Monday, June 21, 2010

In Ruins


I feel like that word has somehow bi-passed my family. 

Where am I supposed to see it? 

A few days ago, I ran into a lovely woman from my past life as a functioning human being.  I noticed her right away because she was dressed in a vibrant shade of purple from head to toe, accented with lovely gold earrings and a fine golden chain.  Simon and Alexander's colors.  She greeted me with her typical glowing smile and proclaimed that I give her "some news!".  I knew she had no idea of the events of our life in the past three years...she had no idea that our eldest son, who used to play with her own son,  was slowly recovering from a brain injury that has changed his future forever.  She had no idea that our twins had died...or that they had ever been in the first place. 

So, when she asked me to tell her "some news!".  My heart stopped in my throat.  I just shook my head...and the tears started to fall.

Being a lovely nurturing mother...the kind of mother I wish I'd been given...She grabbed me close and stroked my hair in the parking lot of the grocery store, ignoring the cars that tried to weave around my sobbing frame with uncomfortable glances in our direction.  Ferdinand leaned up against me in an effort to comfort me.  Again. 

I told her about my life in a matter of about 10 minutes.  Who knew that the traumas of the past 3 and 1/2 years could be condensed and edited into only 10 minutes?  She looked at me with sparkling eyes and said "But sweetie...don't you see all the blessings?" 

I shook my head.  I felt the shaking and quaking that are the danger signal for a panic attack.  I tried to breath, but felt like my head had been enclosed in a plastic bag.  Kneeling down to bury my head in Ferdinand's fur and clutched at him; just trying to find my breath.   She continued to coo in my ear that she didn't mean to dismiss my pain, but that she just noticed so much beauty and wonder in my story...that my near death experiences were beautiful, that the colors I saw in that spirit world were telling me something...that my writing career was a gift sought after by many...that there were gifts all around me that I seems to have failed to notice in my pain....

I looked at her and said "I see the gifts.  I see the blessings.  But none of them....not one of them...makes up for the loss of my babies.  Not one of them makes it o.k. that my brilliant son has a damaged brain.  These gifts feel like consolation prizes.   My spirit has been broken.  My nervous system is so shot that I can't go into public without my DOG for assistance.  My children tell me they wish they had super powers so that they could save their baby brothers from stillbirth and erase their oldest brothers brain injury.  My husband cries in the bathtub.  We both cry at night when we think the other is asleep.  How is any of that a gift?  How do any of the gifts make what we've been through o.k.?"

Her reply?  "You feel broken. can't ride a wild stallion till he's been broken.  You have something to give others now.  You have a voice.  That's why you have been chosen as a writer.  It's not what you planned...but it was THE plan."

I love this woman.  I always have.  She is a picture of calm, reasonable, love. 

It isn't that she has not suffered, for I KNOW she has.  Deeply.

But somehow...she has found her way.  

Maybe I'll look back at that meeting in a few years and nod my head in understanding....but all I could do at that moment was to shake my head and say..."It's not enough.  I want more.  I want the pain to stop.  For my entire family.  I want the tears to end."

She hugged me again.  "Oh sweetie....they will.  They will.  Just hang in there.  You can do it."

I believe that bad things happen to good people.  The laws of Karma and the Golden Rule are laws that the Universe keeps forgetting---or ignoring.  I see unfair situations all around me, and within me.  I see beautiful people being broken down into a state of dysfunction and hopelessness.   When a horse trainer tames a wild animal...they don't beat it into the ground until it can't stand anymore.  Life is a cruel trainer....who overdoes the process until some of us are writhing in it's wake.  People point to the story of Job when they see others suffering, as if a story about a man who was literally methodically tortured by a petty bet between a boasting God and a maniacal Devil should bring hope and understanding.  How is that story a comfort????  How is it comforting to see that in the end, Job is given a bunch of blessings to make up for the losses of his entire family, children, wife, home....EVERYTHING?  Does the new fortune, wife, and kids make up for the losses?

My friend says she can see my blessings like shining rays of light.

But, she's standing on the outside.  She can't feel the razor sharpness of this pain.  She doesn't have to hear her children wish they could bring back what has been lost.  She doesn't have to hear her wonderful husband's muffled sobs.  She doesn't have to feel the inner quaking that signals loss of control from a FRIED nervous system that would destroy a rector scale.


Can I find it at the end of a rainbow?  Is there meaning to ANY of this loss?  Can we make it through without bitterness? 

Will we ever really be alright again? 



  1. I simply don't know. I hope so. I think we will always be different but perhaps that doesn't preclude being 'alright'? x

  2. It just seems so wrong to try and sooth pain with mere words. I know there are't any and the excruciating grief that you and your family feels IS REAL. As real as anything could be. I am feeling much of the same as you...I know that doesn't help ~ sorry.

    I actually posted about it, and then had a friend tell me that I needed to write more upbeat things because people are looking to me as a hero! Boy, that is a mistake. My life is literally falling apart (as I sit in a hotel room with my kids), and writing about it serves to help ME and NOT meant to do anything else.

    Your grief, stress and trauma are real. They effect everything. I will hope and pray for a reprieve soon. That you can find some relief and feel semi-normal again.

  3. I don't know if we'll ever not feel the pain but I hope it lessens and we're better able to navigate the day-to-day. The lady in purple seems like a wonderful friend to have encountered when you are feeling fragile - her strength and calm and love are touching. xoxo

  4. I find the book of Job difficult too - because those ten brand spanking new children he is blessed with at the end DO NOT - as we well know - replace or negate the 10 who died in horrible and tragic circumstances.

    I want to say something profound or wonderful but I can't think of anything. Just know that we care and we're here.


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