chapter 2

a little over a year ago, i wrote the following post, which broke down into a journal entry, and i did not post it. instead, i stopped writing.


how does one write about the pain of loneliness and alienation?

when god’s silence is the heaviest cross to bear.

when the utter abasement of spiritual confusion is too humble to draw empathy.

when the humanity of a dead baby is devalued by so many microaggressions.

when in a spiritual desert that requires true wandering, and confident voices lead only to oases of mud.

when the poor in spirit are assigned a pair of bootstraps.

when blessed are those who mourn, for they are judged.

when blessed are the meek, for they are trampled under the feet of the confident.

because now we have left the world of the dead, and reentered the world of the living and the happy and the “god has a plan for everything” and everything else that people expect from us. they think they have us “back” now, but you don’t just come ba –

GAH i can’t write because everything hurts, and i can’t weed out the parts to hold back from the parts to share. i don’t have anything to share except confusion, and i don’t know how to share confusion. everything is too fragmented, and i want to put it together but it’s like putting together a 100 piece puzzle with only 38 pieces. it doesn’t make sense and there’s no picture on the box and none of the pieces are adjacent and, what’s more, i’m afraid of being judged for my pathetic broken little puzzle because i already have been.

how do i write a post about the pain of judgment without sounding defensive?

why do i want to write anyway? i can write … i can write this emotional word-vomit blather. i can write short, declarative sentences, most of which begin with “i” and are centered around my relentless feeeeelings. so i can write. i just can’t write what i want to. i just can’t write anything that makes sense of life. i can’t write a piece of art or empathy. if i hurt the right amount, i can turn it into art, but this hurt right now is too much; i can’t harness it or use it.

losing sky was a pure hurt, one that made me whole. this awful mess of lost-relationship-confusion-complication-transformation and worst – the assumption that we’re fine now because ash replaced sky … this is fragmenting hurt. this pain rips apart, takes the pieces of me and throws them into a cloud, obscuring god and others. i lose people and ideas and systems of thought and my train of thought and nothing makes sense and i can’t put humpty dumpty together again by writing about it.

and i don’t want to share this, because giving people the parts of me that are unpolished and shaking with pain and anger is … utter foolishness.

what does “i can write” even look like right now? i don’t know how to write my way through this. i need to be more whole, more honest. but i can’t force wholeness. i was hoping that by writing all of this silliness, then the art and creativity and beauty would eventually start to flow. it hasn’t. i’m right back where i started.

i just can’t be this honest. i can’t be this bare. nobody wants to read this much self-centered darkness. some can write about grief because their souls are light and beautiful and tender and focused. others bring clarity of writing and intellectual creativity. i am empty right now. i don’t have anything to bring except hurt and brokenness, and no pretty words to dress it up. no fancy metaphors to bring comfort to others. no exhortations, and … no happy ending.

having ash didn’t make us whole again. he brings joy into our hurting lives, but we are broken parents to him. our family is built on the pain of loss. we lost sky. ash lost his birth family and culture. we are like survivors of a war. we pick ourselves up, limp to the nearest refugee camp, and make a family from the few hurting people we find there. we found ashal, and he found us, and now we are family. a family born from trauma and pain and making the best of awful situations.

“congratulations, it’s a boy!”

i’m not an author. i’m just a housewife with a blog that is marinated in my own emotional juices and starting to smell putrid.

it stopped there, and i didn’t write for a year. we went through a pregnancy and had a baby. we ended some life chapters, and began writing new ones. life was dark, and light, sometimes in the same day, sometimes at the same time. i include that post because i think differently now, and believe that hurt and brokenness are beautiful, precious gifts to give.

blessed are those who receive the nakedness of others’ hearts, for empathy will be theirs, and through empathy, the whole world.

and i’m ready to write a new chapter. a chapter of tiny and beautiful things, small and sad things, the ephemera of young children, for whom every experience is a microcosm of the universe, and young ideas, which are remarkably similar.

a chapter with a tiny bit more vulnerability than the last one, and a lot of cute pictures.


3 thoughts on “chapter 2”

  1. Thank you for sharing, both then and now. I feel like we’re just discovering together Lani 3.0

  2. Beautiful. You wrote well a year ago, and I agree with your assessment of it now. Some people will never understand loss and grief, but those who are going through it need you to let them know that a year from now, as dismal as it may seem, they may just be ready to pick up and go again. Life will forever be changed, but beauty will still find a way in. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to more!

  3. I’m so thankful that you’re sharing the story if your family and your soul with all of us again… what beautiful, truthful words. You are an entirely different mother (and family) now… because of Sky, and because of Ash, and because of Aida… and that’s a beautiful thing. Love to all of you.

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