Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Here I am, back again. And I’m ready to purge.

I am so, so happy September is finally over. The last few months have been the darkest, saddest, most challenging period of my life, but September was particularly bad because it was my due month. I don’t really believe in due dates, but mine was September 12th. The whole month was rough because I was back at work when I shouldn’t have been, doing insignificant tasks when I should have been home basking in the wonderment of my baby. That hurt a lot. All I wanted was for September 2010 to finish so that I would never have to go through it again.

Over the last month, I did a lot of thinking, a lot of navel gazing. I looked within my heart, listened to myself, and grieved for our little girl. I’ve become better at hiding my true feelings at work, but wearing a mask all day is taxing. I’d cry on the train ride home, relieved that I didn’t have to pretend anymore, alone with my thoughts. But something toxic was gurgling within me and either in reaction to this or independent of it, Dave felt it too. And something toxic entered our marriage. We grew short with each other, cold with each other, wanting to turn away from each other when we had been so good at leaning on each other. All my mask-wearing in the day gave way to annoyance and anger at night. Sometimes, I could hardly stand the sight of my husband and he felt the same way about me. We separately wanted to be alone and away from each other. I’ve repeatedly heard that people divorce after the death of the child. I saw all too clearly why. We’re the only ones with such intimate knowledge of what happened leading up to, including and after Isla died, and that created a lot of pressure. I’m the only one Dave can really talk to about what happened. He’s the one I talk to most about what happened. That meant we were talking about it ALL THE TIME. And why wouldn’t we? It’s the defining thing in our lives RIGHT NOW, and maybe FOREVER. It was big, it IS big. It was consuming us as individuals and our life as family.

On our due date, I decided that I wanted to move on. I told Dave, which made it more real. I’m not saying I want to forget because you really can’t; every time I touch my stomach I remember, for goodness sake. But I want to get over the depression and the sense of loss. I know that it’s a hard process, but I felt ready to attempt it. I think it was a positive first step and I’ve given myself allowances (example, get really, really sad when I feel a cloud coming and tell everyone to stay the f*ck out of my way), however, it wasn't all sunshine and roses. There was something else sticking in the craw. I didn’t know what it was, but it was there and it was starting to suffocate our relationship.

I didn’t want to go to the SANDS support meeting last Friday, but Dave gently pushed me to. The group is so good because it lets you be you and the old-timers (the ones who have had losses several years ago) are so helpful and knowledgeable. I felt comfortable asking them about what their relationship with their partner looked like after their loss and mentioned that Dave and I were having problems (yes, he was right beside me). We (including Dave) talked about our recent backbiting and he gave me a new nickname right there – “The Escalator”, meaning when we argue, I tend to step it up a notch, which is quite apt. I acknowledged that I did indeed do this, often in reaction to Dave’s grumpiness. I mentioned that Dave said we talk about what happened a whopping 98% of the time and Jenny, a befriender and a woman I have been spending a lot of time with lately, said the most profound thing:

“You talk about it so much and it has become the centre of your lives because there was supposed to be a person here who was to be the centre of your lives.”

I sat on this for a second, but I knew that it was so accurate, so right, that I immediately began to cry. A lot. And loudly. And I couldn’t stop. Because it was so, so true.

We left the room to go outside to get some fresh air, me crying every step of the way. Isla was supposed to be here but she isn’t and we talk about the trauma so much because we don’t have her. In the recent past, when Dave said he felt I focused on it too much, I would blow up and tell him that I have nothing else! Hardly no friends, no life, nothing to look forward to or distract myself with. This was all I had – a baby gone too soon and broken hopes and dreams! So when I started crying, I knew in my heart what Jenny said was true. And I cried for a solid 15 minutes and I felt like I was back at day one.

Eventually the tears became more gradual and then finally stopped and a peace settled, the kind you get from a breakthrough and a deep acknowledgement. As we drove home, Dave said “we didn’t have a baby, so our grief has become our child” and it’s too true. We’ve nurtured that sucker like there’s no tomorrow. And now it’s time to let go. I want to let go. He wants to let go. It’s time.

I know every person’s grief pattern and schedule is different and I’m not trying to come off like it was some miracle because it ain’t. It’s not over, but now I’m working towards when it will be, whenever that is.

I hope this makes sense. I feel a bit rusty in regards to writing right now, but I’ve been spilling all over my diary and feel ready to put it out there again.

So I’m ready to climb that mountain again, this time better prepared. I’m allowed to stop and rest, take in the view, go backwards and then march on. I muddle through the tricky bits, navigating my own path, noting that whatever route I take will be right for me. I don’t know what will be at the top, but I now feel better prepared to embark on that journey.


  1. It's been 2 and 1/2 years for me since the boys died and it still hurts every single day. It doesn't hurt as bad as it the first couple of months or the first year but I still think about them when I wake up in the morning and they are on my mind when I fall asleep. It's going to take however long it takes for the pain to receed...I wish I had better words of encouragement but you and I both know that words like, "you will be okay" or "you'll be fine" are hollow. You will heal and you will move forward but "okay" and "fine" are gone...

  2. it does hurt even long after... our daughter would have been 25 this year. Each milestone brings back a wave of grief. You and your husband have been in my prayers and will continue to be. Take good care of yourself.

  3. I have no way of knowing what you're going through, but please know our mutual friends and I are so impressed by how strong you've both been.

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  5. Sister Kaki,

    I don't know how I happened upon your blog, but I'm grateful I happened upon your blog. Like everything in a divinely ordered life it appears, just when you need it most.

    Thank you for sharing your inner most being. I am deeply saddened at your loss and I send my heart felt prayers to you and your husband.

    I cannot even begin to articulate what this loss is for you, and nor would I dare to, not in a million years. Your beautifully written blog, your raw and tender vulnerability have reawakened a particular yearning within me for self release and healing, as well as self forgiveness for the fears I have been holding on to recently. The fear of being true to my own unique being, of being who I was born to be, of moving to Ireland and receiving the love that awaits me there.

    As I read and follow your journey to healing, I release floodgates of tears within. Your writing helps me to see my own way to new beginnings. I would like to thank not only you, but Isla too. She is the catalyst to why we are all writing you now. The old adage is true, "no life is wasted" .... indeed, not one. I may not know you, or have known Isla, but I thank you both for your lives and for helping me and others, albeit unintentionally, in our own ways back to self.

    Light and love surround you Sister Kaki, and thank you for helping me to be just that much more free.

    Ife (ee-faye) da Black BanSidhe

  6. I think you're doing amazingly well. Still here and thinking of you and sending good thoughts every day.

  7. Thanks for your kind words, everyone. We're both trying our best.

  8. Your due date was the date my miscarriage began. I am sure that we will feel the date every year.