Friday, June 25, 2010


What does it take to override the pain and aching of a broken heart?  How does one soften the sting...soothe the soul? 

It seems different for everyone...and no remedy seems to be a permanent fix.  I think that, in part, it is the thinking that your on your way out of it that makes it hurt so much when you fall back in.  However...that being said, I think I've found something that might help. 

Hot Yoga. 

I've been having a very hard time feeling completely broken.  Every set back seems to plunge me back into darkness so thick that I can't imagine I will ever find my way out again.  When I found myself on Monday kicking and screaming behind a locked bathroom door, and then leaving home to walk "away", not knowing if I'd ever come back...well...I knew that something had to change.  SOMETHING had to change. 

I had a dream that told me to do hot yoga.  My initial response was "yeah...right."  It's not that I don't like yoga...I loved it once upon a time.  I even got my teacher certification the month that we conceived Simon and Alexander.  But since we lost our little ones....I haven't been able to breathe steady enough to do anything even remotely yogic.  The yogini in me....died. 

I mentioned the idea to a friend of mine, who lit up and told me about the hot yoga studio she goes to.  I happened to know the instructor.  She has twins. 

I thought about how I wouldn't be able to bring Ferdinand with me.  I worried that I might have a panic attack in the yoga studio.  But I thought about the dream....

could it be? 

I went to the studio a little early, knowing that the instructor would be sure to recognize me from the past in spite of the ample amount of weight I've gained and the dark circles under my eyes.  Sure enough, she greeted me with a smile.  I tried to smile back, but wasn't very successful.  She asked me how I'd been.  I told her.  Actually....I cried it out.  She hugged me and then looked me squarely in the eyes.  "Sara...I'm glad your here.  This is a place to heal.  Let your body heal and walk forward letting the past BE the past....see your future as you wish it to be."  She had me light a candle for my beautiful lost twins, and a candle for the future filled with hope and joy. 

I lay down under the infrared heat lamps, letting their healing energy work into my body.  I heard people entering the room but I kept my eyes closed to keep my focus inward.  The heat was scorchingly hot....104 degrees in fact.  I was sweating without moving at all. 

The practice began.  As she moved around the room instructing, adjusting our postures I felt that she was talking only to me.  "Let your anxiety evaporate into the heat.  Breathe your sadness out.  Let your body cry for you...let your sweat clean out your pain."  She went around gently rubbing out stress...pain...grief while rubbing in the healing effects of a delightful yoga balm called "China rub"  90 minutes went by with sweat dripping in buckets off of my body.  My towel was soaked. 

But...I was present.  I was in the NOW.  I was with my heart, and my breath, and my sweat. 

As I lay in the final corpse pose I felt the instructor gentle lift my feet.  She rubbed them with lavander oil, pulling my toes and squeezing them gently.  I lay still with the heat penetrating my body. 


After laying there for 15 minutes, I opened my eyes.  The class was empty...candles flickered under the heat lamps.  I rolled up my mat and found my instructor in the lounge area.  She smiled at me.  "How was it?"
I smiled back at her..."I think I can find myself here."

The next day, I took my husband...I wanted to share the treasure I'd discovered with him.  60 minutes into the 90 minute class, I looked over and saw that he had melted into his mat which was oozing a puddle of sweat onto the bamboo flooring.  At the end of the class he said "Sara...if you like that, you must be in need of a serious cathartic experience...I'm so sorry your in so much pain....I love you...and I don't think I want to go back.  It was like being in hell."  We laughed together.  I don't need him to like it in the same way I do.  All I need is for him to understand why I need to go everyday. 

Some people need to take medication every day.  Some people need weekly therapy.  I need to do hot yoga.  My husband is right.  The intensity of the experience is a catharsis so deep that it has the ability to bring me into the moment without the pain of our losses.  It has the healing balm of warming the body that has been in shock, shivering with the aftermath of losing my twins.  It helps my nervous system to have a break for 90 minutes from the tears and internal screaming, while my entire body weeps from every pore with such abundance that it would take a lifetime of crying to equal it's mass. 

Today, stepping into the heat of the room, I knew I'd found a place to rediscover who I am.  I understand that it isn't the end....but, it is a beginning I am grateful for.  And, in this moment...I am hopeful. 

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? 


Sunday, June 6, 2010


Days pass...minutes...hours....weeks....months....



Standing here.  Listening.  Listening for answers...clues to the universe.  Wanting it to make sense.

 But, it doesn't.  Not really.
 And, because of that lack of sense...all I can do is walk forward knowing--none of this pain makes sense except for the fact that it is pain. 
 I still do all the things one does when trying to move forward.  I even smile and laugh.  I make jokes.
I razz my family.  We giggle....and while I'm smiling, I tend to look up, and I wonder if Simon and Alexander are smiling with us.  And then, when I'm crying...I wonder if they are crying with me too.  I wonder if they long for my arms the way I long for them to fill them.  I wonder if they miss me like I miss them...I wonder if they wish they could cross that spiritual divide--the way I wish I could cross it. 

I keep hearing McJaggars swanky voice "You can't always get what you want..." and I want to put my hand over his mouth and tell him to sing something else.  I want to make him sing about a different kind of world, as if the music could change the truth if only it had a different message.  Frankly, I'm pretty tired of knowing how often people don't get what they want....or need.  I'm tired of understanding that pain continues all around us, and I can't do anything to stop it. 

It makes me feel so angry....sad....

because I want to stop that pain.  Not just for me and mine...but for everyone.  I want to stop babies from dyeing from cancer and all manner of disease and tradgedy.  I want to stop loved ones from being taken too soon.  I want to end the pain of loss.'s not going to happen.  Loss is something everyone gets to have. 

We all walk hand in hand in loss.  Nothing is permanent except that loss is always there. 

That permanence of loss keeps me standing like a deer caught in the blaze of headlights.  Unable to move away...terror in my heart.  The question resonating in my gut...."What will I loose next?"  "WHO will I loose next??" 

The silence is deafening. 
There is no answer. 
I can only wait and try to ignore the anxiety that leaks out of my body in the form of tears.  I can laugh like a wild woman in defiance of the universe that so haphazardly steals loved ones away....I laugh and laugh in the hopes that living life fully will protect me in some way.

I don't know why I do it--it never helped before.  There was no protection. 

And yet...still I laugh.  still I pray...knowing my prayers blow in the wind.

"Please protect my family...protect ALL the families....please."  As if someone will grant that plea.  As if it's that simple. 

But I've always prayed for protection.  And that's really what stings.  My wishes....

blowing in the wind.

Who will be next??  Who??

I stand in defiance in the wind with my laughter.  "WHO will you steal next??" 

Or....have I had my quota yet?  Have I suffered enough in this life?  Have you taken enough? 

Standing in a mockery of defiance...crumbling into sobs because I know that as long as there are people that I love...there will be loss. 

What a world.

I can say that with a smile....and with tears in my eyes.  And it's the same either way.

What a world.