It just happened. I just drove past the parking lot of my OB/GYN on the way to take my oldest to get a “purple” tooth looked at. It seems innocuous enough but I’m reminded of the last time I let my mind believe that nothing was wrong. It almost shattered me.
The place where I went to my car, all alone, after seeing the ultrasound that showed my perfect baby’s heart no longer beating. It’s the parking lot where I lost all of my humanity and I roared and sobbed in such a primal way that I was unrecognizable as human. I died a little that day. Something like that changes you forever.
The same parking lot that faces the hospital where I had to go that terrible morning when it happened. The place where time and space were suspended so slowly that I could audibly hear my heart breaking. I remember the entire thing felt like a heavy fog. I remember being angry that this was happening to me. I remember mourning what was being taken. I remember sitting there, silently praying that I wouldn’t wake up. The pain was all consuming. It hurt to breathe and facing my 4-year-old who so badly wanted a younger sibling, the same one whose tiny heart ached congruent with mine,was too much to bear. I was a broken failure and I felt every bit of it.
I just passed that place and I found myself driving, once again on a beautiful spring day feeling removed from my body. I’m trying to hold it together because my 10-year-old is next to me, excited to be in the front seat on this rare occasion. She’s excited about everything. She has no idea that I’m dying, right here beside her. Pushing down feelings, swallowing lumps and afraid to blink…ever again .
Oh no, the lump is growing. I hope I can keep it hidden from her, from everyone.This week. I dread it every year. But I didn’t expect this. I had no intention of driving by this building today, or ever if possible. The only thing that could make this moment worse is if that damn Christina Perri song, A Thousand Years, started playing like it did in those wee hours of the morning 3 years ago as we drove in deafening silence to the hospital to have our baby removed from my body, extracted from our existence. I hate that fucking song now.
But I’m here now. Headed for the dentist office to inquire about a little girl’s purple tooth when all I want to do is go home and cry until all the tears are gone. But they’ll never be gone because they replenish anew, whenever they are needed.
All I want to do is cry. I feel small and overwhelmed and utterly alone. I do talk to the Big Guy when I feel these small hurts getting too big for me to keep inside. He tries to empathize but the truth is even though we both lost something that day, I am the one who lost a physical part of myself. I am the one whose body failed. I am the one who had the extraction. I am the one who can never forgive myself.
The truth is 3 years later, he knows that this day is hard especially for me but it doesn’t effect him in the same way it does me and that makes me reluctant to talk to him or anyone about it. I feel like I have to whisper it so that the words are out but no one hears because if they do, I’ll get the look you give a child whose dog died and they want to talk about it…again. You feel pity and sadness for their pain but inside you only wish they’d stop bringing it up because it makes you uncomfortable.
The hardest part aside from feeling so alone in all of this is that while today is the day I grieve, tomorrow is my daughter’s first communion and the next is my husband’s 40th birthday. All I want to do is crawl into bed and stay still, shut the world out but instead I have to push my feelings down, put on a smile and entertain all weekend. I have to be happy for the people I love the most, the day after I feel sad for the one I lost.