running

this post is brought to you by an introvert who is currently more concerned with being very honest for the sake of other grieving parents than protecting her little introvert shell, but who will most certainly regret it in the morning.

i’ve been trying to write all week, but the words haven’t come. i can only write well when i’m being honest, and not when i’m attempting to say profound, spiritual, grief-y things while my thoughts are mostly consumed with midterms.

it takes a long time to realize that. i sit at my computer … why can’t i write. i go over my list of ideas and begin one, then another. all rubbish. all lacking. all dishonest.

running away. that’s what i’m doing. i’m running away. you see, i’m pretty terrified of my grief this week. i wasn’t last week; last week i embraced it and accepted it and shared it and felt whole in it … this week, i’m running so hard from it that i’m breathless and exhausted and wide-eyed and heaving. i can’t blog, i can’t write, i can’t reflect or be alone with myself … i can only avoid and study the greeks. (see aforementioned midterms.) and sometimes even the greeks hit a little too close … all that darn philosophy and oedipus and stuff. darn oedipus.

i shut my mind down … and feel guilty for shutting him out, but i can’t face it. i can’t gaze on the terrifying face of a little baby, my little baby. i can’t know what will happen if i do … the grief stalks, hiding behind trees and jumping out at highly inopportune moments, and i raise my mask, my shield so fast that i can’t get a good look at it….

the power of a parent’s grief is formidable. people have gone crazy from less.

i have no idea what it wants, what it looks like. i really don’t even know why i’m so afraid. the “sorry-your-baby-died-here’s-how-to-get-over-it-except-you-won’t-really” books say to welcome your grief. they say don’t avoid it, don’t put it off, don’t stuff it cause then you’ll get stomachaches and neurotic.

the grief only wants to help, right? it wants to come to me and make me whole, entering and weaving together the tangled and confused and hurting parts, molding art from pain clay.

but not this week. i’m afraid to hurt, i’m afraid to be caught, pinned down like a butterfly. i’m afraid to have my little jar of pain clay exposed, even only to my own grief. i’m just too … little. too little to integrate these hurting parts and collapse under the weight of them. i’d rather pretend they’re not there. (and, coincidentally, have panic attacks. darn sneaky grief.)

but as long as i’m not acknowledging its existence, like my own shadow, i’m going to keep dashing away terrified every time the sun peeks out. every time the sun appears in the sky, my sky.

maybe God is somewhere in that scary grief too, i don’t know. probably. it seems like the type of place God would hang out, a place so humble. but oh no, when it finally catches me i know it will hurt, and every moment will taste of salt, from tears or blood or imagination i will not know and i will not care.

and the pragmatist hopes it will catch me soon so i have something else to write about.

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7 thoughts on “running”

  1. i’m tempted to just say “ruunn!! run as fast as you can!!” the horror i feel trying to imagine you “looking” at your pain is so much to bear, and i am not even the owner of the pain. so for your sake (and mine) i want to tell you to flee for your life. this is too much. it hurts too much.

    i know you know there is no way over under or around it, but i also want to affirm that you are human. you may need weeks where you “don’t look”. it is too much to take in at once and live.

    i am so thankful you have shed your protective introvert shell for the sake of the rest of us. what sacrificial love and grace you exhibit with each push of the publish button.

    in your pain. in your “looking” and your “looking away”. in all of it. you are so loved.

  2. Hello fellow Portlander and mama. I found your blog on face of loss and wanted to say hello. I lost my son over the summer, I was 5 months along. He was due in January.

    I am so very, very sorry about the loss of your son, Sky. I have found over the months since GH died that words never feel adequate to express the profound sorrow I feel and that feels true now. I just want to say that you and your family are now in my thoughts, and I am so sorry you had join this terrible group, this family of women, of men who have lost babies. No one should ever have to be here.

    It has gotten a bit better with each week, though it has taken a lot of work and a lot of patience and love. Therapy has helped me tremendously. I am glad to see you have a good support system. Hold onto each other, hold onto love and know that Sky is with you, always.

  3. Lani, thank you for your honesty. I have nothing profound or truly helpful to say (it seems you are getting along quite well in your own processing). I merely post because I want you to know that Sky is remembered. That you are remembered. That you and Joel and Sky are all loved. And that you are prayed for. That’s all I can offer really…

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