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, August 17, 2009

Two Bass, A Beer, A Benedryl and a Blessing Way

This, apparently, is the combination for snapping one out a funk so deep she wasn't recognizable - not even to herself.

I know that the timeline doesn't quite fit. My last post was uplifiting and so was the wedding, mostly. It was a cultural blending of the most gorgeous kind: Christian and Tibetan. The colors burst from every angle, bright reds, deep green and prints of every kind. We danced the night away. I smiled and laughed. Even still, the fog remained so that when I looked at Great Gram or an uncle looking quite elderly before his time my first thought was I wonder how long until we gather again for a funeral.

Cheerful, yes?

The wedding was like a bandaid that you put on right before you take a shower. It didn't last long.

And, I am sad to say, that instead of turning to all of you, pouring my soul into the keyboard like I have in the past, I went completely inward. Now that words have returned to me I think of it like this.

Connecting with you has been like travelling abroad. I turn on the computer and instantly immerse myself in your life, your culture, your language, your grief and your joys. Your experiences validate mine but also allow me to be a support. While I was supporting I didn't have to focus on my pain. You were my bandaid. Your adhesive was strong. I said that my grief attacked me like a runner foul-starting on the line, but it didn't. Not really. I just didn't see it coming.

The bandaid was ripped off and I had to walk away - just for a few weeks. I had to live in my here, my now, my timezone. I had to come home to feel my grief. Please forgive me for not announcing my vacation. I had no idea it was coming.


There is, however, great anonimity in not annoucing you are leaving town. I found this out last weekend as we packed for an imprompu fishing trip. We skipped town Thursday morning without intentionally telling a soul arriving at his parent's hunting/fishing camp near the Canadian border at lunch time.

"It might be good for you" Jer said to me, his facial expression clearly saying the words he dare not speak, "Oh Lord do I hope this helps - even a little"

I am not a fisherwoman, but I try. I bought a 3 day fishing license for $28. I caught two fish, total. Yes, do the math, please.

But I was settled a bit by the lake in the wee hours of the morning, the calm of the water as the sun rose, the noise the paddle made as we pushed through the surface.


What stopped any forward emotional progress was lack of sleep. I am a light sleeper. Others (I'll leave it at that to be kind) at the camp are LOUD sleepers. One has earned himself the evening nickname of 'the chainsaw'. Seriously, his snores sound just like them.

After the first night of, and I am not stretching this here, little to no sleep I was in a more I-better-apologize-in-advance-for-my-lack-of-enthusiasm-to-be-here mood than ever.

The next night I discovered an evening cocktail of my own. You guessed it, the beer and the benedryl. I know, I know - you can lecture me on the saneness of my choice later but get this: not only did I NOT hear 'the chainsaw', but I slept in the same room as my youngest daughter (recall she didn't sleep through the night till four years old and still wakes up alot) and....wait for it....I slept through the night without hearing a thing!

The next day looked a whole lot brighter. The trip really did start to lift my spirits.


I returned home to complete my weekend by attending a dear friend's blessing way. The intense experience I had at this traditional Navajo blessing ritual for momma and baby is far too detailed for this post. It deserves one of its very own.

I will share that during the guided drum meditation I had a profound experience. I felt 'full of the womb' as I shared in the circle afterwards. Clearly, I am not pregnant but the sensation instantly reconnected me to each of you that are or are trying. One by one you went through my mind and like a coach calling off players on his roster your stats appeared: 18 weeks, 4 days - currently in a good state of mind - planning a c-section - lost three babies before, and the like.

My passport had been re-instated and I reveled in the feeling not wanting it to end. When the drum beat changed and we were called back silent tears fell from my cheeks. I grieved having to let it go, that fullness within me. I wanted to keep it, to stay in that moment inevitably. As I sat up it fluttered briefly before dissapearing but in its place I found what I had been missing the last month: renewed acceptance.

The thought of Emma no longer brought immediate tears to my eyes.
The word angel didn't send my into hysterics.
The idea of cooking, cleaning, and righting my home seemed appealing.
The pull to return to my husband and show him gratitude for seeing me though another ugly season led me out of the tent.

I skipped the dinner and went straight home.

Briefly I wondered if today would dawn as bleak as all the other days before it, regardless of the bright sun shining down. It didn't. My drive has returned. My bittersweet love for the mission given me has been rekindled. My passport as been reinstated.

And so, if you are struggling, weighted down by a cloak of unyeilding grief, perhaps you too might find solace in two bass, a beer, a benedryl, and a blessing way. An odd combination to be sure. An effective one for me.


MrsSpock said...

Renewed acceptance. Those are hard-won and sweet words to hear.

Another Dreamer said...

Aw, so glad.

Renewed acceptance, what a phrase.

Kristin said...

I am so glad and relieved to hear this. And, I'm with Mrs. Spock and Another Dreamer, renewed acceptance is an incredible phrase. Welcome back.

Michelle said...

I am so glad that it worked for you and you are back.

Renewed acceptance is a beautiful thing! You were missed my friend.

Sara said...

Whatever works, Cara. Glad you are back.

Bluebird said...

Aw, this made me smile. I'm so, so sorry you've been struggling. But it warms my heart to read about your husband, who saw you through another season, and your powerful experience at the blessing way. I can't wait to read more about it.

I'm so glad you're back. You were very missed.

Dora said...

This is so good to hear. Big hug, Auntie Cara. (Someday in person!!!)

Mai said...

This post touched me in such a big way..I feel like I've been under such a dark cloud since our first m/c in December..Now, having had 3 more, I just can't shake these "black and bleak" feelings that I have. This gave me hope, and the Blessing Way, sounds amazing..Welcome back

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