In my dreams

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Losing a child puts you in a place where the irrational can be completely and plausibly rational. It puts you in a place where you’re surrounded by all these crazy thoughts, and you know they’re crazy, but you can’t help listening to them and wondering if maybe they have a point, if maybe they are right after all. It puts you in a place where confusion is a normal, day-to-day thing. And then sometimes you come out of this crazy place and think, what just happened to me? Did I really think those things, feel those things? Was that me? How could I even think that?

And then you bury those thoughts and try to ignore them and go about your business, but they keep coming back to you at odd hours, and they hound you until you feel you really might be going crazy. And you’re not sure who you can talk to about it because what will they think? And then you just sit down one day and write about it and stop caring what people think, because it’s part of you and part of this life – this new normal you have to come to accept.

And it makes you feel so alone. Surrounded by people buy so horribly, awfully, utterly alone. My personality has always been to help other people and I feel like I’ve been spending so much time navigating other people through how to talk to me, and trying to make them feel comfortable around me that I so seldom spend time trying to navigate this dark and lonely place for myself. Perhaps that’s why I’m awake at night, because its really this only time I have to myself.

Or maybe it’s the dreams. I only have one. Reliving that night. The worst night in my life. And if my body knows when it sleeps that’s where it’s going, then why on earth would it ever let me sleep again? And worst of all, I usually wake up thinking I’m hearing her crying for me. As if she was here. But she never is. And I never get to hold her again in my dreams. Her cries always wake me up. If only I could sleep long enough that I’d get to hold her again.

Once you cross that threshold of grief, it changes you forever. You can’t have any of it back. You can’t unlearn the harsh lessons of grief. You struggle to find a “bright side.” It’s not like losing your first love or not getting that job you always dreamed of. You can’t just tell yourself, “If I try hard enough, I can do it. I can get what I want. I can succeed.” That doesn’t work after losing a baby. Because it wasn’t a matter of trying hard enough or believing in yourself. It was never in your power. You can’t control life and death. You can’t even try. She’s never ever ever ever ever coming home.

It’s still so incredibly hard for me to believe that she’s gone, but everyday I have the physical reminders on my own body that she was here. And no matter how brief and limited her life was, what’s unmistakable is the profound effect she has had on me. Everlee has changed everything I ever was and everything I will be. Now I just need to get to know myself and who I’m going to be all over again. Without Everlee.

When you lose a baby, you lose everything. You lose all the hopes and dreams you held over those ten months, you lose confidence, hope, courage, strength. Your sense of control. It’s all gone. All you have left to you is grief. It’s the only thing that’s real; everything else is just an illusion.

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3 thoughts on “In my dreams

  1. Losing a child must be the hardest thing for a human being to go through. Hard on the mother who carried her baby, and hard on the father who waited in anticipation for his baby to be born too. Hard on the grandparents who anxiously awaited their first grandchild.

    These are just my thoughts; The Mom trys to be strong for her husband and vice versa. One doesn’t want to maybe cry to much in front of the other because they are afraid they will bring the other down even more than they already possibly can be. Each parent tries to be so strong. I think they both are concerned who will begin to feel a little bit better first, thinking the other will judge them thinking they aren’t grieving the baby anymore.

    Then the Grandparents are grieving their child as well as the overwhelming grief of losing their precious grandchild. Their first grandchild that they waited for almost as much as the Mom and Dad.

    I would of been the great Aunt of Sweet Everlee, and I anxiously awaited her birth as well. I sit up at night and research on the internet how this could of happened . I read all the blogs from other women who have also suffered with the loss of their child.

    I never knew of a couple that wanted this baby as much as Rhonda and Darcy. And for them to be going through this just rips at my heart. I try and think of comforting things to say to them through the chat on facebook but there is nothing I or anyone else can say to ease the tremendous pain of losing Everlee.

    I just hope day by day the pain will ease just a little. I have said to Rhonda that she should purchase a punching bag and release all her feelings physically out on the bag. Scream and yell and punch the bag. Get mad. Darcy too.

    Rhonda in this last blog when you said you wake at night and think you hear Everlee crying for you just breaks my heart.

    You are right Rhonda when you said in your blog you had no control of what happened to Everlee.

    Time will move on slowly and you will have that baby that you long for. I know it. You and Darcy are going to have a little brother or sister for Everlee and you will be happy again. I will stand by and be one of your biggest cheerleaders.

    I hope you and Darcy have a relaxing time on your trip. I hope the sun shines brightly to put a little happiness back into your hearts again.

    Love Aunt Mary.

  2. I cannot even begin to say i know how you feel because simply i dont, i cannot imagine the grief, the pain, the lonliness, the nightmare that wont end.
    You are thought of each and every day, there isnt a day goes by that i dont say I wonder how Rhonda is today, I think of you , wish i was there beside you to have you vent, cry, scream and even punch me if you needed to.
    I love you my friend.

  3. I hear you. This makes me think of the phrase “starting over,” which I think is a big piece of junk. We never start over–we start from where we are now that we have lived that part of life. You will be pregnant again, but it won’t be for the first time. You’ll nurse one of your children, but not Everlee. So you’re right about “getting to know yourself.” You’re a new person. That person has been hollowed out by grief. But she’s also forged by fire. You’ll find more courage and you’ll find more gentleness. You’ll always be Everlee’s mom and because of her special life, you’ll be a stronger person…it takes time to get there.

    I remember one night a few weeks after my husband died. I was in the kitchen fixing something to eat when the sorrow hit me and took my knees out from under me. I sobbed in a ball on the floor because I was alone. I got angry, too, that I was alone. I felt like everyone else had something that had been taken from me. That I was going to be alone forever. Then something dawned in me. I thought, “Well, if I had to pick just one person to have my back for the rest of my life, I PICK ME. I’m tough and smart and tenderhearted and funny and brave. Yeah, I pick me.” There is a Rhonda on the other side of this and you are walking towards her. You will be so glad to meet her, because she’s going to be amazing.

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