*Trigger Warning: pregnancy loss and death
Organizing my thoughts have been a challenge in the last three months. We’ve had good and bad news, all seem to be happening in and at the same time. I mean in and at, not at the same time. For me time has a funny way of playing tricks on my senses, which as an event based person has me at a disadvantage. Time, for some it moves too fast, for others it moves too slow, for me right now time is doing a whirligig of speeding up, slowing down, pausing, and then skipping ahead.
Part of me is still in May, where I found out that there was the chance that I was going to be a father, now it’s July and we’ve lost that chance, then I’m back in June where the elation of bringing a new life into the world where we get to nourish and raise is the highlight of my life, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping and I’ve got the feeling of endless possibilities. Suddenly I’m hurtled forward to July, and I’m sitting in a waiting room with dread in my heart as my wife comes through a door and is holding back tears as we both share a look where we know something is wrong.
July 17th, I sit waiting to discover the gender and health of the poppy seed that has been growing in my wife, we’ve talked about how we want to raise Poppy, what we want to try to do better, how we can’t wait to meet them and discover who they are. That hope vanished in a heartbeat that wasn’t there. She walked out to me sitting there hopeful, only to be brought back to the realization that the universe has other plans.
I’m sitting there holding my wives hand as the doctor explains that he wishes he had better news, but he doesn’t. I see my wife breaking down, the strength I love in her is still present but the grief is taking hold. I switch into a mode that is cold and clinical, I must protect my heart and head now, for both our sake. I shift into work mode, or as others know my event mode, where I need to be responsible for our well-being, I don’t have time to feel, I need to think and strategize, I need to know, learn, and be there to make rational decisions. I’m sure the doctor felt as though I was being cold, I know I felt cold so they must have sensed it in me, I don’t care. I care about the health and well-being of my wife, who is experiencing the loss of Poppy in many ways I can’t understand.
I don’t need to take notes of what the doctor is saying, I will take his words with me as I do in any situation where I need to take control and manage. I have them memorized, they are etched in my brain, as other critical information has been, it’s a curse, a skill, a superpower, whatever you want to call it. I go into crisis management mode and I shut my feelings down so I can function, so I can be there for others, to help them through the pain, the loss, the grief.
Flash and I’m sitting there watching my grandmother pass, she was a strong woman, a product of the great depression, and a person who influenced my life for the better. She gave me strength in times of need, she helped reinforce the lessons my parents gave me, to work hard and enjoy the work. She was a strong woman who had her faults, as all people do, but she gave us all a strength that I hope I can instill in the people and world around me.
In a blink, I’m sitting on a dune on the Persian Gulf in 2011 reflecting on the path I took to get to this place, I’ve traveled the world, worn out a passport and have seen the number of close friend’s ebb and flow around me. I finally see that all the things that have happened to me has brought me to a place of peace. I’ve let go of the worst, and decide to embrace the best.
And now here I am, sitting here after feeling for the last three days as though something was building up around me, the air was off, my sleep had been that of someone who knew something was going to happen where I would need to be awake for days at a time. My wife and I are sitting here finding out that the people who are most important in our lives are not immortal. The universe has a wicked sense of humor, and sometimes it’s just plain mean. But that’s not the universes fault, it’s ours for thinking, even for a second, that we have any semblance of control over what we do.