This evening, I attended my second M.E.N.D meeting (my pregnancy loss support group). I think I was on edge all day, knowing that I was going to revisit that place of pain that I have so neatly covered over most days. I didn’t want to cry over Olivia. I didn’t want to cry over everyone’s babies.
I told myself to think of myself as a reporter . . . as someone sitting at the feet of amazing women who have endured losses I can’t even imagine, learning from them all about grief, loss and how to survive the death of a child. “Everything I learn tonight,” I told myself, “will help me empathize and relate to the women and men who read my blog. I need to go for them.”
It didn’t take long for my pretense to crash down. Because the truth is, I can not only imagine their loss . . .
. . . . I’m living it.
Each feeling they related struck a chord with me. Sadness. Frustration. Helplessness. Resentment. Loneliness.
But the one that really got me was Anger.
Our leader minced no words . . . “You will have anger. And it WILL come out. And who better for it to come out on than on God?”
So. I have anger. And the truth is, lately, most days I have been avoiding God. Well, actually, I pray all the time. But I’ve been avoiding His Word. I’ve been avoiding talking to Him about Olivia. I’ve really only been praying for other people. And that’s because I’m angry.
“It has to come out . . . ” Susan says. I guess she’s right. It definitely does come out.
It comes out at Maddy when she dallies when I’m trying to get her dressed. It comes out at my house, which for some reason, refuses to remain clean no matter how hard I work at it. It comes out at my friends for any reason and for no reason. It comes out at my husband in every way.
Tonight, when I got home from the meeting, my anger began to build. I tried to eat dinner and be satisfied watching stupid TV. Didn’t work. I tried to read a book I was given at my support group. Still not helping. Restless, I got up and began washing dishes . . . getting angrier and angrier. Furiously, I scrubbed at burnt garlic and cheese, dumping the plates loudly in the sink to rinse, before throwing them into the rack with disdain.
In a crescendo of fury, I began hurling whatever was in my reach across my kitchen, longing to demolish something . . . to inflict damage that could never be undone. Something needed to shatter into pieces . . . the way my life was shattering around me.
I began sobbing into my dish towel and ran outside into the freezing rain, hiding behind our van, and wishing desperately that I could just disappear.
I am so angry that my marriage has been affected so much by losing Olivia. I am angry that I am not the same woman Ryan married. I’m angry that I am not the same mom I was. I am angry that I feel like I am hurting those I care about the most, and am pushing them away.
I am angry that I do not have a 20-week baby bump. I am angry that I cannot feel Olivia kick and hiccup. I am angry that I have reminders everywhere of what I lost. I am angry that some people have been spared from this pain — but I have not been spared. I am angry that I cannot get pregnant right now. I am angry that if I do get pregnant, it won’t be the same.
I am angry that I often feel lost in myself. I am angry that I so often feel alone — even as I surround myself with people. I am angry that I can’t go back in time.
I am angry that God’s best plan includes the death of Olivia. I am angry because He thinks giving me a ministry is better than giving me my baby. I am angry that He had the power to help her grow in my womb . . . but He allowed her to stay in my tube. I am angry that I was so hopeful to begin with.
I am angry that I still sometimes find myself saying the wrong thing to others. And that I don’t always have it together.
I am angry that I still struggle with giving myself permission to grieve. I am angry that I cannot rejoice over other people’s pregnancies. I am angry that I cry so easily now. I am angry that I always feel the need to be put together and in-control . . . but usually, that is just a facade.
I am angry at sin for bringing death. I am angry for a world that aborts babies and treats life so cruelly. I am angry that any woman has to go through this.
I know I need to figure out how to bring this anger to God, without taking it out on the dishes — or worse, on my precious family.
I can handle picking up the pieces of my kitchen.
But I don’t have the strength to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage, a broken friendship, or a broken daughter.
God help me.