Saturday, June 23, 2012

60 years of grief

I learned last night what is wrong with my husband's grandmother.  I say that like there is something wrong with the woman like a cancer, heart disease or broken hip.... But no....she lost a child.....

60+ years ago when a woman was not allowed to grieve the loss of her precious, precious son, a little boy was born.  He lived for 10 days.  He had a bad heart.

Mitchell mentioned that when Jimmie dies, she wants to be buried back in MO with.....her son.  "HER SON!!??" was my first reaction.  What son!?!?!

But then I remembered that hot and spicy day during my first pregnancy.  2008.  A younger, more naive, less wrinkled and hopeful me is spending time with the in-laws at their cabin outside of Estes Park.  I am in my third trimester.   My mother-in-law tells us about her brother who died at infancy from some sort of heart complications. 

I remembered the horror stricken, full-blown panic attack I had in that dusty cabin bedroom.  Well aware that everyone in the little building could hear me freaking out and gasping for air.  It was the first time I had ever considered that something could happen to this life I was growing in my belly.  The first time the thought had even crossed my mind that babies die.  The first time ever that I realized that the terror of caring for another life is LESS SCARY than having no little life to care for at all.  Little did I know that my worst fear that day would be coming true 2.5 years later and again less than 12 months after that.

 I know that she's had a hard life, although I don't know many of the gory details, but no wonder the woman has had an addiction to prescription narcotics for the last ?? years.  No wonder she can be so cankerous and stubbon.  The grief has to come out somewhere.   Part of me would love to join her on her drug induced cloud of life.  Hell, give the lady her pain pills.

I can't imagine trying to grieve the loss of this baby boy, when you weren't allowed to.  Even today, people just don't get it.  They don't understand that my world is crushed, that I hurt for my children every moment of every day, that I have a hole that I constantly fight to keep from swallowing me.  They don't ask about them or me.  Everyone just wants to gloss over their deaths.  And I'm sure in rural Missouri, over 60 years ago, the glossing started before that little boy was even in the ground.  Had he even died yet before people started glossing over Jimmie's pain??

Jimmie, I am so sorry.  Please know that Mitchell and I will fight for you to be buried next to your babe.  My understanding of you has blossomed into a giant flower.  I get it.  Even if we can't talk about it, even if it's not a concept I can get across to you through the haze.  I get it and I am so very, very sorry.

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