This one’s gonna hurt.
I’m not going to compare. I know my story is different from yours. I know you know the pain of loss. I’m just going to share some stuff I’ve learned (and some I’m still learning). Maybe there will be a tidbit you take away that makes you think. Maybe there will be a quote they can put on my headstone one day.
Loss. The life changing kind. You don’t know it until it hits you as hard as it can. Sometimes you can see it coming but you can’t really prepare for it. It’s inevitable, and it often strikes when you least expect it. It brings darkness that only a few things can break through. It strikes like lightning.
But you know what? It means something. Loss means you had something to lose.
I lost the future I thought I saw forming. I was going to become a dad. I was on board with everything happening in my life. Then came the storm. First the twins weren’t developing like they were supposed to. Then the verdict came down, “Soon, you will miscarry, or we’ll have to perform surgery.” I don’t really know what it meant to my wife. I held her while we cried, but she never put into words if it crushed her like it did me. I can only imagine it was much worse for her. I’m the kind of person that wants to come closer through pain like that. I look towards my lover, not away. Anyway, about a week later, it happened. I was there. I held, I carried, I supported, I advocated for. It wasn’t enough. We lost our babies and I guess knowing it was coming made the day sting less than maybe it should have. We were numb.
We suffered, and I was trying to be attentive to how I felt and how my wife acted, but I’m helpless. The second she seemed normal my awareness went out the window. She seemed really urgent about wanting things back to normal and she said she wanted to try (for a baby) again. I was scared. I knew what happened was neither of our faults, but the prospect of it happening again wasn’t making me excited about the process.
Before we really got a chance, she was gone. She went to work on a Monday morning and never came back – by choice. She changed her mind about me. I don’t blame her. I guess it has never really made sense to me. I’m told it probably won’t. “Some things in life you just have to let go of.” It ain’t easy.
I go hard. It’s a blessing and it’s a curse. See it depends on the other person. When I commit, I’m all in. Well, it takes two to tango. I’d be a terrible poker player. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I live my life in the most genuine manner I can imagine. I’m far from perfect but I know what love is. It’s sacrifice. It’s not easy. It’s compromise. In one of my poems I loosely defined it – “Love is not a feeling, it’s an existence. It’s a life of obstacles lived in persistence.” Love survives devastation. The real stuff, anyway. Love doesn’t keep record of your faults. It might be far, but it’s never absent. It’s silent, but it’s the most beautiful thing when it’s expressed.
Which brings me back to loss. Real loss. It means you had something. It means something meant so much. If you survive it, you grow. Sometimes it’s temporary, sometimes it’s permanent. Sometimes it makes no sense. You learn more from the hard days than you do the easy.
What does all of this mean to me? I now know I’m not in control.
But you know what? I’d rather take risks and fail. I rather feel this than nothing for anyone. I’d choose to give you the power to hurt me every day of my life over the alternative.