THE MISSION

Welcome Mothers, Fathers, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends and anyone else who needs an ear...Please come with an open heart.

This is a place for anyone who has felt the loss of a child. Treat this as a communication haven regardless of how or when you felt your loss. My definition of loss: miscarriage at any stage, still birth regardless of week gestation, infant death at any month, and loss of a child even if your child was all grown up. For me they all hold the same root of devestation. None are more profound or more "easily" dealt with than another.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Potentially Perfect Moment Monday -- The Swinging Door

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN ON JUNE 10TH. IF YOU NEED BACKSTORY CLICK ON THE 'WENT BACK TO THE ATTIC' LINK. WHAT MAKES THIS A POTENTIAL PERFECT MOMENT IS I HAD GRIEVED THE LOSS OF EMMA'S FOLDER AND MY FIRST JOURNAL, FINALLY BELIEVING THEY HAD BEEN LOST IN ONE OF OUR MANY MOVES.


Comedian and I went back to the attic today. I was ready. The dead bird was gone and the space had a few days to 'air out' as my husband so delicately put it.

Apparantely, so had I.

Visually, I see my first visit as one with many different colored doors representing the past. They surrounded me creating a perimiter I could not cross without stepping through one of them. Each mutually exclusive from the other, forcing me to immerse momentarily then reemerge temporarily teetering from the stark constrast of that girl versus me.

Today I ascended the stairs confident, mentally prepared -- knowing I would continue to find vivid, blatent reminders of the many lives I used to lead, even looking forward to certain doors reappearing. To be clear, I realize that life is constant, a multi-layered series of events creating your experience and leading you to the present moment. But, back then, before I reached any space of self-acualization, life truly felt segregated to me.

When I was a student, I was all student. Anal to the point of devestation at an A-, doing and redoing my work, then finalizing it two days before the deadline 'just in case' there was something I had to change...

When I was a teacher, I was all teacher. My focus was exclusively teaching, creating lesson plans, developing curriculum, connecting with families, attending student's sporting events...

When I was in a relationship my whole world revolved around it, or - more specifically, him.
I found evidence of all these things today.

And yet, those individualized doors didn't appear. Instead, I saw one large swinging door. It was in constant motion inviting me to peek, but not delve. Encouraging me to see each part of my personal evolution as another layer, not another burst bubble left behind never to be revisited.



  • I sifted through cases and cases of class notes from high school, college and grad school.
  • I found letters from old boyfriends.
  • I found college application essays and their corresponding acceptance letters.
  • I found evidence of my 'well roundedness', (read: extreme nerdiness) -- although I now believe the two phrases are interchangable.
  • My extra-curriculars screamed overachiever with entries such as: HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation), Close-Up, Goveners Institute for the Arts, National Honor Society Award for something...
  • I found my baby book, letters to Santa, my first tooth that ever fell out, and other small pieces of my childhood signed and dated by my parents as they put them away.

Nothing threw me, until I found this,



An innocuous, albeit buldging, envelope with faded pencil letters spelling: Emma. I'm fine. I knew there was more. Just open it.

I put my hand inside, eyes averted, like someone picking the winning giveaway number, I will pick out what I am supposed to. My hand landed on something thick. I pulled.

As I stared at the missing journal tears came without control. I had looked for this tirlessly last summer as I began the manuscript. Finally, giving up the search, I grieved how it must have been lost in one of our many moves. But here it was, in my hand, and I wasn't sure I could open it.
It held the beginning. The real, raw, I sometimes just wrote profanities across the page beginning. I need to go there, but not with Comedian next to me. Those are my layers, your layers, but not hers.

And so, here is where I will explore that journal, that portal back to dark days when nothing made sense, or mattered, or caused me to care.

Each post that is journal related will be marked Back To The Beginning - Part X, and so -- another series is born.

My hope for this series is dual:

1: that I am able to revisit those days with perspective filled eyes
and
2: that you, where ever you are in your grief process will be benefit from seeing where I started, putting where I am in just a bit more perspective.

Just like at our SHARE meetings, there are no rules. You can read and be silent or take over the comment section with your 'beginning' story. I sincerely look forward to sharing this journey with you.

8 comments:

caitsmom said...

Thanks for your post. I read my first journal pages some months ago and wondered at the person whose words I read. They were raw as you described.

Sara said...

Cara, I have gone back and read the journal I kept during Henry's early life (very spotty, but covering the early hopes and fears and uncertainty), the carepage and journal I kept while he was in the hospital (very much an emotional rollercoaster), the carepage postings I wrote after he died and the journal I kept then. I've also gone back to old emails from those various time periods. If you scroll back in my inbox, you see the messages titled "Home!" and "Hurray" followed immediately by "So sorry" and "Sympathy and prayers." It's a window on what feels like another life.

Lavender Luz said...

I can only imagine how it felt to find that notebook after all this time, after all the times you've been through the swinging door.

Though my loss was different, I could hardly recognize the person who wrote in my journals during my time of intense grief.

Kristin said...

I am so glad you found the journal.

And, I'll join you in your nerdiness...I was also in HOBY and Governor's School, and National Honor Society.

Peeveme said...

Wow, after you grieved it's loss...it just appears. I hope you find it healing to see how far you have come...to go back to those days and see yourself at the beginning.

Cassandra said...

Though I'm quite well-organized, sometimes things just get lost in this house (never anything as precious as your journal). I always suspect that they'll turn up someday again. Some of them have (I tend to outsmart myself and put them in a place so clever that I know I'll remember, then I forget). Some of them are still missing, but there's hope for them.

I think the DVD remote is gone forever, though -- it's been almost 5 years.

I wish you strength and clarity as you work your way through the journal.

Michelle said...

I hope that you find healing to go back. Although sometimes it is hard I always seem to feel better after reading mine. I see where I was and where I am now. Even though some days I feel I ave made no progress at all I realize I have. thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Amy said...

I am so glad you found your journal. I read mine sometimes still thinking, this is not real, it didn't happen to me, this is not my life. Yet, in the same respects it's healing...remembering is healing...it never goes away, the pain, but it gets a bit softer as time passes.
Much love and peace to you!

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