13 January 2011

Learn to Carry

Nighttime can be the hardest sometimes. A day can be filled with activity: working out, meeting up with people, e-mailing, doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, getting things done. But when night falls and everything slows down, it's more difficult to shove off the sadness that's been lurking just over my shoulder all day, waiting for me to slow down enough so that it can wrap itself all around me, bind my limbs and squeeze my heart until it feels as though it will burst. It's missing Ewan, and it's all the other things right now that aren't turning out the way we had hoped. It's all those things that make the idea of giving up so tempting.

It's those things that make for dreadful nights, and mornings after like this one.

And it hits me, what I've said before and am living now: I can never really "get over" this. It's always going to hurt. I'm always going to miss him. It will probably be the case that most nights as I turn over in bed to turn out the light and catch a glimpse of our 4-day-old looking up at James and holding on to my index finger that my chest will cave in a little and my eyes prick with tears. I don't expect there to be a day in my life where I wake up and don't feel some sadness when, in the midst of all those new-morning mercies, I realize again that I have been widowed in my motherhood.

I remember going to see our chiropractor for the first time after Ewan died. Dr. Doug had been praying for us and for Ewan, and we dreaded giving him the news. His eyes filled with tears when he entered the room and told us about the 3-month-old daughter he and his wife buried over twenty years ago. Before that day, we had no idea.

It will never stop hurting, at least not altogether. But I can learn to carry it: to walk and breathe with it, to sleep with it, to wake up to it, and to get through each day with it, even though there might be a lot of days where it feels like having a sack of bricks tied around my neck and both ankles. I'm learning how to do it, and will keep on learning.