So the past few days have been really hard, not the normal hard where you manage to survive, but the hard where you really have to work at it – with every thought and decision, you have to make sure the outcome has you facing another day.
As I was looking for a quote to try and express how it feels I ended up coming across a few. For most of you these quotes would look like normal motherhood sayings, nicely summing up exactly how it feels to be a mommy. But for me (and way too many other moms who have buried their child(ren)), these quotes become twisted by emotions that are raw, complicated, unexpected, unknown, not understood… Emotions that make us want to say and do things that would come across as unfair or wrong or hurtful… But emotions that are real to us none-the-less.
These are the quotes:
“Mother: the most beautiful word on the lips of mankind.”
— Kahlil Gibran
Not so much – it’s also a reminder of the most pain we will ever endure.
“Suddenly she was here. And I was no longer pregnant; I was a mother. I never believed in miracles before.”
— Ellen Greene
Suddenly she was gone – who am I now? I never believed one could survive such heartache…
“The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children.”
— Elaine Heffner
How do I do that when she’s dead?
“Motherhood was the beginning of my own journey asking the question, ‘Why am I here?'”
— Madonna, Ladies’ Home Journal
When your child dies, it the beginning of another journey with a similar questions, ‘Why am I still here?’
And the quote that started my search – the one that started the parallels in my mind between being a mother to a living child and being a mother to a dead child.
“Making the decision to have a child — it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
— Elizabeth Stone
When your child dies, your heart is no longer walking around outside your body. It dies, or at least a part of it dies. And the struggle is that you are still a mom. I AM STILL A MOM. I just don’t have my child to hold anymore, to soothe anymore, to praise anymore. My child is no longer there for me to watch her grow into an adult and have babies of her own. I don’t get any new memories, photos, videos of her laughing, shouting, playing, reading. No new artwork for my fridge.
To you these things are a given, things you can look forward to having more of. But for me I’ve got all I’ll ever have.
I AM STILL A MOM, just without my child…
For all the dads out there – I know that it’s the same but different for you. You hurt and remember and survive also, just in your own way. I see you and acknowledge you too.