Friday, December 01, 2006

Uncontrolled Crying

Last night, I was at an event that the Army has dubbed a Hail and Farewell. The senior personnel get together to welcome all those senior leaders who are coming to the unit and say a special goodbye to those who are leaving for other assignments.

An innocent evening out, I supposed. Great food. Wonderful conversation and lots of well-wishes.

But then. The evening took an unexpected turn. The commander began to call all the couples who had babies during the unit's deployment to Iraq and he proceeded to hand them silver baby cups with a special engraving on the side.

My heart hung in the air. I silently, frantically wondered will they remember me? Will they mention our baby?

My more sensible side reminded me that no one acknowledges dead babies. It just ain't gonna happen. Not tonight, not never. But a mother's heart can't always reason - with reason.

As they moved on to the next part of the program, I saw there was still a silver cup up there ... my mother's heart rationalized that maybe they were saving Elyana's cup for the end ... the grand finale even.

My heart dropped and I felt my skin flush and the tears beginning to well. I tried the "oops I gotta fumble for something in my purse" trick and the "I'm going to focus on happy thoughts" trick ... but to no avail. I ended up in the bathroom crying my heart out. I sobbed those deep empty cries and promised myself that I would never forget her. I would always acknowledge her and I would always love her.

In my mind, I truly want to move on from the pain. I don't want to cry for my little ones anymore. I don't like to revisit the hurt of our losses. But you know what? Although I don't want to hurt and I don't want to cry I will allow myself to experience the ups and downs that come with the grief process.

Allowing oneself to feel is the only way to get through this season and return to wholeness. Although I don't experience constant reminders of Elyana's death, they will come at unexpected times ... like last night's event.

Sometimes a familiar song, the holiday season, viewing happy families or eating your favorite comfort food can trigger those uncontrollable crying spells.

Be gentle with yourself, always knowing you aren't alone in your pain and that joy does come in the morning ... but only if you're expecting it to make an appearance.

4 comments:

Rian said...

Sharee, I'm so sorry you had to sit through that. It is so sad that the world forgets out little ones, but we never will.

Brooke said...

My heart goes out to you. How very painful!

Sophie said...

Dear Saree, Thirty years ago I lost my daughter. She was premature and lived only a few days. The next two years went by in a dream state. People tried to comfort me in the beginning. But you are right, no one wants to talk about dead babies. It took me two years to understand that I could come out of the moment she died and still hold her in my heart. I sat outside in the dark and finally was able to mourne my daughter. I'll never really know why she passed through my life for so short a time. Wherever her spirit is I know that she and I are connected for eternity. Grief and sorrow after a time lose their razor sharpness and become softer on the heart. Grief has it's own process and we must honor that process and accept what it can teach us. Sending you prayers.

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