There's something wrong in the state of Denmark… and I think I may be it.

Tag: mother

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

So I woke up this morning and my brain was filled with images of Hudson sitting in his bumbo for the first time.

Please don't use this photo or copy it and do something horrible with it. Thanks

Please don’t use this photo or copy it and do something horrible with it. Thanks

These were some of the last photos we ever took of him. He was shy and proud, wobbling back and forth – at one point I thought myself a bad mother for not worrying about whiplash – alternating from giggling to sucking his shirt shyly when he finally figured out what it is he was supposed to be doing in there.

At some point during this memory, without realising it at first, I started to cry. I ended up crying til I gasped for air. I cried til I dirtied my hair with what felt like an unending stream of salty water. I cried til I began worrying about waking Nick, who was sleeping in the lounge, and our new housemate, Milo who was snoring in the larder. Then I stopped. And I was okay.

For the longest time I have felt nothing. I have avoided sad feelings altogether. I’ve even made jokes about this journey. I’ve been wanting to take down some of his photos (that hasn’t changed), I’ve avoided the conversation about and risk of falling pregnant again but Nick and I are better. But I’ve successfully not cried like this for what feels like a long time.

And I was okay this morning because I realised I’m not a robot. And I was okay with the reconfirmation of the fact that I have absolutely no control over this grief. And that that’s okay. It’s okay.

Every day, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, who I’m talking to, awake or sleeping, every day I’m sitting at the edge of the ocean – some days the grief laps softly at my toes, easy to ignore, other times the wave laps at my knees leaving salty crystals that make my skin itch, and I’ll have a harder time ignoring the sads, but it’s mornings like today, where the waves come in at speed, knocking you over from the head down, that you remember you’re in this for life.

Two weeks, two months or two years later, you can still be completely and utterly floored by it and that’s not going to change, probably ever. My meis was right, the only thing that changes is the frequency.

But there’s hope. You do feel better. The knock-down-oops-I-didn’t-see-you-there-waves won’t come as often and you’ll be readier for them every time they do come.

Doesn’t make it suck any less. My son’s dead and what I have in return is an amazing capacity for sadness and I’m never going to be allowed to forget any of that.

But I’m still okay.


Forgiveness… meh

During therapy this morning I had a light-bulb moment.

I’ve been carrying a lot of guilt for a long time. Guilt around the fact that I didn’t live a great life when he was already starting to grow inside me. Guilt that he was born with a broken heart and I was responsible for building him. Guilt that he wasn’t well in his last week and I didn’t force myself to take him to the hospital. Guilt that he died on my watch, in my room, and nothing I did changed that. Then there’s the guilt that I didn’t cry for the first several hours after he died. Guilt that I haven’t done right by his memory. Guilt that he’s dead and I’m not. Guilt that I’m even thinking of having his brother or sister at some point in the future. Guilt that I’m not in a puddle on the floor. Guilt that I’m not floating around the bottom of a bottle. Guilt that I get up every day, look at his cot and his dummy and his hat, and I don’t fall to pieces like I used to. Ah… guilt. My new best friend.

I just typed in a mail to my meis that this thing is like a tumour that’s growing bigger and bigger on the side of my body and I can’t cut it out cos if I do I’ll die.

I’ve addressed some of this guilt. I’ve spoken to medical professionals and geneticists and other moms, etc. The “on paper” is my lifestyle did not cause this thing. And the building of the body is generally up to the baby so I really did all I could during pregnancy. After that, I’m on my own. As another therapist we saw soon after Hudson died said: You didn’t wake up one morning and decide today was the day you were going to kill your son, right? And, of course, she was right. But I didn’t do everything in my power to keep him alive either. There was always, no matter who I speak to, something more I could have and should have done. Too late now.

There are a lot of too late nows…

People say you should learn to forgive yourself. And we were talking about this this morning and I eventually talked myself around to “why?”. Why should I forgive myself? Surely, this isn’t something I should be able to say “Right, self, your son is dead. You could have done something to stop it and didn’t. You’re forgiven, self. Now back on the horse and let’s go” about. Surely, this is something I should remember and remember and remember so it never, EVER happens again? Surely?

There are some parts of grief you learn to live around. But the biggies should stay. They should be that invisible third nostril or that lump on the back of your neck that keeps you forever awake and alert so you don’t do that again.

I think the people who say you should forgive yourself are arseclowns who don’t understand what they’re talking about. I also think people forgive too easily. It’s too easy. Someone says “learn to forgive yourself” and they do and it’s all that simple. Nee jong…

In almost two months time, it’ll be the anniversary of my son’s death. What… the fuck… am I supposed to do with all of this.