I want to follow up from a piece I had written recently that has been spreading like wildfire through the world. I want to take some time to really think about what was asked of me, and to reflect on my guilt that stemmed from that piece.
A few months back a beautiful soul whom I had met through my writing contacted me out of the blue. She had asked me if I could join her on a special project to help others find healing, to help them find the light in the tunnel. I agreed and didn’t think much of it again. When it came time to write I whipped out a piece full of truth, but it was unlike my style, it lacked my true insights. I wrote about how I have used yoga and love to find my own healing, but I gave no thought as to how that might sound to someone who is so deep in pain that what I suggest seems laughable. I was a disservice to my community, and for that I am sorry.
Bear with me, this will be a long one, but I think we can all agree it’s been long over due.
I took a very long break from writing, I don’t know exactly how the decision came about, I think it was just that everytime I sat down to write, it felt forced, and I didn’t want to revisit the memories unnaturally. This project has stirred emotions inside of me, some that I have kept hidden for so long that even I forgot they were once there. It has made me truly think about what has happened in the last 2 years.
I think back to this day 2 years ago and how naive I was; I didn’t know the storm that was coming, I could only see the rain that was falling at the time. I regret that weight gain, baby shower ideas and nursery decorations were my main stress. Strangely, I don’t wish I knew earlier.
Fighting for your child’s life seems like a natural reaction, but what do you do if you’re really faced with that as your only option? What do you do when your whole world is shattering around you and you’re trying so hard to catch the shards and hold them in place with your bloody hands? Your heart is screaming so loud that you cover your ears to protect yourself from the sounds, only to realize the piercing tone is inside. There is no escape. Your body feels like it will collapse at any second if you even dare to move another muscle; breathing becomes painful. You stare at the swollen abdomen below you, wondering how your body could betray you so badly; how could God betray you? You think about all the wrong you’ve done, wondering if this is your punishment; surely this is an excessive punishment for lying about having change to the bum who reeked of stale cheap vodka. You know you’re not perfect, but you try hard to be a good person, how could this possibly be real? You go to sleep hoping the nightmare will end. It didn’t.
I spent the next 15 weeks fighting. Researching until my eyes were as dry as the Saharah, pouring through articles toggling between the medical journals and Google just so that I could understand what the hell I was looking at. I studied ultrasounds and femur measurements. I tore through every “See Also” of every skeletal diagnosis in search of hope only to come up with the same 2 answers, neither of them were good. I gathered an army of love and support, a luxury I so greatly needed to keep my head on straight. That’s when trouble began. The words were no longer loving, and the questions became accusations. I often found myself crying alone at night. That didn’t matter though, I had someone so much more important counting on me to stay calm. I fought on, my army by my side and a tiny girl with the kick that would put Jackie Chan to shame.
Just because something is going to end before you want it to does not mean you should mourn it before it’s gone.
– Letters for my Ruby, July 2014
24 hours is a long time when you know it’s coming any minute. 48 hours felt like a week. It’s only fair to say that 16 days felt like an lifetime, but no one ever thinks that 16 days could be a life time. The day my daughter was born, I was reborn. The day after she died the new seeds of life were planted into the depths of my soul. Those months of depression, the nights spent crying, right down to the planned suicide; that was the shell cracking. December 2014, the insides came out; I bared my soul for all to see. I declared publicly to find meaning, to find healing, to rebirth myself. I could not, and positively would not allow the darkness of my grief to consume what little light I had left. One little step at a time I began to find my way out, desperately seeking the sunlight.
That red glow in those dark tunnels kept me searching for the light. I would not let my daughter see me give up, even if she wasn’t with me I hoped she was still watching (that is if she wasn’t too busy being spoiled rotten by her family there). If I was forced to live without her, I wanted to make sure I really lived.
Living without my Ruby doesn’t mean that I forgot she was here, it doesn’t mean I forgot about those 36 weeks with her. It just means that I am not going to waste the rest of my life sitting in the darkness when my sweet little girl is dancing in the sunlight. I’m going to dance with her, I’m going to laugh with her. I’m going to live my life out with her memory forever stitched into my heart.