Apr 11, 2009

I Should Be Crying

Wednesday's dull gray outfit filled the room as I opened my eyes. The night before had been suprisingly restful, and for the first time in at least five days I felt like I had actually slept. I looked around the now-familiar room, feeling a dull ache in my throat as I realized anew my current situation. I struggled to sit up, clutching my fresh scar and feeling for all the world like my guts were going to spill right out of me. Ty, awakened by my rustlings, stood immediately and helped me to a sitting position. We spoke normal pleasantries at first, but soon lapsed into a silence. A part of us felt sure Kay would be walking through those doors, with Wiley in her arms for us to see again. It felt impossible that the son we had only just learned about, and the baby we had known about for more than nine months would never be seen again in this life. We didn't speak about him for now, but every time I looked into my husband's eyes I saw the failure of my most important task. Kay did return, empty-handed. She asked me how I was each time she came into the room, I smiled, feeling sorry for her, and said I was doing fine. She exchanged glances with Ty often, trying to read his expression. He was unreachable, lost in his own world of confusion and astonishment.

Later in the day, after struggling to complete a simple task of walking to the bathroom and back, all the while clutching my sagging belly, I earned myself a nap. While feigning sleep, I overheard Kay asking Ty how I was "really" doing. She was concerned that I had not cried yet, nor acted normally sad for my loss. He shrugged it off, unable to comprehend exactly what she was implying.

My brother and sister-in-law came to visit again, bearing sentimental and meaningful gifts. Later one of my uncles, my father's brother, came to sit with us. He was a Hospice nurse, and was easy to be around. Ty openly teared up in front of him, explaining in manly terms how he felt. Uncle Matt nodded, his pity professionally undisclosed, and offered worthwhile advice.

Towards evening, when Ty and I were alone again, we pulled out the sheet of song lyrics that my sister-in-law had given us. "It Is Well With My Soul", by Horatio Spafford:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Spafford's life was much worse than mine, even at present. First, his financial security was destroyed along with the great Chicago fire. Shortly after that, all four of his daughters were killed in a sea collision. His wife alone survived. For him to write these lyrics made him a strong believer indeed. I did not feel this way at all. I felt angry, and worse, aloof. My soul was in turmoil, a breeding ground for uncontentment. Ty had also spent some time earlier downloading some songs he felt appropriately mirrored our situation. One of them was "This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush. A hauntingly beautiful song, especially when viewed in conjunction with the movie it's famous for, She's Having a Baby, with Kevin Bacon. (A movie we have owned for years and have seen many times, but will never be able to see again, I am sure) I obligingly put the headset in my ears and listened to his "mixed tape" of MP3's. Meanwhile, he called his grandparent's in Florida to give them the news.

Pray to God you can cope
I stand outside
This woman's work
This woman's world
Oooh, it's hard on the man
Now his part is over
Now starts the craft of the father

I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength left
I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength left

I should be crying but I just can't let it show
I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking
All the things I should've said that I never said
All the things we should of done that we never did
All the things I should've given but I didn't

Oh darling make it go
Make it go away
Give me them back to me
Give that little kiss
Give me your hand

I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a little strength left
I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a little strength left

I should be crying but I just can't let it show
I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking
Of all the things we should've said that were never said
All the things we should've done that we never did
All the things that you needed from me
All the things that that you wanted from me
All the things I should of given but I didn't
Oh darling make it go away
Just make it go away now.

I barely made it through the first stanza when suddenly my dry body moistened. Tears formed in my eyes so effectively that I barely realized I was crying. Without any warning, without any preamble, I realized what everyone around me had already realized. I had lost something that had been a part of me since the day he was created. Over nine months of daydreams, hopes, and pretend rear-view-mirror conversations were suddenly erased as if they never were. 21 inches of son needed to be buried in a few days, and I was about to be the leading woman in that show. Fear and anguish gripped me so surely, that I felt nausiated to my very core. Ty got off the phone with his grandma and clasped my hands. I was still listening to the rest of the song, fully comprehending my life without Wiley while he stared at me, tears forming in his own eyes. I thought ironically that he could tell Kay now, that I had now cried, and in fact am normal. Ugly, jerking sounds made their way out of my body as I sobbed and sobbed for my unknown son. He is gone to me, and it will be so long before I see him again.


Anonymous said...

You might now think this, but I remember the day pretty clearly too.
My mom called to tell me at work. Her phone call was about fifteen minutes after the phone call from my biological mother telling me that she had been arrested and was now sitting in a mental hospital. I could hear someone crying in the background and someone else yelling down a hallway. I remember being completely overwhelmed and unable to process one bit of information that either woman had given me. I promptly lost my mind at the office, and left. I could not ignore what had happened with my mother, it was in my face and I was forced to live it and breath it every minute of every day for the next year. I was so overwhelmed with her situation, that I could not even spare a word, a card, a hug for you.
In truth, the horror and sorrow of your situation was something that I just couldn't wrap my brain around. I couldn't understand, I couldn't get it. And even now, years later, it takes my own child growing in my stomach to truly guess at what that loss would feel like.
I sit here at my keyboard, reading about your pain and sobbing about it. I am trying to keep my voice down because it is four thirty in the morning, and like most nights when I have the opportunity to sleep in, I have insomnia.
The truth is, after I had dealt with my mother (do we ever really deal?) after I had worked as much as I could through that issue, it was very late in the game for me to be offering any condolences. What could I, who had no IDEA the pain that you and Ty were going through, say that would even MATTER? I was so lost I couldn't even talk to Molly about it. I certainly couldn't talk to you.
What could I say that wouldn't seem stupid or trite?
The answer was probably anything. I probably could have said anything, better than to remain silent.
I guess I just wanted you to know that I WAS thinking about you. I do love you cousin, I am not such a heartless person that I was unaffected by your loss. I just didn't know what to do or say. I had no idea what the right thing was.
Please forgive me for my silence Chels. Still now, even this much time has passed, I am still not sure what the right words are.


Kristen said...

Your ability to write and process such deep grieve is a sure testament of God's love. I teared up as I shared this post with Mike.

We miss you and Ty!

Bead Up said...

Can't wait to read what else you have been up to!

I also gave you an award on my blog today : http://beadup.blogspot.com/2009/05/my-first-award.html :)