I read other women's stories and I can see how the shock of it, the unexpectedness of not getting what you thought you would get, could completely derail a person for quite some time. But when I think of myself, of my own story, the grace I feel is somehow less encompassing.
I was derailed too, at the very very beginning; but the feeling seemed to wear off pretty quickly each time. Perhaps too quickly; perhaps more quickly than is normal or right. Because in my life, very few things have gone how I thought they would go. Much has been stolen from me. I have suffered so many losses, in so many realms. It is almost old hat.
Is my pain somehow less, for being so familiar? Or do I simply hold it farther away from myself? Do I shrug it off, say: This is just how it is for me? Have I acknowledged, truly, in the deepest part of myself, that this loss is COMPLETELY unfair and there is no making it better? That it is NOT OKAY for me to be wounded this way; that it was never okay?
If it weren't for this deeply rooted belief that I deserve to be alone, could I bear my lonliness? If I shed the false "comfort" that this is simply how I am meant to be (alone, forever) would I be able to get up every morning? I wonder. Because if I force the thought: "I did not deserve for my children to die," tears prick my eyes instantly. If I don't deserve it, that makes it so much worse. If I don't deserve it, it's all just tragically unfair. How can I live in a world where it is possible to be hurt this much?
It's horrible and wrong and I wish it was different and yet, because I still seem to eventually lose everything that really matters to me (and only time will ever prove differently), to be honest I can hardly wrap my brain around the idea of a world where my babies don't die. To quote dear Angela: "I don't know what it's like to have a four month old. I only know what it is to miss you with every breath I take."
When (if) I actually have a living child -- an infant, a four month old, a toddler -- will I be able to look at him/her and ONLY see him/her? Or will the ghosts of my first two children manifest themselves around me, distract me from the present, make me prone to unexplainable bouts of tears? Will I suffer a little even as I celebrate each precious milestone? Every time I think to myself: Ah! So this is what it's like?
I think of all these things and in my mind's eye a long road of grief unfolds and stretches and stretches and stretches before me.