One Month Later

So, here it is.  One month beyond giving birth to death.

It seems impossible that already a month has passed -- that only a month has passed.  Is it December?  Life stood still on the birthday of my daughter on November 20, two days after she died.

We got our autopsy results this week.  Nothing was discovered, nothing could be named as the cause.  She's perfect, my nurses and doctor kept saying after she left my body.  Perfect, except for being dead.

The lack of cause is frustrating, but also encouraging.  It means that nothing could have been done, that there was no way to predict this -- and, God willing, that there is no reason why it should happen again.

Not to us, please.  Not again.

Every day is filled with a thousand tiny reminders of what we've lost, a thousand opportunities to feel physical pain at the refreshing of grief.  Invisible knife wounds in my chest, my stomach, again and again and again.  I don't know why I don't bleed.

I want to scream all the time.  Scream pain, scream anger, scream at this nightmare, a wail that never ends.  But I'm afraid that if I start screaming at the horror of it all, I won't be able to stop.  That I'll be screaming forever.  So I feel the knife wounds and scream and scream silently, the hellish sound echoing only inside me.

Today it seemed that there were pregnant women everywhere.  Little daughters with dark curling hair everywhere.  My daughter had dark hair, curling.  Now she's ash and all that's left is the tiniest chocolate lock, tucked away in its box for fear that I'll lose what little I have of her.

Sleep has become hard to come by again.  She is in every dream.  Even if the dream is not about her, she is there, behind it all, the lack of her inescapable.

I can't believe that she's dead.  I can't believe that she ever lived.  How can this be happening?

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.   But no, that is not quite accurate.  There is one place where her absence comes locally home to me, and it is a place I can't avoid.  I mean my own body.  It had such a different importance while it was the body of [her mother].  Now it's like an empty house.”


~ C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (slightly altered by me)


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