief; other days for them they seem more able to dance in the light. Or at least walk through the "normalness" of it all without falling apart - which, right now, is my daily challenge.
And then there are the wise sisters who are years down this road. Some of whom have gone on to have living children, some who have not. They grieve their children's deaths with the same fervor that a mama always will, but they have learned how to live with that grief in ways so that the grief is not the dominant emotion of every day, every moment. Their children continue to be important, be remembered, be honored, be celebrated. These women give me hope that someday I too will be where they are - where the pain is no longer so ferocious that I wake up every night in tears, where the simple words of another's pregnancy announcement don't sting and rip my wound open anew, where I can be with babies, children, mothers, without being knocked breathless by the injustice of it all.
I feel a little bit like a freshman in high school right now. Overwhelmed, stumbling through hallways and corridors and drowning in the workload. I see the seniors, hanging out across the quad, and they just seem so cool - they've got it all figured out, right? I want to be one of them. Now. I hang on their every word like they hold the keys to my sanity. Their reassurance and kindness is all I have to get me through each day.
(Now where the high school analogy goes awry is that in high school nobody really has any sort of anything figured out by their senior year, whereas I really do believe that some of you Senior Medusas (yes you know who you are) have true wisdom. Plus, when were senior girls ever really friendly to the freshmen? In my case, it only happened because I had an older brother who was a senior so if a girl liked him, then maybe, just maybe, she'd be nice to me. And, unfortunately, I also realize, even being the wee freshman that I am, that none of us ever really get to graduate from this high school, so again, it's an imperfect analogy. Bear with me.)
I have been reflecting on the generosity of women and especially the amazing mothering qualities that we all bring to this awful world of grieving a child's death over the last week or so. The ways in which we reach out and support one another, as if we all know that our very lives depend on this sisterhood. I have infinite gratitude for each and every one of you, for every comment that has been left here already - for the "Yes, I've been there" comments, for the "You're in it" comments, for the "Hang on, sweet sister" comments and every. single. gesture. of love, of support, of solidarity.
I know I am so new to this game. And I don't have much to offer in terms of "been there, done that" wisdom. I have no idea how this game is going to play out for me. I can only hope that one day I am able to repay the favor, and support a woman wandering into this world in her first few months, lost, grieving, feeling as if she is losing her mind. I hope that my reaching my hand out to her holds as much hope and as much love as the hands that have reached out to me in the last two months.
Thank you, sisters. Thank you.