Will this hole in my chest ever go away? I am preoccupied by the thought. It feels like I’ve been in this funk for an eternity. Feels like I’ve been crying for months, and I’m tired of it, even though it has only been a little over two weeks since my son died. I should be more patient with myself, but I’m an impatient person by nature, and life goes on. I can’t be moping about while there’s farm work and house work and yard work and who-knows-what-else languishing on my To Do list. Chop, chop! I say. Quit your belly-aching and get to work! Even my physical limitations hold no sway over me: I am not being woken up every couple of hours to feed a child, nor am I fighting the stresses of new parenthood, and therefore in my mind, I have no excuse for laziness. There is work to be done.
And yet, no matter what I tell myself, the hole remains. Vital parts of myself have vanished into this invisible abyss and I find myself in the same state as our old Ferguson tractor: engine madly cranking to get going but unable to catch and start.
In the meantime, I’m racked with doubt, fear, and jealousy. What if I did do something wrong? What if this was a sign that I am not to be a mom? How can all my pregnant (formerly?) friends have healthy children and I cannot? What did they do to be able to bring their babies home from the hospital, full of life, and mine came home from the funeral parlor in a blue velvet bag that fit in my two hands?
There are no answers to these questions and it’s a huge annoyance because I want answers, dammit. Answers would help fill this gaping hole and I could get on with my life better, sooner, easier. I’m tired of tears. I’m tired of coming home and feeling myself get more depressed with every mile I get closer. I’m tired of seeing other women’s children and having to fight bawling in fetal position on the floor in Walmart because one had sandy-colored hair and dark eyes like my son would have had. I’m tired of feeling waves of jealousy at the newborn baby pics that show up on my Facebook feed.
Mostly, I’m tired of grieving. Which sucks, because I’ve already reached my tolerance and I know it’s going to be like this for months to come.
The worst part is that everyone says it never truly goes away. How can I deal with that?
I have a hole in my heart
It’s deeper than the sea
Filled with all the wreckage
Of dreams you’ll never see…
And so, my coping mechanism is pushing myself. I push myself to keep going, to do this or accomplish that. I’ve taken up a light exercise routine and started back into my historical rapier hobby within the SCA. My rapier and buckler are like old friends. I push it, too hard at times, but physical discomfort is an acceptable trade for spinning my wheels. At least when I’m attempting to best an opponent on the field, I am not at the mercy of the swirling current that drags me into that hole of crushed hopes and destroyed dreams.