Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remembrance Day

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I look back at where I was last year about this time and the same ache and sense of loss is still as bright and sharp as it was. And the same drive to create. It seems I turn more towards crafting stuff the more I get flummoxed by this peculiar state of being two mothers. One that joyfully welcomes each day I get to share with Bennett, the other that rages and screams at the loss of my first son.

Returning to work was easy. I returned to something familiar. The same routines, the same folks, the same brands of issues. It's this motherhood job that's got me.

Our little family gathered together at 7pm tonight and lit candles, one for Burke, one for another lostbabymama whose pain and agony is fresh and raw. I've been angry these last few days. As much as I tell myself how pointless it is, this seething horror keeps bubbling to the surface.

We were with Burke at the end. They had taken all the tubes and wires out, turned off all the machines, and the three of us laid in the twin hospital bed in our little room with the blanket taped over the little window. For privacy. We held him, talked to him, loved him... my milk had come in and I remember my breasts aching and burning. Milk that wouldn't nourish it's intended.

How can I carry these memories side by side with the ones of Bennett's greedy 4am nuzzles? How can the memories of Burke live right next to the ones of Bennett's fierce vibrancy? How do other lostbabymamas do it? I don't talk of Burke much anymore, and I'm realizing that it's more out of social expectation than healing. I think people expect me to have moved on after Bennett, so I just don't mention Burke as often. Yet for me Burke's memory is as alive as it was the moment he was born, that five minutes before I knew something was horribly wrong.

So here I am, ready to pounce on new fabric, ideas spinning wildly in my head for new bibs, new shoes... outfits for Bennett. All the while I whisper to Burke.

So happy (or not) Remembrance Day. And to all the lostbabymamas I'm thinking about (you know who you are): congratulations on making it through each day.


amanda. said...

love and peace.

Katy said...

You're gonna make it, Gillian. It just takes time.

Though, I sense a lot of guilt in your words when you think about the joy you feel with Bennett and how that pertains to Burke.

Remember this, guilt is a self serving, useless emotion. Burke is back with god and smiling down on his Mama, Papa and baby brother, and he wants all of you to be happy.

Be gentle and kind to yourself this weekend. Pamper yourself (if you can, sometimes the only pampers will be wrapped around Bennett's behind!), breath, meditate, and celebrate the time you had with Burke by playing with and enjoying his little brother.