Monday January 8, 2018 is an odd sort of coincidental date of triggering thoughts and feelings. First, it is a Monday, marking 35 weeks since Corva was delivered. Second, this 8th of January marks 8 months since the birth of my youngest daughter.
Although Corva was born on her due date, technically she was inside me for 38 weeks. This means that in three weeks, on Monday January 29 (or, likely, Saturday January 27th), Corva will have been dead for as long as she was alive
This weekend was particularly difficult for me. With the days lining up precisely as they did in May 2017, I was reminded on Friday January 5th that Friday May 5th was my last day of work. And on Saturday January 6th I remembered that on Saturday May 6th I insisted that my husband go to urgent care after days of illness and severe abdominal pain. On Sunday January 7th I remembered that on Sunday May 7th I picked my husband up from the hospital after his night spent in observation, conscious of the fact that the very next day was my due date, oblivious to the fact that my daughter had likely already passed away. Last night I recalled that 8 months ago, I fell asleep cuddling with my then-3-year old only to awaken in the night with labor pains. I wasn’t concerned only excited. Was she moving? I don’t recall, though now I can say, likely not; testing indicates Corva likely passed a couple days prior to birth.
This is how I mark time now. By Mondays and 8ths. And I wonder if it will always be this way.
Woke up and wished that I was dead
With an aching in my head
I lay motionless in bed
I thought of you and where you’d gone
And let the world spin madly on.
The sun rose at 4:18 am on Monday May 8, 2017. I awoke several hours later, though I’m not certain of the exact time. I was in labor, excited to meet my baby girl, oblivious to the fact that her heart had already stopped. And although Corva was born at 3:24 PM it was the darkest moment of my life. Ever. On that spring day, in the drizzly mid-afternoon, I was submerged into my own winter solstice. The sun set three hours and seventeen minutes after delivery, the world’s darkness emulating my own.
Sun standing still. The winter solstice occurs today, December 21 at 11:27 AM. It is the shortest day of the year where I live, which makes it the darkest–only 8 hours and 47 minutes of daylight. This morning the sun rose at 7:09 AM and tonight it will set at 3:57 PM. But tomorrow the daylight extends by six seconds. And the next day by eleven seconds. And the next day by sixteen seconds. Bit by bit, the days lengthen, the sun burns later into the evening hours.
I have been living in darkness for 32 weeks now. In the very beginning, those darkest of days, I couldn’t even imagine light. I couldn’t fathom how I would survive such pain. But, gradually, light re-enters my life. It isn’t very much light– a candle as opposed to floodlights–and yet I am beginning to feel a little bit of hope. Some days.
And in 20 weeks, on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 there will be 14 hours and 35 minutes of daylight, reaching toward the summer solstice.
I still believe in summer days.
The seasons always change
And life will find a way.
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” ~Maya Angelou
I’ve been moving rapidly through the Stages of Grief and what better way to commiserate than to turn up the music and cry (or scream or throw things or sob into pillows, well I think you have the general idea). My current favorite is #29 below, “Stars” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. This really speaks to what my heart is feeling right now. If you are so inclined to listen to a truly gorgeous version, click here.
I would love, love, love to know what songs are resonating with you as you journey through your own personal hell (I mean grief). Please comment below.
- A Falling Through–Ray LaMontagne
- All of the Stars–Ed Sheeran
- Angel–Sarah McLachlan
- Ave Maria–Beyonce
- Beam Me Up–P!nk
- Dancing in the Sky–Dani and Lizzy
- Elizabeth, You Were Born to Play That Part–Ryan Adams
- Emma’s Lullaby–Kenzie Nimmo
- Far Away–Nickelback
- Fly–Celine Dion
- Fly Away–Amy Lynn
- Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)–Dixie Chicks
- Gone Too Soon–Simple Plan
- Held–Natalie Grant
- I Want You Here–Plum
- I Will Carry You (Audrey’s Song)–Selah
- I Will Follow You Into the Dark–Death Cab for Cutie
- I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Cover)–Jasmine Thompson
- I Will Not Say Goodbye–Danny Gokey
- I’ll Be There–Escape Club
- If I Die Young–The Band Perry
- Let It Be–The Beatles
- Lullaby–Dixie Chicks
- Not Right Now–Jason Gray
- One More Day–Rocket Club
- Safe & Sound–Taylor Swift with The Civil Wars
- See You Again–Carrie Underwood
- Smallest Wingless–Craig Cardiff
- Stars–Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
- Still–Gerrit Hofsink
- To Where You Are–Josh Groban
- Waiting on an Angel–Ben Harper
- When a Heart Breaks–Ben Rector
- When You Come Back Down–Nickel Creek
- Winter Song–Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson