Saturday, March 24, 2007

an ill wind

I've been reflecting on how we measure pain. What Lori calls "the grief-o-meter" or what laughter and forgetting long ago referred to as "pain points" or what someone else (I don't remember who) named "the Pain Olympics." And what I've decided is this.

Though it may not be evident from my posts, I think I carry my loss much more lightly than many other people. I just don't think I hurt as much. I don't think my pain is as deep. And that's because -- well, because of many reasons.

But one small part of it is that I've concocted this idea, which doesn't make any sense, but gives me a fair amount of comfort, even though I know it has absolutely no basis in reality. It's that every year a certain number of babies have to die. So, precisely because I lost the twins, somehow, somewhere, two other mothers are laughing as their babies try to squirm towards a brightly-colored toy. It's kind of like taking one (or, in my case, two) for the team.

I know this kind of cosmic balancing doesn't really happen. And yet, I can't help thinking: better me than them.

10 comments:

Patience said...

Wow - I've never looked at it that way. Does that mean I've taken 6 for the team? If we've taken a few for the team do we get a turn?

I often think that I carry my losses fairly 'well' - but every now and then I get a big smack in the face and a bit of a reality check.

niobe said...

patience I didn't really think that anyone else would see this idea as comforting. It's just a kind of personal fairy tale that I tell myself, to imagine that my losses have some "meaning."

I didn't mean to suggest that anyone else should apply it to themselves, especially since we all know that, in reality, things just don't work that way.

I'm sorry about all of your losses. No-one should have to go through this.

Lori said...

For me, it ebbs and flows. There are times, sometimes long periods of time, when I carry my losses rather easily. And, like you, there have even been times when I have looked at other women's grief and thought that I must not hurt so deeply. But there have also been times when it suddenly hits me like a ton of bricks again.

It's an interesting perspective you have created for yourself. We all do what we need to find a way to live with loss.

Patience said...

I don't think it's comfort as such that I'm looking for - rather a different perspective/s. Sometimes I think I'm coping too well and that people expect me to be a shivering heap on the floor; that's just not my style. In my private mind maybe- but in reality- never.

LeRoy Dissing said...

I have always believed that everyone grieves in their own way and its our reaction to the losses we face that often will either help us heal or keep us raw. So what works for one, doesn't necessarily work for another. If your explanation gives you comfort niobe, then I am all for it! :)

Rosepetal said...

Everyone does grieve in their own way. I believe that I'll be with my son again some day - I have no idea in what form. Others believe that the dead are just gone forever.

BasilBean said...

When I got pregnant I couldn't help but think of the statistics and look around at all of the women who I knew who were also pregnant and think "which one of us will it be?"...or I'd think of our friends who had healthy pregnancies/babies and think that someone was due to have a tragedy.

Of course, I was certain that someone would be me.

I am by nature a positive person, but I did live in fear during my entire pregnancy.

Aurelia said...

I thought this at one time...around the time I felt suicidal.

I don't believe it's true anymore, not even a tiny bit. Thoughts like grief, change over time, up down, shape & size. It won't feel like this always Niobe really.

Mad Mommy said...

What is so wrong with you that you deserve to be the one to lose so others gain?

I'm not suggesting something is wrong with you - I'm just calling bullshit. I don't believe that such a thought is comforting to you. I know sometimes when our pain is all we have that to lay down and wallow in it is the only way to deal, but that's not the same thing as comfort.

niobe said...

aurelia, mad mommy:

You both may be right.

I think it's just this insatiable urge to make my loss have some kind of meaning or to see (however misguidedly) some kind of silver lining.