Alone with Him

21 Feb

Every year I come to this space on this day, trying to capture the moment of grief and memory and harness it into coherent words.

I think that as the years go by (4 now, if you can believe it), there’s one thing I haven’t managed to truly capture.

It’s lonely here.

A couple of months ago, a co-worker lost her baby girl at 20 weeks. She and I had had “the talk” about a year before – so she knew about Nadav.

I tentatively reached out and asked if I could call.

When we talked, this is what I told her:

This is a horrific loss, because it’s a loss that is abstract to everyone but you. You were the only one that felt her presence physically. To everyone else she was an abstract. At the end of the day, that is the hardest part.

*****

I’ve had more than one person “helpfully” tell me that I should be ok because we have Lili now.

How in the world can I explain to them that having Lili makes the loss all the more complex and hard?

She was born as a result of his absence. She is a miracle. She is a joy.

But she also represents what could have been. It’s hard to explain, but in the darkest moments, every smile of hers could have been his.

Even writing the above sentence leaves me riddled with guilt.

She is perfection, she is love embodied.

But she doesn’t fill the gap he left behind. That’s both impossible to do, and an unfair expectation of her.

She’s not here to fill a gap. She’s her own being – full of rolling laughter and song. But all her own. She doesn’t deserve the burden of making up for an absence. I do all that I can to shield her from that.

Which leaves me here. Another year passed and I feel more alone than ever. The wound in others seems to have healed fully.

But not mine.

He was not an abstract to me. He was real. And physically present.

******

A few days ago I came to this space and ended up reading posts from my pregnancy with Lili. Amidst all of the anxiety there was also a very clear description of her as a person. Even before she arrived, her presence was felt. Her personality shone through. At least to me.

I felt her. I knew her. I understood her before she was present to anyone but me.

How was he any different? I knew him. I understood him.

But he was present to me and me only. He was a picture and an abstract thought to everyone else.

To me, he was physically present.

******

As the last few days have gone by I see how everyone around me, though respectful of my grief, is removed from it. Some, it seems, have even forgotten it completely. Or maybe just forgot the date. Which is fine. It’s been 4 years. I’m  not even sure I’d want to talk about it if they called.

Even my husband, who felt the loss so immensely when it happened, just doesn’t feel it as strongly as I do anymore. He tries his best, but I know that for him, it’s just not as hard as it is for me.

A few nights ago I went on Facebook and looked for my co-worker – now my friend.

It was 4am and I was crying, and I knew she was the one who would understand. And sure enough, there she was, where nobody else was.

*******

I don’t think that anyone has abandoned me. I’m not upset with any of my friends or family.

Like them, my grief has also waned through these 4 years. But it hasn’t disappeared. It has steadied. It has become measured. Others’ grief has as well – but for them, that measure is just much smaller than mine.

They didn’t know him like I did.

So while they abide and support – they don’t truly understand.

Even though I am surrounded I am utterly alone.

******

My son Nadav was born and died on February 21st, 2012. He was here. He was loved.

HE WAS HERE.

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17 Responses to “Alone with Him”

  1. Mrs T February 21, 2016 at 21:09 #

    Yes, he was. ❤

  2. Courtney February 21, 2016 at 21:19 #

    Hi. He was here, and in ways, he still is.

    I’ve never lost a baby but I’ve always hated the term “rainbow baby” because it always sounded to me like a replacement baby. I know it’s not, but the term has never felt “good” to me. Lili is her own person, and you’re a wonderful mom for insisting that she be treated as such. Both of your babies are so loved. ❤

  3. robin February 21, 2016 at 21:59 #

    He was here ❤

  4. sangela71 February 21, 2016 at 22:38 #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t think it’s something a mother ever gets over

  5. findmynewnormal February 22, 2016 at 01:12 #

    Beautifully written. He was most definitely here.

  6. chon February 22, 2016 at 03:28 #

    Nadav was very much here.. I am very glad you had someone to turn to. Love you.

  7. Rain February 22, 2016 at 07:28 #

    He was here. And, as Courtney said, still is. Sending love and light.

  8. Geochick February 22, 2016 at 15:14 #

    ((hugs)) He was here. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m sorry that you feel so alone. I think that specific events often leave us alone in grief. Especially if we were the only ones fully experiencing it.

  9. jjiraffe February 22, 2016 at 19:52 #

    He was here, and I think of him often. Sending love and light.

  10. pullingoverthewool February 22, 2016 at 20:11 #

    I really completely 100% love this post. Not obviously from the fact of you experiencing grief, but I think it’s the most real post ever and captures so amazingly perfectly what it’s like to be you, or another mom who had been through something similar. I wish this was a viral post. Or in a book. Or something. I feel like what you expressed is something so many people are like “I just can’t put my finger on what it is…” and you nailed it. All of us here and those that knew you, know intellectually, that Nadev was real, but you are so right that it is completely different than experiencing the realness. I know this post will touch so many who have been through the loss and tragedy. I wish you had never had to be one of them. Thank you for sharing through it though.

  11. April February 23, 2016 at 03:31 #

    He was here.

  12. notundecided February 23, 2016 at 17:41 #

    He was. He was here. I’m still so sorry that he isn’t now. ❤ to you.

  13. SRB February 25, 2016 at 20:35 #

    He was here, and is. Always. ❤

  14. Kristen March 1, 2016 at 01:01 #

    Much love to you. I’m hesitant to write because I don’t want to make this about me…so please know these words are offered up in honor of you and your loss and your son. You helped me so much when I lost Hunter…sometimes I feel like you are the only person in the entire world who understands how much she meant to me and still does, how present she will always be in my life. I think of her every single day. It’s such a lonely place. I just want you to know what a huge impact your kind and understanding words and sharing have had on me when I need them the most. I’m sorry you’re in such a lonely place. But I truly get it…I understand why this is still so important to you…how he is so important to you and will always be part of you. When I die I want Hunter and I to be buried together…her ashes and mine…she is as much a part of my life as my other children and always will be and no one else even remotely gets that (although my husband is still in huge pain…so maybe he does…but we are so fragile around it we still can’t talk about it together at all.) I admire how strong you are and how you have done–in my eyes–everything right in terms of not letting what happened consume you and ruin your life…I think of you often and try to be like you… Anyway, I’m rambling but I don’t know…saying something no matter how convoluted seemed better than saying nothing. Your son lives on in my memory and always will…because of how our paths have intersected he will always be one of the most significant children to me in my whole life…I know how loved he is and how treasured, always… Love and peace to you… XOXO

    • Mo March 1, 2016 at 01:22 #

      Thank you for this Kristen. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. Thank you.

  15. conceptionchronicles March 1, 2016 at 22:06 #

    I understand completely – but it is not just late-term loss. The loss is still so raw, and it has been over 3 years. I have had twins and an “accidental” OMG 4th child 15 months later, but each time I look at them I wonder who was supposed to be here instead… had I not miscarried our 2nd child (embryo? fetus?) at 7 weeks, or again 6 months later at 4.5 weeks, we wouldn’t have had our twins, and definitely our 4th. Not that I would change our circumstances for the world – I love them to the moon and back… I do wonder almost every day who our child was going to look like, what their personality would have been like… I don’t know if it is only moms of late-term miscarriage that can understand. Maybe it is any mom that has struggled to get/stay pregnant. For me, no one can understand my loss, and yes, it does drive me crazy when people say directly or indirectly “you have had 3 children since your miscarriages, you should be over this by now”. I find that only other moms in the blogosphere truly get our experiences.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. For Mo | Not Undecided - February 23, 2016

    […] He was here. Four years hasn’t changed that, nor could forty. […]

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