Sunday, November 4, 2007

fade away

I'm beginning to wonder if now, a year later, the sadness about the twins' deaths has lost its grip on me, just the way everyone said it would. I see pregnant women or women with babies -- even with twin babies -- and, probing my heart for the expected contraction, feel a twinge, perceptible only because I'm trying to find it. Last night, bending over the sink, I washed my face and asked myself if I'd really be any happier right now, right this minute, if the twins had lived, if they were sleeping side by side in their cribs the next room.

The garden that I weeded and watered all spring and summer is full of grass that's already gone to seed. The sticks that held up the tomatoes are falling down, the pumpkin vines are withered and white. I could, if I wanted, cut down what's left of the sage and lavender, tie the stalks together and hang them inside, somewhere warm, to dry. But if I don't -- and even if I do -- in two weeks, or, at most, three, the frost will come and quietly, finally, bring the season to an end.

29 comments:

thirtysomething said...

Time moves forward no matter what, doesn't it.

Katie W said...

I can't believe summer is over. Here in the UK alot of trees are practically naked, unfortunately we don't get the same pretty colours you do, so I have no gorgeous photos.
I'm looking forward to my first frosty morning to. Time moves on, and come spring we'll see green again.

Which Box said...

Time does not heal all wounds. Time passes, and wounds are covered and camoflauged by new growth - built upon the damage.

The horror of the immediacy fades. It's simply not possible to sustain that level of intensity. The wound remains.

The Oneliner (Christina) said...

well, it may not be easy...maybe not even easier to deal with, but it sounds like it is less raw and that's a good thing.

Virginia said...

It changes, it gets better, but I don't think it ever leaves. I'm four years on from my son's death and some days I am still astounded by how much of a hold it has on me. The intensity isn't there, and I can say I'm happy again, but it's different. The happiness is tempered by the knowledge that Ben is gone, and part of me is gone too. Which Box is right, it simply isn't possible to sustain the level of intensity. But the hole in my heart? Always there.

Aurelia said...

Time doesn't heal it, but it changes it into something different.

I only feel a twinge of upset now if I see children who would be the same age as mine would've been. But that doesn't mean it can't be an issue every once in awhile. Mostly I'm fine, but occasionally I'll see some baby or a pregnant woman and it will just hit me for some odd reason.

Ruby said...

Your words paint such a vivid picture.

Lori said...

I wish I wouldn't still have those twinges- but I do. Some days more than others though... and time has marched on.

niobe said...

Honestly, what's most extraordinary to me is how much less this particular loss hurts than one would expect.

Even after all these years, I feel a real ache when I think about Sarah. And I think about her almost every hour of every day. Her loss is so much more present and so much more painful -- it's an absence that time doesn't seem to heal.

This is, well, not the same at all. And it's hard to make sense of why that would be, when it seems so clear that the balance should be reversed.

LAS said...

I was thinking about something similar today when I posted on my blog - not a similar experience, but how time changes everything. Experiences morph into something else, more or less real, more or less painful, over time. They make more, or sometime less sense as time goes by. The way we see something changes, our perceptions of it change, our understanding changes and then it just isn't the same anymore.

MissedConceptions said...

Niobe,

Perhaps is it because Sarah was a reality, someone with whom you have memories and a history? You did not have that with your twins -- instead you lost a future, which is vague, and in someways harder to mourn.

MC

I know you can hear me... said...

I think that happiness is relative - you take what you get and see what you can make of it.

Lori said...

I am stuck on your mention of the sage and the lavender. Those are two of my favorite smells.

I'm glad you're feeling the release of the grip.

Continued healing...

Julia said...

The thing I re-learned again this past week is that this grief thing is non-linear and unpredictable. I had started thinking myself better. I even at times thought I was doing so well. And then something comes and knocks me right back down. Not predictably, and not all the way down, but I have learned that things are much more fluid for me now than at any other point I can remember.

And also what MC said. And that I think you alluded to this at some point-- the babies did not betray you or hurt you intentionally. The same can't, even in the most charitable reading, be said of Sarah. But you also miss tangible things about her, which are much harder to miss about the babies.

thailandchani said...

I like the way someone else put it. Time doesn't heal anything.. but it turns it into something different.

Manda said...

You really have a gorgeous way of saying things, Niobe. Even the sad things.

passingwindows said...

I wonder that too, would I be happier if my son was sleeping down the corridor, and then I think, "How can you ask yourself that?!" I think you're right when you say the season passes. The loss is always there but time passes and seems to put another layer on the experience; it does not really become better or worse, just further away.

thrice said...

From the other side, I don't see how time can heal the pain. Whenever I see an aquaintance that I know had a late miscarriage or a fatal pre-term birth I twinge for her, reflect on her pain, wonder how she manages and then feel awful that I don't say anything, other than the initial "I'm so sorry for your loss," because I fear putting my foot in my mouth and just don't know what to say. Every time that is the first thing that I think of.

Beruriah said...

Pretty much what Julia said. My grief, too, ebbs and flows. Certainly Natan is always present in my mind, but not always with sadness.

Tash said...

Seasons seem so cruel to me now -- sort of a reminder that for everyone else time passes in some sort of "normal" way with predictable and enjoyable signposts. Bleh. I'll come take care of your lavender if you'd like. I was told recently that dried flowers are bad feng shui, but seriously, how much worse could it get?

Pamela Jeanne said...

For the longest time I would feel horrible whenever a little bit of light would penetrate my darkness. I was afraid it would mean I didn't care enough about losing our gorgeous, promising children. It's just so hard to put into words, and then I read your posts. You have such an incredibly fine way of capturing emotions and experiences ...

Julie Pippert said...

What I think has already been so eloquently said. Time doesn't heal wounds but it helps us develop coping mechanisms and fill in new. And losing that future of and with the twins...versus your Sarah, I understand.

I am glad for you.

Julie
Using My Words

Christine said...

i think the pain and sadness will always be there a little bit. but time dulls it, i think.

AJW5403 said...

The sadness will become less but it will still always be in there some where. And what sucks when you least want it to show it's self that it when it hits you.

Birdie said...

Sage, Lavender, Healing, Loss....and time. I feel some connection with all of these words, I feel a connection with the Sage and Lavender. I am only 8 months away from our loss, the sadness is still there so very much so for me. However it is different...and I imagine it will continue to evolve....I think that your sadness still lingers, how could it not? Only its different in its "shape" its "presence" with you....perhaps it is faded a little, as the seasons harvest fades. However it still lingers on...in our memories and forever we can remember what the harvest once was.

Brenda said...

G I wish summer was over here. Im sitting here with 3rd degree sunburn! :)

I really do think that for most, 12 months after a loss is far worse than when it first happened.

Hope you are ok.

Hugs
xxx

SaraS-P said...

I think the grip differs from person to person, but I am glad your has loosened. I am sure it will never actually leave, but slacking up does let you live a fuller life.

Kami said...

I had a friend describe grief as a spiral staircase. Each time around you revisit the grief, but the view is always a little bit different than before.

I'm glad you are feeling a bit better.

Yankee T said...

You write so beautifully. I cannot even comment on the content, because it is out of my range of imagination, but the writing is exquisite and I wish you peace and love.