Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Mother’s Journey Through The Valley

~~ Jackie Thomson, TCF, Tuscaloosa, AL ~~

Is anybody out there listening? Help, oh help! I am drowning in a sea of pain likened only to molten lava. My child has died. Disappeared from my life, no longer held, or comforted or dressed, or smelling of baby powder and nuzzled in the folds of a soft little neck, or rocked in the oneness of a mother’s arms outside the womb.

Is anybody listening? Tell me it is not true, and that the worst nightmare of my imaginings has not happened. And if it is a bad dream, please wake me up now, for the ache and heaviness in my being is more than I can bear. Day after day and night after night march by in an endless processional of grief. I endure life. Its wonders are lost to me. A desert of weeks and months toll the demise of one as dear as life itself.

Then I am aware of being stalked by an unseen threat, an ominous foreboding of things to come. The day is approaching in relentless pursuit of my consciousness and my unconsciousness as well. I slyly take the approach that perhaps I can delude myself into thinking that she is on a trip and that I will get a letter soon or hear “Hi, Mom” on the telephone. Better yet, I feel there may be some stone I left unturned while throwing myself between my child and the threat. Yes, that’s it. If I can figure out the key to the abominable puzzle, the picture will be different. And still the point of no return draws nearer and the pain more intense. At 4 a.m. I am awake. My heart begs for a different outcome, but at dawn the reality of the cold light of day tells me this is all there is. I am floating prostrate in a flat plane of grief. Stay away from me! Leave me to my suffering because you cannot make it go away nor change the course. Nothing in between is acceptable on this day of days, so get away from me!

It seems unreal. The fever pitch of the day that passed. My limbs remain leaden, but I am upright again. I am doing what I would have been doing. Because it is mechanical I can function again. A year has passed. And another. Each cycle of my loss is less intense. Though the pain never leaves me, sometimes it is pushed back in my consciousness so that an occasional shaft of light and sweetness filters into the dark recess of my mind where I have hidden. I am cautious in accepting these offerings of release for they might turn on me and wound me again.

One day I reach the crest of the hill I have been climbing, and I feel the sun on my face, and I am not afraid to look below to hopes of serenity in pieces to be assembled like a patchwork quilt. I look back, where I’ve come from and am grateful for my process. I see that I am not the same unsuspecting person I was, taking for granted the continued presence of my loved ones. At last I am moving on. I know I will never be the same, but today I can live with that and appreciate the good left to me.

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