Capture Your Grief – Day 1. Sunrise

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I remember when the sun rose on the day my son died.  The way the light cracked through the windows in jagged pieces as I covered my eyes and buried them in my hands.  That old saying – something about the sun rising and setting in spite of whatever – echoing in the graveyard that was my mind, and I thought I would scream.  How dare the sun rise as my son dies, as part of me dies too.

It was dawn for the other part of me, the one that survived, the side of me that is still here and the resilient spark of a phoenix that rose from the ashes of this dismal wasteland of grief.  From this resiliency is where I speak now, standing on the other side of cripplingly utter despair, and watch the sun come up again.  And then I think, well isn’t that funny.  The sun and I are not so different.  We go on rising and setting.  But we still get up again.  Day after day, in spite of whatever, even when our brilliance is hidden by clouds.  We go on.

The day the sun rose when my son died, I wanted to die too.  But then I survived another day.  And another.  And another.  Until one day I realized I was not just surviving, but living, and not in darkness, but in light.  And now with time and distance between me and that day, I have strung a hundred days where I am grateful the sun continued to rise, and I did too.

We can do this, one sunrise at a time.

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something i lost

I miss the little boy who would be here now.

I hate the memories I have surrounding his death.

But they are intertwined with the memories surrounding his birth.

So I clutch them like shards of glass.  They cut me open and make me bleed, but I cannot let them go.

I still feel the bitterness of Loss.  The loss of friends, relationships, laughter, and the person I used to be . . . all the things I lost when my baby died.

The weight of the loss is immeasurable.  “Losing a child” is a euphemism, a cop-out.  I lost an entire lifetime of memories.  I lost the rest of my life as I knew it when I was still pregnant.  I lost my innocence, my childlike joy.

In some ways, I feel as if I’ve lost my sanity.  I don’t try for a “normal” life anymore, and I have given up on ever feeling “normal.”  Nice-crazy is now what I hope to achieve.  I’m broken and strange, and a stranger to myself, but I can still be nice, and I hope that the language of kindness that I speak is enough to make up for what is lost in translation.  Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t.  But it’s all I can offer right now.

I love this losing and this loss as much as I hate it, and I hope that someday the love will win the war over the hate.  But each day is a battle, and sometimes I win, and sometimes I lose.  Today I am losing.

On days like these, I sit by the side of the road on my journey of grief, and I wait for tomorrow.

I miss him, but I love the feeling of missing him, because it’s the same as loving him, and it’s that inextinguishable love as a mother that I know I will never, ever lose.

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I Carry You With Me Wherever I Go

Wesley and I in 2011.

with Wesley in 2011

I carry you with me wherever I go.

You’re the kind words I speak.  When I’m called upon to assist others, you’re the gentle tone I use.  You taught me how to use words softly, to build up and strengthen those who are small, and those who feel small.  You yourself were small, just a little bigger than my hand.  You taught me how to be gentle.

You’re the compassion I feel.  When I see others struggle with pain, disappointment, fear, death, sickness, or other problems, you’re my reason for offering to help.  You showed me a love greater than myself – the depths of which regularly become filled with love and concern for others.  You’re the place I go when I need to remember what it feels like.  You taught me how to have empathy.

You’re the courage I possess.  When I’m scared of the future, or when the fear of death creeps upon me, you make me feel brave, because you were brave.  You faced the unthinkable, but you still fought with everything you had.  And even though you succumbed, you bravely passed away.  You taught me how to be fearless.

You’re the faith in my heart.  When I have my doubts, the Hope of seeing you again is undeniable.  The knowledge of your condition in a sleeplike state is of great comfort to me.  I know you are not somewhere missing me, and neither are you gone forever.  You are simply waiting to wake up.  You are the reason I want to be there when you do.  You taught me how to have integrity.

You’re the love in everything I do.  When I’m holding your baby brother, there you are.  You are the soft caresses on a sleepy little head, and the kisses on little cheeks in the morning.  You are the patience in helping with first words, first steps, and all the accidents and messes that have been and are yet to come.  You are the love that shines through it all.  You are teaching me how to be a mother.

Of everyone I have ever met, it was the greatest privilege to have met you.

You have made me so much better than I would have been without you.

So I carry you with me wherever I go.

And when we meet again, I will be the very best person I could ever be.  The very best mother for you.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

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“Awareness” is everywhere.  Raising awareness for diseases like cancer brings necessary and potentially lifesaving attention, monetarily or otherwise, to various research groups.  It also paves the way to show empathy for those who suffer.  It is not a state of mind as much as it is a call to action.  A call for support.  In short, awareness is a good thing.

This month, and October 15th, awareness is being directed toward parents who have experienced Pregnancy and/or Infant Loss.  But what does awareness mean for them?

It means compassion and empathy.  It means a reminder to show and receive support.

All too often, bereaved parents suffer in silence.  The death of a child is an unspeakable tragedy and a taboo subject among many.  But statistics show that one in four women will have such an experience.  In the United States alone, there are an average of 600,000 miscarriages, 64,000 ectopic pregnancies, and 26,000 stillbirths each year.  SIDS kills 4,500 babies annually.  Half a million babies are born prematurely, and some do not survive.  Still other parents experience pregnancy loss via molar pregnancies, birth defects, and other causes.

These statistics, while disheartening to read, are still just cold hard facts.  They do not reveal the anguish of the parents who experience them, and the lifelong journey of grief they leave in their wake.

Awareness is for these parents.  Awareness is for me.

It’s not because I have forgotten what has happened to me.  I live with it every day of my life.  It is a haunting black cloud.  It is a chasm of the heart.  It is the undeniable ache for children I love, and the innocent person I used to be.

No, I’m aware all the time.  I never forget.  This month is so you can remember, too.

“Awareness” is for your loved ones, your family, your friends, and the thousands of parents who cry for their dead babies every year.  It gives you an opportunity to let them know you haven’t forgotten either.  And it answers the painful, crippling doubt every bereaved parent feels, that their dead child is forgotten, with a resounding “no.”  No, they are not forgotten.  And neither is the pain of them being gone.

Awareness is about breaking the silence, and shattering the taboo nature of this subject.  If you know someone who has experienced the death of their baby, please do not hesitate to speak their name, and to let them know you have not forgotten the life of this precious child.  It may be awkward, and you may feel clumsy, but you are giving the parents of this beloved child a precious gift – that they are not alone in their grief, and that their baby mattered.

Any loving parent wants their child’s life to matter.  This does not change when the child has died, and it does not depend on how long the child was alive.  It only becomes more important, more profound, more meaningful.

“Awareness” is everywhere.  But for bereaved parents, it can be difficult to find.

Be aware this month of those who miss their children.  And show awareness all the time by being supportive.  You can do this by speaking their child’s name, by being kind, by showing empathy, and by listening with your heart.  Let the bereaved parent guide the conversation.  If they are reluctant to talk about it, respect their feelings.  Instead, show them sincere kindness.  Let them know you are thinking about them and that they are loved.

Pregnancy loss and infant loss is tragic.  But awareness is always a good thing, especially for the parents who have survived it.  Thank you for your support.

 “The world around you moves on, as if your life was never shattered

and all you want the world to do is say that your baby mattered.” – AJ Clark-Coates

 

The Graveyard Near My House

I don’t enjoy singing in public.  Generally, I don’t enjoy anything that precipitates an anxiety attack.  Singing is like reading one’s words aloud as one writes them, and it doesn’t matter if it’s in front of an audience of one or one thousand – it makes me physically ill.  My throat closes, my chest tightens, and I gasp for air as if I am being suffocated.  I guess you would call it “stage fright,” though what frightens me the most is the way singing exposes a person’s soul to interpretation and criticism.

However, there was a time when I wasn’t so concerned with exposure.  As a child, I loved being onstage.  The spotlight felt warm, familiar, and blinding, like the sun at the beach.  In school I auditioned for the starring role in every production.  I joined chorus and involved myself in extracurricular activities related to theater and music.  One teacher told my mother that I was either going to be an actress or a writer, and both careers had her scared to death because probably neither would allow me to support myself financially.  But I had a passion for the stage and the pen that has transcended to adulthood.

After high school, I pursued a more reasonable career path, but turned singing into a hobby.  I paid for singing lessons and enjoyed learning how to train and strengthen my voice.  My instructor encouraged me to get involved with community theater, confident that I had both talent and skill, and I honestly felt her disappointment when my other goals and pursuits did not line up with the stage.  Eventually, I quit the lessons and life took over – marriage, moving, and the mundane day-to-day activities that left very little time for hobbies like singing or writing.

Since he was a 16-year-old bass player in a garage band, Hubby has been trying to get me to record something with him.  He doesn’t sing much, but he loves music, and playing the guitar is more than just a hobby for him – it’s a talent in his family that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Over the years we have acquired some equipment and practiced here and there, but the majority of time has been spent talking about it and never actually doing anything.  Other than a couple inebriated karaoke sessions at our local taco joint, my singing career – I mean hobby – had become stagnant.

Then when Wesley died, it was over.

Like so many things I used to enjoy, singing was something I thought I could no longer do.  Unlike mindless humming or the repetition of words in a song on the radio, real singing – the soul-exposing, heart-revealing expression of melodies that come from deep within – was an impossibility for a long time.

Likewise, and most disturbingly of all, Hubby stopped playing the guitar altogether.  He refused to even pick it up.  At one time, he even considered selling it, because even though it was my graduation gift to him, it became a sore sight in the living room.  Grief will do that to a person, and it is non-discriminatory.  Grief doesn’t care that you are a 4th+ generation musician.  It will blow the skill right out of your brain, and then beat you with it.

On the flip side, grief can also be harnessed and used to create art.  But this doesn’t always happen automatically or immediately.

It was during that terrible dark year following Wesley’s death and my miscarriage that I “discovered” The Airborne Toxic Event, and the song “The Graveyard Near The House” hit very, very close to home.  It felt like one of the many conversations we were having during those horrible months of accepting our reality and reeling from the nightmarish truth that our lives could end at any time, and what would happen then?

It is a love song for the realists, a fact which makes it quite possibly the most romantic song of them all.

It is also known to make me weep shamelessly at concerts.  Or in the privacy of my own home, when no one is around.  I have heard it literally thousands of times, and there are moments still when a certain line or note will hit me right between the ribs where I think I’ve so cleverly hidden and buried my fears, only to discover they are collecting at the surface, seeping and festering on an open wound.

When we finally reached the point of desperation readiness to start trying for another baby, we began filling the great abysmal unknown with negative pregnancy tests and the last pieces of what were once hopes and dreams.  We started having conversations about adoption, or selling everything and buying a couple motorcycles and never walking through the baby aisle of a department store ever again.

Infertility is a grief of its own, a vacuum of despair and humiliation that steals a person’s humanity.

We were already humbled within an inch of our lives when our son died.  Then came the miscarriage, and now I was having trouble getting pregnant a third time.  Meanwhile, our friends were having babies left and right, as we were slowly going insane.

So one day in the spring of 2013, I snapped.

“I want you to play me a song,” I told Hubby, and I handed him the guitar I got him when we were 18.

“No,” he said, pushing it away.  “I’m probably going to sell it, anyway.”

I bit my lip, ignoring the hurt I felt that he would sell his graduation present.  But this wasn’t personal – this was grief.  And like all issues I feel strongly about, I continued to push it until he finally relented.  I mean agreed.

“Just think of it as an art project,” I told him.  “Let’s use all that equipment we paid good money for.”

And then I pulled out the big guns.  “You always said you wanted to make music with me.”

Hubby can’t resist a challenge.

First, Hubby had to learn the song by watching live performances of “Graveyard” on YouTube.  This took him less than an hour.  Then we had practice sessions in our living room for a couple of weeks.  Lastly, he cleaned the dust off his effects pedal and microphone and we set a date to record it live.

We talked about various locations around town where we could film it, but nothing seemed feasible without an electrical outlet.  We had to think smaller.

Our filming date coincided with his parents’ camping trip, so out of convenience our location was chosen for us – the back deck of his parents’ house that overlooks the woods.  It’s a picturesque little backyard in the springtime, and it also afforded us the use of electricity and unlimited trips to the refrigerator, which ended up being a necessity.  We were unprepared for the amount of time this was going to take.

Hubby began setting up for the shoot, and then it hit me, what we were about to do.

I had baited him with talk of putting it on Facebook and YouTube without really considering my proposal: that other people would see it.  I was throwing myself under the bus to get my husband to play the guitar again, because one of us losing ourselves in this fight to survive was enough, but both of us was unacceptable.  And also I had gone a little bit insane.

But in a moment of clarity before the camera started rolling, I panicked as if I was stepping onstage.  It didn’t matter that the audience was an as yet undetermined amount of people – someone was guaranteed to see it, even if it was just my mother-in-law.  And in the months and years since Wesley, my social anxiety has grown into an out-of-control wildfire that threatens to consume me into staying inside and being a hermit for the rest of my days.

Nevertheless, I was fed up with life.  I had all but given up.  What difference would it make, really, if I put a stupid video of me making a fool out of myself on the Internet?  Even if it was truly awful, no one could have made me feel worse about myself than I already felt.

Besides, if nothing else, Hubby can play the guitar, and he looks good playing the guitar.  So it couldn’t be all bad.  Could it?

We spent hours doing take after take.  A dog would start barking, and we would have to stop.  A plane would fly overhead, and ruin our audio.  And I kept having waves of anxiety that threatened to steal my breath and voice and made my skin tingle.  The left side of my face eventually went numb.  But we kept going until we finally hit our stride and got a decent take.

The sun was setting on our way home.  A full day of playing the guitar and singing, to make up for the years of silence in our marriage where there should have been music.

Hubby spent a week editing the video. I suggested we add a black-and-white filter, as a tribute to the band’s video. I watched it one time, all the while resisting the urge to criticize myself out of existence.  Again, what did it matter?  I was already becoming a ghost in my own life, wasting away from grief and desperation.  Who really gives a crap, anyway?  Not me.

I declared it “not terrible” and we put it online.  And then I tried to forget about it, like I do everything that requires some kind of soul-exposure.  Even blogging.  Even this blog post. 

Over time, I’ve tried not to think about it. I never watched it again, and I refuse to listen to the audio recording. I can’t take it, and I can’t even really explain why. I think it has something to do with the fear of my own severe, harsh, and sometimes unfounded criticism that I only use on myself being realized, and then I will truly never sing or write or do anything creative ever again. And it doesn’t matter that a few people saw it and actually liked it, or were inspired by it to do something creative themselves, or were just glad we had done something that didn’t involve sobbing over our pain. If I were to watch it again, it’s like singing in public, except it was a year and a half ago, but the anxiety is still hanging around.

The only reason I started thinking about it again was because Hubby was tagged by some of his old band mates in some viral social medial survey in which they requested to know his Top Favorite 20 Songs Of All Time. Amongst other respectable choices, there was “The Graveyard Near The House.”

“Really?” I said. “‘Graveyard’ made the cut?” Because I’m surprised when Hubby mentions in any capacity the band that has taken over his wife, and is sometimes met with affection, other times with annoyance. I always forget that he was the one who introduced me to them, not the other way around.

“Yes, of course ‘Graveyard,'” he replied like I should have known better. “Those are just some of the best lyrics ever written.”

And then out of the blue, I suddenly remembered I sung that song in the public forum that is YouTube.

“Hey, remember when we did our ‘Graveyard’ video?”

“Yes.”

I paused to remember the person I was in that video – that desperate, grieving shell of a person.

“Why did we do that?”

Now it was Hubby’s turn to pause. He thought for a moment and then simply said, “Because we had to.”

He is right. We had to. We had to do something. Even if it was just a makeshift, homespun little music video covering an obscure song that isn’t even on the radio. Even if no one will watch it, or think it is anything great, or even if they think it’s awful. We had to do it. Whether it’s because we were at the very end of our rope emotionally, mentally, and physically and we just had to put something out there into the void . . . or we risked losing the last of the charred remains of an empire that was our past selves if we didn’t cultivate and nurture our creative roots. We had to do it.

And it had to be this song, because there isn’t another love song for realists out there – the people who openly discuss the devastation and downright absurdity of death in the same breath they acknowledge that love is worth it, no matter the outcome. Win, lose, or die . . . in the end, it’s better to love, whether the person is your spouse, the unborn children you’re hoping for, or the dead child you miss so much it hurts. This is our soul-exposing, heart-revealing truth. In the end, love wins.

Since then, Hubby has picked up the guitar more, and has even written his own songs. We even learned a few more Airborne songs, and other songs that were fun to play.

It’s a slow process of rebuilding the people like the ones we used to be. And although I will probably never sing onstage in public again, it’s nice to know that the soul-exposing, heart-revealing person I used to be is not completely gone forever, and might be salvageable after all.

Here is our video. It’s not anything special. It’s probably not even really that great. But we had to do it.

Once Upon a Time

There was a castle here once.

If you look closely, you can still see remnants of its foundation here in These Stunning Ruins, a line of stones left in the grass.

Perhaps this is the most ruined part of this metaphorical space, and it is one I do not care to visit often.  I have no interest in trying to rebuild it.  It is largely ignored, forgotten, and altogether despised.  What’s left is subject to the overgrowth of the earth with bitterness at its roots.

But I remember when this place was an empire, and the castle was at the center – what I used to believe was “the heart” of these ruins.  I remember the children who played here – the prince and the princess – who were kind but foolish, and naïve in a way that was both admirable and pitiable.  With a wave of their shiny plastic scepters, they thought they controlled the weather with each passing day full of sunshine and rainbows.

Little did they know they were powerless to stop the eventual destruction of their beloved home, and the resulting flood that would wash away their plastic beliefs and dreams, so that both the castle and the couple who lived there were unrecognizable.

But I remember them, because they were us.

Once upon a time, I was a princess.

I grew up during the Disney Renaissance – that period of the 90s when Disney’s animated films were celebrated works of art.  In addition, my parents made the pilgrimage to what has been described as a modern-day “Mecca” and a rite of passage for every little boy and girl in the United States: Walt Disney World.  I used to tell people that this was my “home,” and the place I “grew up,” but there is no growing up there at all.  It is the real Neverland, and for all its commercialism and propaganda, it truly had the power to transform its tourists from bitter Mr. Darlings to playful Peter Pans.

I had no interest in ever growing up, and this was an ideal I clung to through adolescence and into early adulthood.  My long-suffering boyfriend was aware of this childish belief and love of mine, and decided to indulge me.

Since we knew the inevitable was coming – that he would probably ask to marry me someday and these pilgrimages would become a thing of the past – my parents and I took one last trip to Disney World.  Meanwhile, I had no idea they and my boyfriend were scheming and plotting a marriage proposal that would rival the ones you see on those bloated wedding cable TV shows, with the help of the staff at Disney.  To their credit, they planned an elaborate show at no expense of ours.  They even waived the entrance fee for my boyfriend.  They took him out to lunch, making absolutely sure we wouldn’t run into each other, since this was supposed to be the surprise of the century.

They paraded my parents and I through the Magic Kingdom as the Grand Marshals.  I remember being giddy and delirious, thinking this was the perfect way to end things, at the height of it all.  “It doesn’t get better than this,” I thought.

At the end of the parade route, near the entrance to the park, we stepped down from our antique parade vehicles and into the spotlight.  They had there waiting for me the barbershop quartet, the Dapper Dans, surrounded by an eager crowd waiting for the parade.  But first, they were to receive a surprise show.  The quartet sang “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” to me as I stood in wonder and shock, asking myself over and over again the question why.  “Why are they doing this?  What is this about?”

“She’s a wonderful Disney princess,” they said after they finished.  “If she only had a prince.”

Suddenly there was a little mad searching, asking if there was a prince to be found anywhere nearby.

“She has a prince,” cried a voice.

My boyfriend.

Wearing a black top hat adorned with Mickey ears.

“And he’s right here,” he added.

Then he got down on one knee and my brain exploded.

I guess I said yes, but I didn’t hear the word come out of my mouth.  I was left breathless.  Speechless.  Dumbfounded.  Caught up in the disbelief that my boyfriend was supposed to be at home, and instead he was here with me in my happy place, the Happiest Place on Earth, and there was a ring on my finger, and after five years of dating, now we were engaged.

I think I cried.

I remember thinking that this was it.  This moment.  This was the happy ending I was waiting for.  The little girl who grew up at Disney World had found her prince.  And now we could live Happily Ever After.

Looking back, I now remember we were not the only ones celebrating that day.  There were two other grand marshals that day, a couple on their honeymoon.  I wonder if they felt like they were being overshadowed.  Outdone.  Forgotten.  They stood off to the side like everyone else, watching the fairy tale unfold that was not theirs.  I wonder what ever happened to them, and if the Happily Ever After was truly theirs, because it certainly would not turn out to be ours.

Still in the months that passed, we planned a Disney-themed wedding.  My wedding dress was a ball gown and I wore a tiara in my hair.  A miniature castle with a light inside was our cake topper.  We were the real-life version of a fairy tale.  I’m surprised someone didn’t set off fireworks as we left the reception.  But I guess we couldn’t have everything.  Could we.

We went back to Disney World for our honeymoon a few months after the wedding, but it was hardly magical.  I was sick for the majority of it.  I remember shivering with fever in 90-degree heat while eating a bowl of chicken soup at the Magic Kingdom, my long-suffering husband sighing and trying to make the most of it.  He said he had a good time.  I didn’t believe him.

Nevertheless, a year later we went back, this time with both sets of parents and our 10-year-old niece.  We returned for the last time a year after that, visiting the Magic Kingdom for a day before we went on a Disney Cruise.  My husband, the reluctant follower, was now a full-fledged convert.  We had the happiest day there, running around Tom Sawyer Island like two big kids.  I have a picture of him sitting on the little wooden bleachers at Casey’s, eating a hot dog while watching old Goofy cartoons.  He looks like a giant 10-year-old.

We kissed under the flickering colors of fireworks, absolutely in love with each other and ourselves.  We were invincible.  We were as timeless and as classic as Cinderella and Prince Charming.  Someday, we said.  Someday we will bring our kids here and continue the long-held tradition.

Kids.

Two years later, we were burying our first child.

The empire we had built was now a stunning site of ruins.  The castle was destroyed, the prince and princess stripped of their plastic scepters and dreams.  And in no time at all, the rest was washed away in a great flood of tears with the reality we had lost another child when I had a miscarriage.

Now the fairy tale ideals we cherished were not only naïve, they felt like deceptions.  Syrupy propaganda.  Unrealities.  A screen behind which lay the truth – that life was no fairy tale, that our lives were sad, that we would never be happy again, and to tell us that there was still a Happiest Place on Earth where children laugh and play while ours lay buried in the ground could drive us to the brink of going mad with grief and bitterness.

I hated it all.  Every vestige of that place, every memory I had, every moment I grew up believing my life would be a chorus of singing cartoon animals and pixie dust.

I would be sitting in a movie theater and a trailer for some insipid animated cartoon would appear, bearing the twinkling castle of the Walt Disney Pictures logo, and my skin would crawl.  Then I had the sudden urge to give it the bird.  “How dare you,” I thought.  “How dare you mock my pain with your fake happiness.”

I even hated the way my husband proposed to me.

“Someone asked me if we were going to Disney World this year,” I said during one of our late-night conversations.  “I wanted to punch them in the face.  Why would we EVER go back there?  Do people have no common sense?”

“Oh, god,” he said.  “Yeah.  I guess not.”

“I hate it.  I hate it all.”

“Me, too.”

“I hate that I have any connection to that crap.”

“Yep.”

And then I just put it out there.

“I hate the way you proposed to me.”

I hadn’t meant to hurt him.  I was worried that deep down, I might have.  So when I looked over at him, searching his face for a flinch or any sign of pain, I was surprised to see understanding instead.

“Oh, thank god.  So do I.”  And we both sighed with relief.

Once upon a time, I was a princess.

But you won’t find any pixie dust or singing cartoon animals in these ruins.  What you will find, however, is a couple of resilient souls bent on survival.  We are no longer naïve children clinging to unrealistic ideals, waving plastic scepters thinking we control the weather.  We know better than that, and we can’t help but feel bitter about our past.  And although you may still find piece of a glass slipper or half of a rodent’s ear lying amidst the piles of broken dreams that failed to be swept away with the rest, make no mistake: we don’t really care about those things anymore.  Perhaps someday we will put them in a museum for future generations to remember the people we used to be.  But our emotional attachment to them is forever lost.

You may perhaps find this story to be sad.  You may feel sorry for us, and sorry for those people who were part of the illusion.  I am sorry, too.  I miss those naïve kids.  I miss the delirious, giddy joy I experienced when I would walk through the gates to the Magic Kingdom and leave reality behind.  No one needs to leave it behind more than me.  But it follows me everywhere, and it removes the twinkling façade of fairy tales until they are nothing but twisted lies.

But although I am no longer the Disney princess they proclaimed me to be, the eager boy in the mouse ears holding the ring is still a prince amongst men.

We don’t follow the formula of Happily Ever After.  But in spite of everything – all the grief and tears and destruction of this empire – we have lived this simple truth:

Love. Conquers. All.

onceuponatime

 

Emptiness.

There was no empty crib
Just an empty womb

As if he never was

A shadow in an empty room

All I have are memories

A few keepsakes of a dream

A life lived inside me

A death inside a scream

A scar upon my belly

A chasm in my heart

A picture of my son

His face, a work of art

I want to hold and touch and feel

The clothes he never wore

I want to hear his plaintive cry

Music I’d adore

Instead, I remain empty

Hungry, anxious, grieved

As I wait to be fulfilled

The Hope I have believed.

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