This morning I was looking for a poem that I used to read and love. It is a poem written by a mother who had just lost her child. Not uplifting in any way, the poem that I am thinking about still has a way of saying words, and hosting feeling that I often can’t. The problem is that searching for that poem took me to the internet, and when you put in the search terms for this book of grief you are bombarded with images of mothers weeping the tears of the stone angels they are leaning against.
There are very few things I am actually afraid of. There are very few things I could not survive; but the loss of child would be it. I would literally not function without my children now that I have known that love. I am not sure that I am strong enough, or even willing to live without my children around me.
And it is a fear, a fear so great that it takes my breath and causes me to lose all sense of time and space. And it is a fear that grabs me at the oddest times; when I am on the road, when I am taking a nice hot bath, when I am looking for a poem. It comes when I am reading the news, and when I am listening to a song. It comes over me like death himself, and I can almost feel the moist breath of the demon on my neck. I even get fearful talking about it, like if I put it in the universe will death somehow more easily find my children? If they find out how important my children are to me, will they take them away to prove a point?
Fear is a strange thing. It moves, it breathes, it fills and destroys. It can take a sane person past all boundaries and turn them into someone who no one would recognize. It can make you run, make you hide, and force you to unspeakable depths that light can’t penetrate. It destroys.
And I know fear is not limited to those with this disease. But there are times when the fear overtakes me to the point I wonder how I will survive. I know that my children are breathing right now, I know that they are fine. But what happens at the moment that they are not. And how do I reconcile this need to push them, and encourage them to be more than they can be, when I truly wish with ever part of my soul that I could keep them all to myself. How does anyone survive even knowing it is a possibility?
I hate talking about it, but I force myself to. I hate acknowledging those feelings but it is so important that I do. I hate thinking it, believing it, or even burying it in my soul. I have irrational fears when it comes to this, and there is nothing even God himself could say that would make me believe that it will be alright. How does one survive even knowing it is a possibility?
Please God, watch them. Help them. Teach them. Take me, and keep them safe. Because I will not survive without them, and I will never find the strength to care. They are my Pandora’s box, they are my greatest weakness, and they are my greatest strength. They are the blood that flows through my veins and they are the nerves that show me I am alive. They are the be all, they are the end all. They are my being.