Saturday, December 20, 2014

On Breathing in the Wreckage

#writeingrief Day 12 attempting to reflect on the words of  Mirabai Starr



If you want me to "breathe in this wreckage" today in a gentle and loving way and with compassion for myself, you might have better luck elsewhere. I can’t even quite wrap my mind around that first part. Just the breathing is a challenge for me today; it’s a bit harder than it was yesterday. If you want me to breathe in this wreckage then I am definitely going to need time. And quiet. I know that I turn into my pain, and I allow myself to feel my grief. I know that I do because it demands that I do. However, I also know that I have not felt its full weight. I don’t really believe it’s possible to feel the full weight all at once. At least I don’t believe that it’s possible for me right now. I think that I’ve felt all of it over time, but I don’t think that I have the capacity to just breathe it all into my body right now in a gentle and loving way.


I’m not entirely sure why I would want to breathe it all in all at once anyway. What is the purpose of this? Am I trying to find peace? What if I don’t want to find peace? I’m afraid that finding peace--REAL peace--would mean that I’m over losing my babies. 

That it would mean that losing them doesn’t hurt. 

That it would mean that I’m fine without them. 

That it would mean that not only am I fine, but I’m fucking thriving without them. 

Or that it would mean that I might not be able to get out of that hole.


Folding into the pain probably doesn’t mean that any of my fears would come true, but I don’t know what would happen. What I do know is that pain is proof that my babies are loved, and somehow peace and healing sound like acceptance. Maybe it’s easier to just be in pain. When I was in labor with Alaska I didn’t want any pain medication. The nurses and doctors tried to get me to take something, but I just wanted to feel all of it. I wanted to feel every second of the experience, and I wanted to give that to her. It didn’t work out that way for me, but I tried.


And now the pain is always with me, but I do have times when I can genuinely laugh alongside it. Because I'm ok. I'm not ok, but I'm ok.

Yesterday someone asked me where my Christmas spirit was. I said, “It died.” They sort of laughed, and I said, “And I’m not even kidding. It’s dead.” And that is true. My Christmas spirit is dead. Not only dead but burned and destroyed. But it’s also not true because I can feel the spirit through my boys. And I feel it through them and only them.


What does it look like to be inside the fire of grief taking one breath in front of the other? Is it the peaceful scenario I’m imagining? Or does the fire scorch the inside and the outside as we breathe it into our lungs? Does it destroy? What does it destroy? Can it burn away all of the ugliness and just leave the love? But without the intensity of the pain would the love be diminished? Can love be diminished? Nah. Nothing can take that from me.

If you want me to breathe in this wreckage then you have to let me do it on my own time and in my own way. If you want me to breathe in this wreckage then you have to let me do it by myself. I don’t think I can take anyone into the fire with me. 

I just don’t know anything right now. 

I’m so confused. 
Tell me what to do. '
(I know you can’t.)