So there is this woman who was in my prenatal yoga class. I think I've only seen her a few times (maybe twice) because I alternate between a Thursday evening class and a Saturday AM class, due to my constantly messed up schedule. Anyway, because of whatever reasons, I've only seen her a few times and spoken with her even less frequently than that.
Last week, her baby girl was born 8 weeks early...with a tumor on her liver...and little hope...she died less than 24 hours later. And now this mom, who I really don't know at all, is all I can think about.
She is home now, surrounded by family and friends as she makes her first, tentative steps on this path of grief that will last the rest of her life. Her milk is pouring forth for nobody, her stomach that last week was round and full of life is empty and sagging with nothing to show for it. Her friends are asking each other, "What can we do to help??" and there is no good answer. In my minds eye, I can see this woman curled up in fetal position on her floor or bed, sobbing in a way that few people can understand. Sobbing to the point of literally breaking in half...at least that is what it feels like. I can picture all of this and I just wish there was something, anything, I could do to ease her pain. But it is her pain, and her family's pain, and she will carry it because she has no other option.
In a few weeks, I will call her up. I will tell her who I am and what I do and how I can help. I will give her resources and introduce her to others on this same path and I will assure her she is not alone. None of that will help, obviously, as none of it will bring back her little girl. None of it. And as I sit here typing, pushed back from the computer a bit to accommodate my own bulging belly, I am reminded of that dark hole I was in just 4.5 years ago and how long and hard my husband and I had to work to claw ourselves back into the light. We are here now, in the light of day, breathing in and out, raising our living children, enjoying the energy of living and working to trust that our new baby will be okay. Usually...but right now, today, I'm feeling heartbroken for the woman 4.5 years behind me on this path. Nothing is worse than the dark hole that is back there...nothing.