The bomb exploded just before Thanksgiving. The shrapnel, by now, has stopped falling. The dust hasn’t yet settled, and some days it’s so thick that we choke on it, but other days — when we remember our respirators — things almost feel the way they used to. It’s in those moments that I know that we are going to be okay.
But it’s still hard, nevertheless. I still find myself angry or sad when I see pregnant women, or when I hear the words “I’m pregnant” without a caveat like “for now,” which is so much a part of the lexicon for individuals who have suffered a loss. It’s an incredible pain. But what makes that pain easier to bear are the wonderful friends and family members who have called, Facebooked, and emailed just to offer Alex and I support, and to check on how we are. Making it easier still are the several people I have connected with who have also suffered losses, and who understand exactly what this feels like. The outpouring of love, caring, support, and friendship we have received in the past few weeks has given us an immense amount of strength. That strength, so far, has showed itself in various forms:
- I was able to watch the episode of “Full House” where Becky announces her pregnancy without dissolving into bitter tears.
- We went to a Gymboree, and the only reason we left in such a hurry was the creepy, nails-on-a-chalkboard rendition of “The Little Drummer Boy” playing through the speakers, and not because we were too sad to stay.
- I don’t suddenly start crying as I walk down 5th Avenue or while perusing the aisles of Whole Foods.
- We no longer hide our pregnancy and parenting books in the closet, stuffed under pillows.
Relief has mercifully found us.
That relief has given us the ability to go on, to think about, and to talk about something other than our loss, just like the good ol’ days. We’re back to analyzing which Food Network chefs we’re most like (Alex= Michael Simon, I=Duff Goldman) or what we’d be named in another universe (Alex=Duquette, I=Steven [?]). You know — just deep, theoretical, super-important, non-baby, and non-miscarriage related stuff.
We went from not knowing when we’d ever laugh again to having fits of it. Just like that.
While this month doesn’t look the way I expected, the way it does look isn’t all that bad. We’ve got each other, we’ve got our humor, we’ve got our friends and family, and we’ve got our hope. We are going to be okay.
There is a poem by Langston Hughes that has seen me through many dark times in my life, and has again proven helpful as I walk through the rubble of our loss. I’ve repeated it in my mind almost every day for the past 11 years, and certainly over the past month. It is the called “Still Here”, and it reads:
I been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me, sun has baked me.
Looks like between ’em
They done tried to make me
Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’ —
But I don’t care!
I’m still here!
I am still here. We are still here. And we are going to be okay
We really are going to be okay.