Today was a crying day. Except, I don’t cry. I seep.
Most adults only cry when they reach some kind of breaking point. But I am already broken. I am a million little pieces. I am piecing myself back together again. Some pieces are beginning to fit back together, sealing tightly along their crack and creating a new foundation. Not like bone, which reinforces itself, creates lopsided bulges on the break since it identifies that area as weak and vulnerable but like ceramic. Some pieces fit back together beautifully, you can hardly tell there was a break. The pattern aligns, there are no chips, no glue oozes out on either side. Some pieces have gaps between them, lost shards, chips in the pattern and require more care in gluing back together, require more glue, more time to seal back together. Some pieces are balancing precariously on top of each other, just waiting for glue. Some pieces are shards, dust that will never be returned to where they belong and some pieces are just gone. Just literally not there anymore.
And so I seep. Not like at first, before I began reconstructing the foundation or before I even began rebuilding. When I was in shock, disbelief. When I sat in the NICU staring at the wall whispering to myself or perhaps saying out loud, “What’s happening? Wait. What’s happening?” or when I told my dad, “My whole world has changed. Well, no. Not my whole world.” and he looked at me increduously and said, “Yes. Your whole world.” He knew before I did. Back then there was no container to hold anything, so it all just spilled out, marinating the pieces in salt water and cortisol and whatever else is in tears.
It seems now the base has come together quite well and I am carrying on. Always with this river of sorrow just under the surface and sometimes over it, like today. When I fill to the brim. When my sorrow becomes overwhelm and isolation and it rises to the unglued parts, the balancing parts and spots I’ve missed and begins to seep out. There is no prevention, there is no halting or damming to be done. It’s time for the water to find it’s way out, to put pressure on it, to crack it open again and then to recede, in it’s own time, in it’s own way.
I seep. I do not reach a breaking point. I am broken and I cry to let some of the pressure off. Like writing, it is a relief valve. I have built up as much as I can, I have held in too much too long and out it pours of the overlooked spots, the unfillable gaps, the places yet untouched or even seen to be repaired.
I have begun to notice others meeting my tears or sobs with wide eyes. What has happened to push her over the edge? What breaking point has happened that this woman is sobbing on the floor of the Nia class, on the massage table, walking through the grocery store? How can I make this stop/fix this/help her/make it better/get away from it? My tears are met from that other planet that I used to live on. The one that does not recognize tears as the physical manifestation of healing. The world that, should it hear my thoughts today at the depth of my sobbing (“Please, please, please come back. I want my baby back. Please don’t be gone. Please don’t be gone. Please don’t be gone), would think I have taken a step back. That I have regressed to a place I have already moved on from. The world that forces us into straight lines and right angles. Except that nothing is this way and I am in the midst of the chaotic hurricane of a mother’s grief and am all too aware that nothing, not one thing, is linear or black and white or clear cut. Not one thing.
I don’t reach this place because of some event or some trigger or some inability to keep my adult shit together. I have reached this place because my body is ready to let go a little bit more. Because the more I cry out to the empty air to bring my baby back, the more I start to believe, or at the best moments, understand, that he is not coming back. Because what has happened to me, what is still happening to my body, is so fucking horrible, I am mostly laughing about it now. It’s so fucking horrible that it’s funny. Because I am coming to realize, he’s not coming back and on new levels, not every day, not every week but at some unknown interval. That the more I protest and cry and rail against what has happened to me and what happened to him and what has happened to all of those close to me, the more it integrates, the quicker the glue dries, the steadier my hand at placing the pieces one on top of the other.
I live crying now. I seep now. If I don’t cry now, I will cry later. If it is a less than ideal time to cry and I am full up, I’m going to cry anyway. I cannot stop it. If it doesn’t happen now, it will happen shortly after and it will only be stuffed and harder to get out. There is no timeline, no appropriate or inappropriate situation, no stalling or conjouring or stifling. I am seeping. I am a walking, talking grief river that is unseen but that I can always feel and it’s just a matter of how far above the water my head. I am not having an experience in which crying is an isolated event, an anomaly. All bets are off. My baby is dead. He was here and he looked perfect and his brain was dead because my uterus tore open and didn’t tell me and then he died. My baby is not coming back. My baby is gone. My son. My only son. And so I will seep and cry and moan and laugh and be numb and smile and hope and despair and worry and fear and rail and soar and live and die without him. With him always just beneath the surface, with him always in the cracks, with him never here in my arms where he belongs.