I heard a baby cry today.

My insides didn’t turn to knots. I didn’t find myself gasping for air. I didn’t cringe, I didn’t reel as my memories threw me headlong back into the delivery room. I didn’t find myself back in those last moments. When that brand-new baby cried in my earshot, I didn’t hear Michael.

It was just a baby.

Not my baby. And it didn’t hurt.

Is this what healing is like?

I took a moment and really looked at the pictures of Michael that I still have on my iPad. I examined the photos from that last beautiful month of my pregnancy with him. I studied my face, my son’s face, probing that hole in my heart like one prods underneath a scab. Does it still hurt? Will it hurt if I poke it hard enough? Or am I just building walls like a crazy architecht, sealing off that portion of my soul like it’s a diseased thing? It’s possible. I’ve done it before…

No. It still hurts, it will hurt, but the triggers are harder to find. I am not tiptoeing around the edges so much as I once did.

Is this how it is supposed to be?

Six months out, and I am not sent running for the tissue box at the sound of a child crying. Six months out, and it’s like my all-too-brief foray into motherhood never happened (we’ll just ignore the stomach pook), because the all-out grief isn’t knocking me down hard enough, often enough. Oh, I am still uncomfortable and awkward. I still fumble my way around family encounters, I still can’t help but envy happily pregnant women. But my day-to-day life soldiers on with no fanfare, no triumph, just this: an absence of pain at an infant’s wailing.

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6 thoughts on “It Didn’t Hurt

  1. thanks for sharing and recognizing the first “unhurt” episode. I’m sure it will give others a glimmer of hope that someday life does go on, tho never the same as before.

  2. it’s never black and white. It will hurt at some point but questions you need to ask are – do you really need to poke to see if it hurts? and what does it mean to you if it doesn’t?

    1. Unfortunately, the pain of losing him is the most vivid memory I have of him, and consequently, as the hurt diminishes, I fear the loss of those few memories I do have of him. When everything is so tied up together in itself like this, even the act of healing can be frightening. Those memories, painful as they are, mean the world to me — they’re all I have left of my son — and each day that they don’t hurt is a day that they — that HE — slips further away. That’s the fear, anyway. We never want to forget our loved ones.

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  3. maybe pain should not be the memory you should hang on. Remember pregnancy time – remember little kicks, remember stories you told him and remember music you played him, remember how much you waited for his arrival. Those are memories that will keep your heart warm.

    You know that you will never forget him. He will always be on your mind and in your hear. Even if you have children down the road, you will always go back to Mikey in your thoughts wondering what kind of boy, teenager, and man he would have been.

    Of course, it is easier to go back to pain and much harder to positive emotions but think of what you would want people to do and feel if you had to depart. You would want them to hold on to something positive, something heart warming, something that would make them smile and not cry.

    You owe him that…Yes, it is harder for those left behind but if we believe in soul, you have to keep his memory like a shining star, like a little bundle of joy.

    Don’t cry, don;t feel sad, feel the joy and love things he represents – other little boys,, families, moms. Instead of seeing death and emptiness, see the joy, see him as the happiest memory.

    I know, I do not have kids and I have never lost one but I have lost a few very dear people and pets and the pain is the same. It is the emptiness and loss we are dealing with

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