Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All I want for Christmas is you

I've listened to this song about 50 times tonight. I like to think I can sing. I sing it, and it just chokes me up. Seriously. I just blubber to this song :(

I'm just so sad again. It seems like I've noticed so many birthdays in the last couple of weeks, everytime I turn around. My daughter was invited to a party on Saturday, and I just thought, we should be having one of those now and cried.

I've just been in such a funk. Just bone tired. I'm finding it hard to get out of bed again. I have little affect, I"m such a pessimist. My boss said (nicely) that I was 'in a bit of a mood today'. I didn't realize it was so obvious, i do try. I'm just so blue. Everytime I hear a sad Christmas song I cry.

There is just no preparing for these waves of sadness. Life goes on, and I hate life for that.

MISSing my son, Myles, this Christmas and always.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A poem for Myles on his birthday

Born at Rest

Born to the world
Already at rest
Our search for lifes meaning
Is put to the test

Unlike his name
His journey not far
The road Myles traveled
Led right to his star

To walk with his family
And those here on earth
A path not to be
For his miraculous birth

Expressions to ease
Our need for a reason
With words meant to comfort
When too short the season

For tears shed in sorrow
And to eyes that have cried
On the wings of a butterfly
His spirit does glide

Those Myles touched
Should look to their heart
To bring them the peace
That he had to depart

Ever so close
In our mind's eye
His essence you'll find
Never to die

For our dear "Little Myles"
Is beyond our embrace
But etched in our soul
Is his sweet newborn face

Written by Myles' Great Aunt Rosary

Myles 2nd Birthday

The days leading up to these big days are the worst, but after being on this journey for two years, I realize no day is ever how we expect it to be. So I don't know what today will bring. I just know I wish I was planning my son's second birthday.

Losing him sometimes feels like yesterday, and sometimes it feels like a century ago since I held him. The hardest part is remembering my daughter's second birthday. I've been packing and moving and ironically happened upon a bunch of cards from when she turned 2. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember the gifts she received, how big she was, all the things she could say. It hurts that I can't imagine Myles doing any of those things. It hurts that he will forever be only what my imagination will allow, it just feels so inadequate. Trying to picture him doing those things, grasping at what should be today. It makes me frustrated and angry, he should be here. I'd love to hold him and hug him forever and ever and i can't, i want to so badly it hurts

So, we're going to a movie, decorating a cake for him, taking a birthday balloon and decorations to the cemetary. I find myself doting on l/c to make up for the little one I don't have to dote on. Like its another birthday for her. They say your heart expands everytime you have more children. It's so hard having this heart made for two and only having one to give it all to. It's a hole. And today I know that as much as I'm trying to celebrate, as much as I'm trying to make it a special day to remember my son, that really deep down I'm trying to fill a hole that can never be filled. Grasping to give love that I cannot physically express.

I just wish things were different. I wish this time of year was how I had imagined it would be for the rest of my life. My little turkey Myles should be here. And it makes me sad. It makes me wish I could turn back the clock and change something, anything to make it different today. But we get what we get. So I'm going to try to have the most gentle day I can.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Son. I miss you and love you and I am so proud of you and I wish so badly that you were right here so I could make you pancakes and surprise you with balloons and give you all the love I have to give.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Still here . . .

Yep. Still alive. Doing well. Was without internet for about a month so that was not a bad hiatus. Can't say the fally doesn't hit me hard. Partially why I'm here again. I decided some time ago this was my grief blog, and with my divorce and move and new life (even dating) it's not that I don't grieve but it's harder to write about. I'm afraid. I think about that story about grief in a jar, and how you store it and then suddenly, the jar falls off the shelf and you're covered in grief and nobody understands.

So I'm a little covered in grief at the moment. Naturally I find myself back here. Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I've got a candle lit for Myles now. This Fall I've found myself more raw than I've felt for awhile. It's been tough. I've got a new job, soon I'll have a new home, everything has changed. It's happy and sad and fuck; i'm ambivalent old me.

I've been trying to take it easy as the raw grief has resurfaced. I don't want to let my old bad self take over again. I want to be wiser, understand my limits, worry less about disappointing people than I worry about myself and my maintaing. I've learned that this life isabout knowing your own limits, and keeping the gentle people and distancing from the hurtful people.

Bah. So here I am. And as I've eluded. I'm thinking a blog less about greif and more about my other tribulations needs to happen. So. When it does, I'll let you know. If you have followed my grief blog I'd love for you to join me on the other side on a blog less about grief and more about my life as I find it today. When the time comes you can email me and I'll let you know. I've been longing for that anonymous venue for some time. Today I know I need it.

Remembering our children today and this Fall and just always and forever . . .

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Failing my daughter

My daughter was so excited to become a big sis. She knows she is still a big sis even though her brother died. She takes so much pride in him, sharing him freely with anyone who lets her, she is her brothers keeper and i'm so thankful for that. She has always been my constant reminder of all of the wonderful times we had with her brother, how loved he was, how happy he made us, and how he will never be forgotten.

Still, she wants a living sibling so bad. Her father and I are separated and it is likely we will get divorced eventually, it just hasn't been urgent to file the paperwork at this point.

It seems like at least twice a week, she brings up having another baby or (because she's precocious and knows) she wants me to adopt.

How do I explain to her the complexities of the world? I don't know that I could ever handle a sub preg, i'm not ruling it out because i am 29 and you never know what the future will bring, but it is obvious that this will not happen anytime soon. I also can't explain to her that being a single mom, my options for adoption are limited. I don't have any money for adoption, and I don't know enough about the child welfare system to know if they would allow a single mom to be a foster parent, let alone an adoptive parent. Even if they did, could I handle a child in my current capacity? Could I afford it? Do I have the emotional resources to foster a child? And if we did take that route, that child may not be with us forever, so I would be creating an attachment that could inevitably end in another loss (not the same, but i see parallels).

My daughter is almost six, her brother and her would be four years apart. It feels like time is ticking away and i'm losing any chance i had at giving my daughter the experience of having a living sibling. I certainly can't tell her, well maybe when you're older or I get remarried (bah, never want to get remarried!) or whatever. That's too much for her to understand, and I would never ever want to ever promise her a sibling ever again. That's what happened the first time and here we are.

I usually just find myself, each time she asks, just disappointing her all over again. That's what it feels like anyway. All I can say is that I don't know. That it might just be me and her, and that I'm so happy I have her in my life. She is all I need, not all I ever wanted, but she makes up what remains of my heart.

I know that many only children (i hate saying that, she is not my only child!) would have liked to have a sibling, and they are fine being the only child. It just seems doubly unfair though that she SHOULDN'T be an only child. That she had and has a little brother, yet she has very few of the experiences most children have and she perhaps will never know the love (and all the other stuff) that is a part of having a living sibling.

This has been my biggest turmoil since the moment the nurse couldn't find the heartbeat. How could I tell my daughter? As my marriage eroded, i've still grasped at any conceivable chance that maybe, just maybe I could somehow be a mommy to a rainbow baby. I don't know that I'll ever be there. And that is okay for me I've accepted that, but I feel like I'm failing her everytime she asks for a sibling.

Anyway, I know there aren't any answers really. It just feels like I need to get this off of my chest. How could I fail both my children so fully? How can I keep failing her? How can I possibly just tell her, life isn't fair? 'I don't know' seems like such an inadequate answer to her pleas. She deserves so much more

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Out of the funk, then back in again

I was such an insomniac for so long, I don't really remember having any bad dreams in the beginning. Maybe I've forgotten them. I dreamed that Myles wasn't dead, that it was all a mistake. That was a good dream, waking up was awful.

Having said that, I had an awful dream two nights ago. So bad I'm still trying to shake it. I dreamt that I was pregnant and had to have a c-sec (i've never had one before). My baby died, but it wasn't Myles, it was the next baby. I'm not pregnant or planning on ttc anytime soon. But there I was. And I remember trying to hide the fact that my baby had died. That I had even been pregnant. I didn't want to tell anybody. It was awful. It was like proof that there was something wrong with me, and I was so ashamed.

So that, and the assassination of Dr. Tiller both have me feeling sad and shaken. All of those women, enduring the worst time of their life, making the hardest choices they've ever had to make, and now the only person they could turn to is gone. Pro-life my ass. This man has helped and saved the lives of so many women. He will be missed by so many people in so many ways.

The abortion debate is front and center as a result it seems, and I can't help but feel stepped on by both sides. There is a way to promote womens' choices without devaluing the love and pain women like me feel. I know it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

He counts

I've been struck recently by how I'm often off count. I get together with my sister, or go out to dinner, and someone asks me the number of people, and I'm never right it seems. It noticed for the first time last Christmas. I'm counting and recounting stockings and presents, and I'm off. Bam, it hits me. Myles. I'm counting Myles. What a shot in the gut.

It has me thinking a lot about feminism and the right to choose. I guess what bothers me is that I think that the right to choose MEANING is often overlooked. The right to view your child as a person, with a life and future is often overshadowed by the pointless banter, back and forth, under and over each othdr.

My son was not a fetus to me. Medically, yes. But to me; he was a baby, a toddler, a little boy, and a man. He was my son. He counts to me. He counts to me the same whether he was born still or alive. He was loved and wanted, and he was our son.

I just want that reality recognized. That a child can be loved at conception, and that their loss at any gestation means the loss of meaning, the loss of the future and the loss of many women's dreams.

My son was very much a person to me, and I want that to be respected as much as anything.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I'm still debating on the deletion thing. Mostly I just don't want cruel people to have access to my personal thoughts, and I don't want people who can't constructively talk to me in real life to get the privelege of knowing what's going on with me. With family like this, who needs enemies? Sigh.

Anyway, that's not why I'm writing now. Last night Simone had a teary night. Sometimes she is upset about something else, and it turns into her being sad about Myles. Her pain over Myles generally grows out of a general feeling of shittiness for her, and I totally get it. Last night was different though. We were laying next to each other as I tried to get her to wind down and she said she had a lump in her throat. Usually the crying isn't crying like when she gets hurt (feelings or otherwise) it's a little more dramatic, somewhat forced. Her crying about Myles has always been that way. Last night, though, she really got swept up in tears like I haven't seen.

I think it was good for her. She doesn't see me cry like I once use to. When I cried last night as we were talking about what we had wanted for Myles, I could tell the sense of reciprocity and her ability to empathize and comfort really gives her a sense of mastery. Her compassion is unparalleled.

Okay, but teary nights we've had. What I have never heard her say before is what's been bouncing around my head:

'Mom, I just knowed it was going to happen. I tried to just act normal and smile, but I just knowed he was going to die.'

?! huh ?!

Simone will be 6 in August, is just finishing up her first year of Kindergarten. Kids grow so damn fast. When I told her she was three when we learned about my pregnancy, and we celebrated her 4th bday when I was very much prego, it blew us both away to contemplate how little she was, how long ago it was. She has grown so much since he died. She loves to play this game, how old would Myles be (or would he have been). So she'll say, When I'm 8, how old would Myles have been. She'll go up into their teens and 20's. It's so sad.

So watching Simone develop, and watching her understand her loss more deeply as she ages has really given me some insight. I know lots of women who have felt they've had a premonition. Hell, I look back and even B has looked back and said (because of x, y, and z) we knew something, even though we didn't KNOW. It makes me wonder if going back, and giving more weight to the fears and anxieties we felt during the pregnancy, is part of being human. I don't think anyone can know, but I think we have this inclination as humans to go back and make sense of the events in our lives. We create forshadowing in the aftermath. We tell some story in our minds leading up to whatever terrible life altering event we've been through, that makes sense like a book makes sense. I think perhaps it gives us some sense of control in a world where we really have no control. Where do psychic beliefs originate from? Are they something that evolved?

Sigh. I'm still thinking on it. Has anyone out there felt they didn't have a sense of forboding about their child's death?

Simone said a lot of interesting things last night. She also said, for the first time, that nobody knows what she feels. 'Nobody knows what it's like to lose their little brother'. It remeinded me of my blog a few weeks ago when I said nobody knows what I live through each day without Myles. That sense of loneliness I wish I could take for her. I know how painful that is :(

I'm so fortunate to have her, and I'm so glad to be her mother.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

debating on deleting all of this

I'm debating on deleting this blog. Quite frankly, i was stupid enough to let some family members see it, and i haven't remained as anonymous as i probably should have (using pseudonyms etc.). It makes me really kind of sad, but i don't really know what else to do? I've basically stopped blogging on myspace for the same reason, and/or kicked family members off (it's a private blog). I guess I'm just bummed because I really like being able to come here and vent, and for the few readers i have, read your replies. It's just not the same genre as posting on an online forum if you all know what i mean. I guess what's even more sad is that I used to not give a damn, but I feel so vulnerable, and I feel the world is so cruel, that I would delete this very personal diary/chronicle simply to protect myself from the hurt or questions forced on me by others. This blog has been with me since the beginning, and having to say goodbye to it is something i would mourn.

I just don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice? :(

Monday, April 27, 2009

Time doesn't heal this

I'm having a rough day today. I don't know why. It's 17 months to the day since I buried my son, and here I am again, crying alone in the shower, in front of my computer, smoking in the garage, tears running down my face everywhere I go.

It just feels like each day brings added weight, not relief. That I'm losing Myles each and every day because as time moves forward, I move further away from him and my life as I knew it. I'm a shell of a my former self, bitter and sad.

Mother's day is coming up and I think Simone and I are just going to make some cards together. Me for my mom, her for me and maybe for Myles too if she wants. I wish I could go to the zoo to see the butterfly plaque my family got last November in honor of Myles, but Simone and I will go see it together soon if not on Monther's day. Simone never tires of remembering Myles, she'll love to see his name there with all the children and butterflies. Everything is so bittersweet. She wants to take the plaster casts of Myles' two hands and one foot to school. I don't know if I can do it, and I can't let her take them alone, but for her I'll try.

Sadly, Mother's day doesn't remind me of what it should; this time two years ago when I had my two children with me. I didn't know that was my only true Mother's day, the only one I'd ever have. Instead, the upcoming Mother's day reminds me of last year, and crying in the parking lot at Perkins as my first family betrayal scorched my already tattered heart. I didn't know I could hurt more than I had. What little I knew almost 6 months out.

The trauma of the first year weighs heavily on me the second. Time moves forward and everyone else forgets. Nobody lives with this daily as I do, nobody. Each year, you remember the last. Last year at this time I was so utterly lost, more than I could fathom. This year I'm here, but my life is on it's head. I feel so defeated. I didn't know I could feel more defeated than after I lost Myles, but the death of my marriage is it's own loss. 11 years together, 8 years of marriage on May 26th; this will be our first anniversary apart. Somehow, it seems like we're failing both our children.

Anyway, there is no point to this, just thinking, typing, rambling, crying, blowing my nose. I'm just worried about next month, and the old pain it will dredge up and the new losses I will have to deal with. I used to love May, once upon a time. I will somehow have to find the courage and strength within me to sustain me through the month ahead :(

Friday, April 17, 2009


I've been in hell for the last 3 or 4 weeks, battling a depressive episode, working on my dissertation proposal, missing all the deadlines it seemed, and struggling to find the will or the energy to pull it together. While doing this, other drama weighed heavily, we lost the dogs (then found them), my stepdad may be very sick; I've just felt so helpless, hopeless, and alone.

On monday I passed my proposal defense (first 3 chapters of my diss.), and the positive response i got surpassed my wildest dreams. I got so many compliments they liked it 'as is' but had great suggestions. I could just about cry. I realized just how much i tear myself down in my own mind. I'm my own worst enemy.

So, there is the good news, my faith in my ability to do my job is returning. I feel redeemed.

My depression was better today, but here I am sleepless at 430am in limbo. I'm hoping to move back to home May 21st. It's my birthday and I can't think of a better present than being able to pick Simone up from her last day of school that day and just drive back, lol. Where we will live is yet to be seen. But at this point I don't care. I just miss Lincoln and so does Simone, so i want to make it happen very badly.

Anyway, just wanted to share some happy news, my actual dissertation and final defense do not feel near so intimidating, and that feels reassuring. With the response I got, I think things are going to work out well. Maybe I'll actually get my PhD after all?!

My shitty plan

Okay, the plan, moving back to my hometown, uh . . . not so good. I didn't realize that what I needed was my ideal family, not the one I have. Because the family I have are just are who they are; each their assets and faults. They don't have a magic wand. They can't be what I need when I need it. Because on a very fundamental level they don't understand.
And I shouldn't expect them too.

And when they say things, hurtful things, they think they're helping. It's a catch 22 as another bereaved parent described the phenemonen of familial anlienation after the death of a child. What they want to do to help, hurts. They're destined to do everything wrong. Because they just want the old you back, and they want to 'fix'. There is no fix.

Well, my family has done EVERYTHING wrong (cept sweet Heidi ;).
From micromanaging our lives, to saying I don't deserve my daughter, to saying I'm doing my son's 'legacy' a disservice, to telling me they understand exactly how I feel and Myles would want . . . (rip someone's fuckin head off). When I skipped Thanksgiving (Myles died on Thanksgiving) I was told to 'get with it'.
I think I've been criticized for everything you can be criticized for. And I miss Lincoln, and the drama with families (Brandon's families have been probably the biggest jerks but there is a good competition) and with B and I trying to figure out our shit, and parenting, and defending my diss. proposal (April 13th, yay), and working, and I'm just about ready to lose it.

When will I be back in my home? I think the most depressing part is I can't say. Simone has to finish school, she finishes on my bday, and I think that might be the magic day. But . . . only . . . if things pan out like they need to. And I have so little hope for the minor things. For big things? I don't think I have it in me.
Missing Lincoln, and Myles, and my sanity.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Awful nightmare

Not about Myles. My mom is 55, and has had more than her fair share of health problems. Well she went into urgent care for being dizzy, and I'm sick, and I went to bed at 830. The last thing Simone and I did was call her and we figured she was coming home soon, doctors said as soon as her heartrate came down.

Well, I just had the most horrible dream that she died. Just awful. And I had to tell my daughter, who adores her grandma Cyn, and it was more heartbreaking than words can describe. I just woke up sobbing, its 344am, and I don't think I'm going back to sleep. Just went and checked her bed. (okay, i was going to go cry to her and tell her how much I love her) but she wasn't there. Docs must have kept her in over night to watch her :(

I know she's going to be fine, but in my dream, all the things about her grandchildren's life she was gonna miss flashed through my head. It was excruciating thinking she would never see any of it. So, no one to console me, here I am.

I love my mom so much, and living with her, it seems like shes been driving me crazy. But none of that lame stuff matters that much in the grand scheme, and I'm feeling like an unappreciative heel.

I thought losing Myles had taught me something about life and death, and now I'm feeling like I learned nothing at all. That the next time life takes its inevitable course, I will be just as unprepared as anyone. And I know loss and grief, they have been my partners for so long. But something tells me that when it happens again, it will be like meeting them anew, and dealing with this human condition all over again.

For the first time, I wish I could call my brother (whom I haven't spoken to since around Christmas. I'm still angry with him, I just need someone to talk to.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I just want my baby

I JUST WANT MY BABY!!! I just want my son. Thats all I want. Fuck school, fuck relationships, fuck it all. Just give me my baby you motherfuckers, cuz I don't think I can take another step without him on days like these.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What I think happened

I'm a researcher, and was always that kid who wanted to know 'why'. I remember the first time I searched the internet for an illness. It was way back in 1998 when I was diagnosed with shingles. This also happened to be my first foray into academia, but scholarly journals were not yet in my repertoire. Thus I worked myself into a panic, thinking i had some autoimmune disorder. Hell maybe I do.

Anyway, that's where it began, but my need for more and more information would only increase from there. I'm an information junky. As I moved into graduate school, I only became more sophisticated, especially with the increased access to scholarly journals.

When I was pregnant with Simone, I read everything I could. When I was breastfeeding Simone, I read everything I could, so much so my dissertation is over that topic today. I'm a breastfeeding factotum.

So when I was pregnant with Myles, and knew I got to be home with home for at least 6 months, I was stoked. B was a SAHD, so I went back to work full-time when she was 8 weeks. She was exclusively breastfed (except when we added solids) and then we continued breastfeeding until she was 2 and 1/2.

I so looked forward to breastfeeding, Myles. But I researched a million other things too, going diaper free, using cloth diapers, making baby food. I was sooooo ready. And I remember writing a blog when I found out he was a boy, so enthralled with the idea of raising a son.

That's when, after my 20 week appt. my doc called and said there was an echogenic foci on Myles' heart. It looked like a little bit of calcium in his left ventrical, and it can be a marker for down syndrome. Well I got the quad screen and the level two, and I had a 1/2300 chance, and I ended up teaching my ob/gyn about it as it is a normal variant and it generally means nothing in and of itself. His heart was perfect, just a blip. So I told myself, so I told her, so the research said. But deep inside, I worried.

Then there was my girth. I measured 7cm big through most of my pg (at 20 weeks, I measured 27), I was borderline polyhydramnios (which I also researched the hell out of) but was assured that everything else was okay. This worried me, deep inside though.

During my pregnancy I had shingles (yep, remember those shingles when I was 18) twice. Never had I had them so close together. They are an indicator of stress for me, I've had them 6 times since I was 18.

I had awful ear infections. I had never had an ear infection in my life. I never knew how excruciating they were, I feel so sad for all those little ones who suffer. Oh, nights were the worst, wake up, ear throbbing; and that was in addition to all the other things that wake you up when you're giant prego. I had recurrent ear infections, with a total of 5 appointments for them starting at my 18th week of pregnancy. My last appt with the ENT I cancelled the Monday after the Saturday that Myles was born still. I knew deep down, that my ear infections would be gone soon. They've never returned.

I had carpal tunnel. This seems like and odd ante dote, but it was very painful and I hadn't had it with my last pregnancy (add that to the long list) so it was another piece of a puzzle I was frantically trying to figure out.

Well, it wasn't frantic yet. On Sept. 23rd, 2007, I went into preterm labor when Myles was 28 weeks. Bam, my world changed. Had blood and mucous, went to hospital, dilating, drugs, worry. Go home, bed rest, more and more worries. Gobs or research. I couldn't sleep, I was on bedrest, and I was glued to my computer. What was wrong with me? Why was my uterus irritable (I contracted 5 times or more an hour for 12 weeks). I had a couple non-stress tests, another level II ultra sound, I was put on the drugs visteril (sp?) and (procardia) and I as left all depressed and OCD.

And the ticking tock for me was a shift in the amniotic fluid. Up until 28 weeks I was measuring 7cm, by the time I had my appt. on the Tuesday before he died, I was 37 weeks and 37 centimeters. I remember commenting to midwife, I wonder where all that amniotic fluid is going? Then pooh poohing myself for finding something else to worry about.

My theory:
First, I think it has to do with gender. I already knew from my studies that boy babies did worse 'on average' than girl babies. They're less hardy, more likely to have complications, etc. They are also more likely to die from SIDS and stillbirth.

Then I read all these articles on testosterones effect on the immune system, and a lot of stuff on how autoimmune disorders are sometimes temporarily relieve during pregancy because the immune system is tuned down so the body does not reject the baby.

So what do I think happened? I think my immune system did the opposite, and that the cells from the placenta and uterine wall did not properly bind, or as they grew, did not grow quickly or were restricted in some way.

I believe that the scar tissue band in my uterus, and my placenta accreta are evidence of this.

I believe that Myles was smaller than he should be. Simone was born at 35 weeks and weighed 6lbs 11oz. I gained more weight with Myles (60lbs) than I did with Simone, and with 2 weeks longer in the oven, he only weighed 6lbs 7oz. He was big through every sonogram and I'm 5ft 8in and I'm the runt in my family.

Finally, I believe he died of fetal asphyxiation. I believe that when I went into pretern labor, that blood was indicative of an abruption or of the placenta hitting that band. I believe that is why I went into preterm labor, and why he fell off his growth chart between 28-37 weeks gestation.

I can't figure out that foci though, thats the part that haunts me. And so does the research on stress and pregnancy outcomes. I pushed myself to the brink that pregnancy, for what?

So, I actually do have a doc I saved all of this stuff on, its filled with articles and webpages to links to each piece. I will probably come back through and hyperlink, and would be thrilled to get such a request! The one thing I love about research is talking about research!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

cautiously happy

As deep and dark as my last two posts have been, it makes me wonder if perhaps I'm posting today to maintain some sense of balance on my blog. As perplexed as I am, and as much time I have put into pondering these facts of my life, these things that have forced themself onto my life and now are part of my very definition, for some reason, I'm just not that 'upset' about it all.

I don't think my lack of unrest or torment is a feeling specific to the horrible events I'm finally grappling with. No. Overall, I'm just not that upset about much anymore. I'm not upset about my broken marriage; even broken things can still 'work' at some level. I'm not upset at the haters. When I say they can go fuck themselves, its with an air of indifference. I'm not upset about my move, it is what it is, some good some bad.

I guess what I want to let everyone in blogland know is that I'm doing 'good'. Not the, 'my life is perfect good', the REAL good. The 'good' with the bad.

And for the first time in my life I'm feeling some congruence. I don't put on a happy front for many (unless i am in fact 'happy' at that moment), I don't pretend that everything is okay, I don't try to appear perfect, or act like wonder woman, or wonder grad, or wonder mom, or wonder wife.

And it's such a motherfucking relief.

So, I'm (oh my god it's so hard to say this right now) happy. Cautiously happy. And I think I haven't been this comfortable with me (and all my faults and all my mistakes) since perhaps when I was a child? I don't know!? Maybe I've discovered a new plane of being?

So, I hope some of you out there in blogland have found the same thing or will someday soon. Cyber cheers to all, here is hopeing for a moment of true peace and happiness for each of us!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I was raped. Was I raped?

raped - despoiled: having been robbed and destroyed by force and violence; "the raped countryside"

Any sexual behavior that involves an unwilling partner. Forced sexual contact, especially sexual intercourse, with an unwilling partner.

forced or manipulated nonconsensual sexual contact, including vaginal or anal intercourse, oral sex, or penetration with an object.

I have not come to terms with the torture I endured after the birth of my son. You see, to me, both now and then, there was nothing that could be worse than his death. Not physical pain, not even my own death. Everything pales in comparison the searing anguish and despair of your childs death. That is worse than torture, that is worse than death.

I was not raped in the classical sense of the word. I don't believe what happened to me had to do with sex, though it had to do with my sexual organs being violated without my consent. I was not being assaulted out of hatred for women, but perhaps out of disregard.

I've discussed a few times on this blog the problems I had birthing my placenta. I birthed Myles' body naturally in the bath, 'problem free' except for THE PROBLEM that he had died. It was when I got out to birth the placenta that a tragic situation turned into a major emergency. Shit hit the fan, no placenta and lots of blood loss, and my Peri from my preterm birth is on call. I did not like this man then, never liked him. I did not like that he would be 'manually removing my placenta' but I had no choice.

My doctor tried to manually remove my placenta four times, he gave me a second degree tear. After the second time, after I writhed and screamed and was held down by four people (including my husband), everyone told my peri to 'stop'. My midwife told him to take me back for a D & C. My husband told him take me back. I cried frantically that I couldn't take it. He insisted on 'one more time'. Except. That one more time turned into two more times.

All I know is that this, in and of itself, profoundly effected both my husband and I. And I've never given it it's weight. And part of me wonders how much of my suicidal ideation, and my past risky behavior can be linked to this trauma I experienced?

I almost died that day. My husband watched me tortured (violated?) that day. He was powerless. I was powerless. I was raped. Was I raped? I don't know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Stillbirth Secret

I'm just angry right now. Angry all over again it seems. I knew I wasn't past the anger, that there is no 'past' any part of this grief. I guess it's just been awhile and I've grown complacent about it, and feeling it again both surprised and scared me.

So, this is an official rant. And it's a rant at the medical community.

Why the fuck do Drs, Midwives, OB/GYNs and even PERIs keep stillbirth such a giant fucking secret?!

Is it because they're ignorant? Is it because you don't know what causes it, and they don't want to have to say that? Is it because it's easier to play the odds that chances are, the mother you're telling that everything is going to be fine is not the 1/200 that will lose her baby to stillbirth?!

Because somebody OWED IT TO ME to tell me.

They owed it to me to tell me to trust my instincts, they owed it to me to tell me my risk of stillbirth (and that it was increased due to preterm labor), they owed it to me to tell me what they DON'T KNOW, not just what they fucking know.

Having Simone first, I know how inundated new mothers are about SIDS. They scare the fuck out of EVERYONE, all new parents. They risk the breastfeeding relationship due to their demonization of co-sleeping (an arrangment done in EVERY stinking culture since the beginning of time that is evelotuinary based (see Dr. McKenna at Notre Dame). This public health campaign is everywhere.

Back to sleep. Back to sleep. Back to sleep.

And the SIDS back to sleep campaign has been good. They've reduced the rate of SIDS by half.

And what's that rate? Well, before it was 1/5th of the stillbirth rate, and now it's 1/10th. So now, only 2500 babies dies from SIDS every year, and anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000 die from stillbirth.

Forgive me if it seems like I'm minimizing SIDS, I am not, it's tragic and awful, and even with my own experience, I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child to SIDS.


Shouldn't I hear 5 times as many messages about stillbirth? Shouldn't I hear even ONE, just one message about the incidence and prevalence of stillbirth? Kick counts, eh? Fuck kick counts. Unlike the back to sleep campaign (and only the back to sleep campaign cuz the co-sleeping demonization is BS), kick counts are not evidence based. There is no scientific evidence that shows kick counts to save any lives. (and if anyone can show me different i'll gladly eat humble pie) Which brings me to the research community.

Where the fuck are you?! 20,000-40,000 babies are dying each year, 50% we have no fucking clue why. Where the fuck are you?

Which brings me to the March of Dimes.

Fuck you MOD.

You're supposed to be 'saving babies lives', and in your little bible of marternal child health, you don't even bother to mention stillbirth once. Not ONCE in over 100pages of statistics you fucking pukes.

This has got to change, as long as stillbirth remains the dark secret of childbirth, no one will ever do anything. I want to see goddamn billboards on stillbirth, I want to know that every pregnant woman talks about it with their provider, just like miscarriage, just like SIDS.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Rilke

This one speaks volumes about Rilkes understanding of child loss, particularly stillbirth I think:
You who never arrived

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don't even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of the next

I wonder here if he is talking of his mother? He could be talking about any of us who blog and comment and support others who are grieving.
Do not assume that she who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. Her life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, she would never have been able to find these words

And I liked this bit of feminism
Letter to a young poet (letter 7)

Someday there will be girls and women whose name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only life and reality: the female human being.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

optimism? too scary

I've been posting a lot on message board for bipolar disorder. It's been a wonderful and supportive community. With the meds I'm on, I've been doing so well recently, everything is feeling 'normal', almost in a scary way. It's hard to loosen that grip on grief I suppose, it is a connection to Myles. Anyway, this poem brought me to tears (like everything seems to these days, lol) and it made me give optimism a second look:

Sometimes things don't go at all,
from bad to worse. Some years muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives;the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

Sheena Pugh (b.1950)

Argh, and now I'm sitting here pondering the poem thinking, none of these things happen, who chooses peace. I'm sooo jaded :(

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rainer Maria Rilke

I've been reading Rilke's poetry (thanks to a commenter ;). The line that first hooked me was:

"The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things."

So here I am at 2am reading all the Rilke I can online, all because I finally googled and read his wikipedia page. His quotes just seemed to get to the core of so much of what I have learned in this life, so I finally HAD to see his life. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but when I read this, I gasped:

"The relationship between Phia (his mother) and her only son was encumbered by her prolonged mourning for her elder daughter who was lost after only a week of life."

Rainer was his mother's rainbow baby. It all makes sense, he is someone who has been shaped by grief, raised by a mother who was profoundly impacted by child loss. His famous, Sonnets to Orpheus, were dedicated to his daughter's friend who died at the age of 19. Here is a section of one of his other most famous poems, Duino Elegies:

In the end, those who were carried off early no longer need us:
they are weaned from earth's sorrows and joys,
as gently as children outgrow the soft breasts of their mothers.
But we, who do need such great mysteries,
we for whom grief is so often the source of our spirit's growth--:
could we exist without them?
Is the legend meaningless that tells how, in the lament for Linus,
the daring first notes of song pierced through the barren numbness;
and then in the startled space which a youth as lovely as a god has suddenly left forever,
the Void felt for the first time that harmony which now enraptures and comforts and helps us.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stupid assholes

So I finally talked to my stepmom, you know the bitch who told me at Christmas that I didn't deserve my daughter. Well, let's just say, her apology was not sincere. I had an inkling, and I wanted to be judicious, but when all was said and done, she meant what she said, and the apology was just to keep the peace.

This is how it went. I've been talking to my Dad, and he obviously was upset with her, but still definitely trying to protect her and downplay her actions that day. He said that she said it to 'wake me up'. Pretty hilarious right? I have a bad day, and she was going to make it better by getting angry and hurling cruel insults. Did I mention she's a genius? (She's one of the most anti-intellectual people I've ever met) So I went over last night for an apology.

So anyway, I get there, it's awkward, and my Dad took Simone downstairs so SM and I could talk. Well, she barely looks at me, and flippantly says that she just wants to apologize for saying what she said, but 'she doesn't want to talk about it'. Real fair, huh? So, I'm not in a flippant mood at all, what she said is as grave as it gets and I'm not going to walk away without telling her what I thought and hearing her explanation. So I tell her that it was the most cruel thing anyone has ever said to me, and I want to know why she said it. Well, as I'm talking (calm, serious) she is interrupting me saying, no no, she doesn't want to talk about it, that's not what 'this' (her insincere apology) is about. She begins raising her voice saying if I don't accept her apology that's fine. I tell her that that actually would not be fine, that it is in her interest that I accept her apology because otherwise I will not visit while she is there, she will not see my daughter, and that will hurt all of our relationships with my Dad. She keeps saying she didn't want to talk about it and she starts yelling for my Dad (who is downstairs). It was pretty absurd because I hadn't said anything out of line or raised my voice or anything, and here she is, interrupting me, raising her voice, and yelling for my Dad. After saying what she said, she couldn't let me say anything??? What did she think my Dad was going to do?

So my Dad comes up and my daughter follows, so now we get to have the conversation with him AND her there, all because SM is a twit who can't have an honest conversation, one on one. Well, come to find out, I was a bad mom that day. See, it was my daughters Christmas (total BS, we 'celebrated' that on the 25th, this was the 27th) and when she opened her doll, she didn't even have a Mom sitting there to show it to, boohoo (dd is scarred for life, she doesn't have 5,000 dolls, she didn't get 30 Christmas presents this year, and toys really are the meaning of Christmas). Maybe if I had just tried that day (see, we can all try our way out of the pit) I would've had a better day.

What does this have to do with religion? Everything. Come to find out she wrote a letter from Myles to me (THE NERVE!!!!! As if she would knows what my son would say or want) and gave it to my sister and my sister wouldn't give it to me because God was mentioned. And this made SM upset.

Now, I don't believe that God was just mentioned, or that my sister kept it from me because it had some religion in it. No, I'm thinking this letter is filled with platitudes (religious and otherwise), the likes of which would boil my blood. My sister is no dummy, she knows I tolerate religious sentiment. When my grandmother told me my son was in the arms of jesus, I agreeably said he was at peace. I don't want to stir the shit with religious folk, let them find comfort in delusion. Why is it that religious people want to force there beliefs on me? My son died and the religious have to tragedy grub like vultures.

No, I think my sister kept it from me for a reason, she has only protected me so far and I'm going to trust her judgement and not read it. So SM is hurt that I didn't get this letter, then she says that she just wants me to see that God has blessed me with a daughter. And she goes to the fridge and points at a prayer and says she says that prayer for me everyday. Well, I've had enough, so I tell her I hope saying that prayer brings her comfort, because it doesn't do anything for me, and I would just prefer to not be judged and talked bad about because I happened to be sad at their Christmas.

Aside: Is that how religion works, people pray for you, and since they're providing so much help talking to the man upstairs that they can say and do whatever they want? Cuz I'd rather just be treated with common decency.

The fucking nerve.

So nothing is settled, we ended the conversation because it wasn't going anywhere, and I went and played pool with my daughter and dad. I think the most telling part is that her explanation for spewing her hate that day to my brother (who also can magically channel MY SONS wants and desires), was that she was afraid I was going to lose my daughter. That was never once discussed last night. So, as I had suspected, he lapped up a bunch of her lies and bullshit in the aftermath and liked the taste so much he thought he'd convince everyone else to eat it. What a fool. This woman genuinely thinks I don't deserve my daughter, plain and simple, and it has nothing to do with my morose attitude at THEIR Christmas, it's because I'm an atheist.

Well, fuck her, I'm a good mom and the proof is in the pudding. Simone is honest and compassionate and generous and it's because of me and her dad, and we didn't have to make her afraid of God or Santa Claus or any mythical being, she is just good for the sake of being good. I'm sure she'll have a lot more decency and compassion when she grows up than my wicked SM.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The fight to love

My daughter is doing a jump rope for heart thing, and she gets to color a heart in memory of someone. Of course, the little dear wanted to put Myles' name on it and it will hang in her gym, which is so bittersweet. She had put glitter glue on the heart so they needed to dry, so this morning I cut it out for her and she took it to school.

On the way there, she did something she hasn't done before. She said that she can see Myles, he's not just in my heart, that he is right next to her in the back seat. Well, these are the things that I don't want to react to until I process it. I asked her what he looked like and she said, just like he did when he was born, except alive. (wince) I know she didn't mean anything by it, she's just a kid who says what she thinks, and the one thing she KNOWS is that Myles was dead; he looked dead, he felt dead.

I thought a lot about what she said in the car, we live in the country now so it's a good 10 minute drive to get to her school, and then I'm alone on the way back. I guess, what struck me, not for the first time, but for the first time this clearly, is how hard we have to fight to love our dead babies.

Stillbirth is such a unique and tragic situation. It's not like losing a child any other way, because we never get to see our loved one alive. I was arguing on this message board where people were saying those 'real babies' are creepy. I don't have one or want one, but it made me mad that this was their reaction knowing that some moms cherish those dolls. I was told I shouldn't be mad because that's how the majority of people think, but I don't think that's a good reason not be mad at all. Basically, the argument was that these babies didn't look quite alive, and that made them creepy. When I discussed bereaved parents, somebody even argued that bereaved parents are wrong to buy these dolls, one poster said it would be like having his brother die, and then getting a doll replica of him dead. GRRRRR.

The point I made to him, is that analogy is stupid. Unlike him and his brother, I NEVER SAW MY SON ALIVE. He had purple lips, and a bruised face. And even if those dolls were unsatisfactory in those people's eyes, they looked WAAAAY more alive than my son did.

So, I don't know if I was barking up the wrong tree, or maybe just beating my head against it? But one thing is true about stillbirth, we have to fight to love our dead babies. That's the one thing that has stayed with me from An Exact Replica, the idea that it's okay to love them, it's not morbid or macabre. Even though we never got to see them smile, or the color of their eyes, even though we've ONLY seen them dead and lifeless, we love them just the same.

I birthed a dead baby. I held and swaddled a dead baby. I love a dead baby. And in every other way he was a perfect baby, my Myles. He just wasn't alive.

And I have to fight for it, damn it. Because it makes people uncomfortable, grossed out. We have to fight because others combat their awkwardness by believing there is something wrong with us. They want us to move on because they can't deal with it, they aren't comfortable looking death in the face. But when you've experienced a stillbirth, you carry death in your womb, you birth death, then you hold death in your arms and you sing death a lullaby. It's not creepy, it's not gross, it's tragic.

So I guess I have a new sense of vigilence, thanks to a stupid people on a message board and a long commute. People who have lost a child to stillbirth deal with the guilt and shame of losing their child unexpectedly, why the hell should we be shamed into hiding our love and our grief?

Friday, January 23, 2009


Tomorrow is 14 months, my son would be 14 months old. And finding myself here is a little surreal. What everyone told me in the beginning is right, it still hurts, sometimes just like it was yesterday. But somehow you start to find a new way, not the way you wanted, but a way forward.

In many ways, I'm just starting to deal with some of the issues that I think complicated my grief for so long. I've been reading a lot about shame and guilt and stillbirth. I guess I didn't know what shame was, but from what I understand, shame is what you feel when others look down upon you, and guilt is what you feel when you look down on yourself.

And so, I realized that what I felt from the beginning was just so ashamed, I couldn't show my face. Everything was hinging on me during my pregnancy. I went into preterm labor and was on bedrest. And I didn't follow bed rest very well. Period. Especially as time moved forward, I remember saying, 'maybe there is a reason he wants to come early?'. and I started doing things around the house, little things, and I couldn't stop working completely, so I started going back once a week. And the studies I read did not show bedrest to necessarily do what it was supposed to do (no evidence based in my circumstances), and I'm just so anti-authoritarian. So I blatantly broke some of the rules.

So when Myles died, I knew it wasn't my fault as far as bed rest, the bed rest had nothing to do with Myles health directly, he was NEVER in distress that we ever knew or saw. The bed rest was just to keep him in there until he was good and cooked. But nobody else knows that. Everyone I know knew I should be on bed rest and that I wasn't following it completely. So, when it comes down to it, from the beginning, I was so ashamed because I thought everyone would think I killed my son. My husband wrote a letter to Myles the other day that he wanted to read to me, and he even said that he wonders if I had followed my bed rest, if things would be different. And it hurt me so much to hear him say that.

I didn't kill my son.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Little boys with glasses

The biggest trigger for me is not babies. It was never babies. The biggest trigger for me is little boys with glasses, they were everywhere it seemed the other day at the roller skating rink. Oh, I had all of these ideas about who Myles would be. I hoped he would be smart, and sensitive, but confident. I wanted him to be studious, lol. Really, everything I wished for Simone. But for Myles, I really remember imagining how he woud look when he was a preschooler, like Simone was during my pg. Would he look like her?

I've often wondered, 'why glasses?' what am I trying to say about having glasses? Would I have wished near sightedness on my son? No. As I've thought of it this last year, I think it was a way to make him like me. I've worn glasses since I was a young child. And it is said that losing a child is like losing a piece of yourself.

Well, after a child is born safely, at even a few weeks old they defy our wildest expectations in the most wonderful ways, we could never have truly imagined how unique and special that child was really gonna be. And those revelations happen throughout life, these wonderful gifts that keep on giving. Our beautiful children.

And when a child is not born safely, you only have those insufficient dreams, dreams that we dreamed knowing they would never come close to the magnificence that would be our child, dreams that we dreamed not knowing they would be all we have.

Little boys with glasses will always remind of Myles.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Yesterday, my mood got out of control, major anxiety, until I had a panic attack. I had a doctors appointment, and I saw a nurse that I saw the week I lost my son. We had talked a lot about my pg at that fateful appt., I've always been so afraid of having to talk to her again and have her ask me about 'how old my baby is'.

So, it was just a trigger, but a trigger that had more power than anything has had since the months after I first lost him. NOW I'm feeling like I just lost him all over again 14months out. When the nurse came in, my pulse was over 100, she didn't believe the machine so she took it and found out it was right. I told her it wsa my anxiety. Then I started crying when she left the room. I spent considerable time trying to get it under control, lots of deep breaths, and refocusing, but I'd just fall back into the crying.

Well I opened up the floodgates. I just haven't been able to hold back my tears since then. It's like I'm walking around with a lump in my throat on the verge of tears. All anyone would have to say is boo, and I'd probably burst into sobs. All I have to do is think his name, and I'm crying (see just started crying). What is doing this? I've dealt with a lot of hard situations, this shouldn't have me so panicked.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

REVIEW: An exact replica of a figment of my imagination

I finished reading Elizabeth McCracken's memoir this morning and abruptly burst into tears. I'm always sad when books are over, especially ones I love, though I've never cried, let alone sobbed. It was like the young male sage femme said to me, "C'est fini."

Finally finishing this book was devastating for me; first, because I loved it, second, because this book was to be about the 'lighter side of a child's death'. I was sad to say goodbye to the lighter side. Us mothers want truly to remember our child with pleasure instead of grief. To have permission to still love our dead children, a love that isn't 'morbid', 'unsightly', or that not all of this experience need not be 'shoved away'. Saying goodbye to that lighter side, and going back into my darkened grief was hard today. But as I look over the book as a whole, I welcomed the way that she was able to weave in both, the devastating grief, the calamity of it all, but also that immense love and hope we all felt during the short time we had with our dear babies.

Some of the lighter sided? I will never forget the dwarves of grief that provided such relief to McCracken and her husband, I've taken them on myself to use at the saddest times, to put a crack into some of my grief. They have become as dear to me as the pieces of comic relief that sustained me through my own birth. I will never forget my labor and numerous baths in the birthing pool, singing with Simone and my then 3yo niece Stazia. I also greatly appreciated her description of the man she met on a train in Boston, who presented her with a card that said, I AM DEAF. She says, "I have thought of that card ever since, during difficult times, mine or someone else's: surely when tragedy has struck you dumb, you should be given a stack to explain it for you." I reeaallly want that card.

I appreciated how she described her fear to wish for what was. I have felt the same fear, but didn't know why. Shouldn't I wish everyday for my son to be here and healthy? I don't think so. As McCracken stated, bargains/wishes are disastrous in all of fairy tales. "Terrible things happen." And I think the point is that you can't just change one piece of the past, and not risk everything there is today. Somedays, that doesn't feel like much, but I have no desire to risk what I have today (especially my daughter Simone) for a piece of the past which STILL would have no guarantees.

Sigh, there is so much in this book, and I read it so disjointedly, in fits and spurts. I empathized with her on so many things, i couldn't list them here. I also envied her, for I agree with her conclusion. When you are waiting for the birth of your child, you are waiting to be transformed. To go back to my same old life, where nothing was different, but where everything within you is so irreversibly changed is quite awful. Like, McCracken, I think that once you've experienced such calamity, that nothing that came before or will come after can be seen without that lens of disaster. I've want to run away so many times in the last year, to the ocean, to some far away place, to somewhere or to do something wholly unrelated, totally removed from my son's death. I do not have the means to do this, so I was jealous of her in that weird way us bereaved mothers never understand. A jealousy that isn't rational at all. I was also jealous of her rainbow baby, especially when she described how caring for baby Gus, nursing him, bathing him, made her feel like perhaps she was doing those things for Pudding somewhere, in some other dimension. I so looked forward to nursing Myles, but nothing in my daily life feels close to him. Nothing I do day to day is remotely 'baby'. Still, how can I be jealous of a rainbow baby? Inexplicable.

I think everyone should read this book, and by everyone, I mean every single person in the United States. It does everything I have never been able to do. When I have to talk about still birth, I tend to do it with facts and figures. I don't know if I'm trying to scare everyone or prepare everyone, that the statistics are there, and stillbirth is much more common than most ever want to believe. It also gives me an objective stance, one where i can spout of numbers which, in general, hardly bring people to tears, especially me.

What she is able to do is describe what it's like, really like, to live through that devastation, to be forced into this life where you are the worst case scenario, 13 black cats, a thousand broken mirrors. A pregnant woman's worst nightmare. I remember feeling like I would be seen as the harbinger of death. And she describes the awkward and sometimes insensitive comments, the difficult dates and events overlapping between her two pregnancies, and how it fit into her everyday life, sooo beautifully.

I will definitely read more Elizabeth McCracken, and I will pass this book onto everyone I know, bereaved mother or not, because stillbirth is real, it's not something that happened in history, it happens every day, too often. She takes stillbirth out of the shadows, and she takes those emotions we feel; love, guilt, shame, anger, despair, fear, jealousy, out of the shadows too. Surviving the stillbirth of your child is complex, no matter how many well meanign but oblivious people want to simplify it. McCracken portrays that complexity, and destigmatizes it. The love we feel for our dead children should not be considered 'unsightly' in our culture. McCracken's book makes that love beautiful, for all to see, as a mother's love should be.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009, the beginning

I woke up today and as I watched Simone sleep, paint still on her face from the New Year's party at the children's museum, I realized that 2009 will likely hold more for me than my tired mind can imagine, but no matter, it must ultimately be good. Not good in that I'll enjoy it, or even that the year will be a happy one. Good meaning that I will inevitably gain better insight into the world, that if I put this year to use, it may hold within it knowledge that could help me to better navigate my way. Or maybe it will hold a greater awareness so I can figure out when I am lost as I have been so often lately. I do have a hope for 2009, and it's actually a really really big one. One that puts a knot in my throat and a tear in my eye to contemplate.

I hope that I start to find my way again.

I hope to find some pieces of me. Pieces that I thought were lost forever or maybe that I questioned whether they ever really were me. I hope to find the 'new me' not just the 'different me' I'm so disappointed with. The true me. I also hope to accept the parts of me that feel so foreign today, and I dare to hope to take what is new, even if it is painful or hard, even if it will be misconstrued by others; and to use it to make my way. The 'new me' need not be a worst me, no matter how many times in 2008 I've thought so. It's a me without my beloved son, it's not the old me. And it will still likely be a me that smiles less, laughs less; but what I dare to hope is that eventually it will be a me that loves more deeply, understands more fully.

So I'm 28, and I've just begun. I've just begun. In 2008, I found myself a stranger, stripped of all I had built up for soo many years. I can't describe how unsettling that was. My house of cards came tumbling down, and I found myself lost. Foundationless. And damn. I almost didn't make it.

Thoreau said that not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. I think many of us are lost, for most of us though, we don't even realize that we don't know where we're going or where we've been. It's not just being lost, it's knowing when you're lost.

So, I've survived, I'm surviving, today at least, and I must choose. Do I sit down, stay lost, do I wait for somebody to find me, or do I get up and find my own way? Will I find me in 2009? I don't think so. In fact, it may not be the year for me at all. hell, I may, in fact, search my whole life for me. But that doesn't mean the paths I take this year will not be worthwhile. Life is not just instrumentally valuable, it's not just made up of the things you tried and succeeded at. It's also made up of the things you put your heart into, and still ultimately failed at. Those things don't disappear, the ultimate failure is discounting all the love, and life, invested in something that was never and will never be realized.

The one thing I can walk away with, is that people fail. Everybody fails. I've failed. I will fail. But I've also succeeded. How will I define my world? By my epic fails, by my successes? I think we are all made up by both, but I think I'm going to focus on my success and, most importantly, instead of hiding from my mistakes, or not doing something because I'm petrified of failing, I think I'm just going to choose to fall flat on my face. Just like everyone does in life. I'm not going to be afraid, I'm not going to be complacent.

The fact is, I can wander down the path of life taking baby steps, hands grasping outstretched in front of me, like anyone, and maybe even 'succeed' in the eyes of others. But I'd much rather set forth on the path of life with an aim, even perhaps a foolish aim, like figuring out this world and how the heck I came to find myself in it. All with the knowledge I may never reach my goal, and that I will likely get turned around, misguided by myself or others, and never 'succeed'.

I just want to be able to say, before I die, hopefully when I'm old and gray:

"Somewhere, ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference."

And the one person who I will have to thank, the only person, is my sweet son, Myles. Myles is my guide; the meaning in his life, the impact it has had on me, the love we shared, the lessons he has taught me and so many others. I will be true, I will be me, and will live well, only so long as I remember him and what he has meant to me, and will always continue to mean to me. He will be my closest companion through this life; and though I wish he were here, right now, nursing or holding my hand, he is here in my heart, and that part of me I know is true. So that's where I must start from. 2008 is the year lost, on every level, 2009, I dare hope, will be the beginning.