On Loss

I had the honor of having a piece I wrote about losing Luca, published on Mutha Magazine.

http://muthamagazine.com/2013/11/luca-carla-grossini-concha-on-loss/

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We are not alone.

There are so many others that have walked this path before us, and they managed to continue living, and find joy again.

There are so many others that have experienced this same journey, and have been able to give us the assurance that we are not alone.

In working on the bereavement packet for the hospital Luca was born at, we are compiling a list of quotes. Ones so profound, you can’t help but be moved when you read them. Especially as a family that has lost their child.

Elizabeth Edwards spoke about losing her child:

“If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who’s important to them, and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn’t forget they died. You’re not reminding them. What you’re reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that’s a great, great gift.”

“If I had lost a leg, I would tell them, instead of a boy, no one would ever ask me if I was ‘over’ it. They would ask me how I was doing learning to walk without my leg. I was learning to walk and to breath and to live without Wade. And what I was learning is that it was never going to be the life I had before.” 

And this one of course, always gets me right in the very core:

”There is, I am convinced, no picture that conveys in all its dreadfulness, a vision of sorrow, despairing, remediless, supreme. If I could paint such a picture, the canvas would show only a woman looking down at her empty arms.” -Charlotte Bronte

We are not alone. Others have had to pioneer this path before us. And unfortunately, we will not be the last. We too will forge this path, and hold hope for those families whose sweet babes will also be, taken too soon.

I’m moving past the feeling. Again.

I woke up on his 8 month birthday like I wake up most days. Just a little more numb.

Sometimes I can’t believe it. He happened, he was here, I definitely felt him in my belly, I have the pictures of the pregnancy, I have the pictures of him in our arms.

But he’s not here anymore, and he’s supposed to be 8 months old, and this house is supposed to be filled with onesies and diapers, burp clothes and two exhausted mamas.  And instead it’s visibly filled with heartache. And I’m moving through these feelings the best I can. I move out of my body and watch my reactions and my tears.  I wish I could reach out and give myself a hug sometimes. I am as gentle on myself as I can afford to be.

Sometimes I can’t believe it.

There are moments when I  question my own sanity. But I’ve come to know these feelings are the new normal. I’m not crazy in that I am not living in reality. I’m crazy in that my reality is maddening. In that it makes me want to throw up my hands in the air and quit sometimes. I’m crazy in the way I feel when I sit and can’t do anything but cry. I’m crazy in that I get up every morning and I hope that he’s going to appear, and when I realize that this wasn’t just a horrible nightmare, then I get up and do the same routine everyday.

I’ve become one of my own grief counselors. I talk myself through it, letting the tears cleanse me, and get me through the moment. Each morning visiting with him at his altar. Asking him for guidance.

Sometimes I can’t believe it.

I am a childless mother. This is my story, our reality. 8 months. We are still here. Still standing. How can I make the world understand how  much I wanted to be the mother of this beautiful little boy? How do I get them to understand my grief? I know life happens. I know life goes on. Please don’t judge me for where I need to be right now. I know if you’re just reading my blog, then it’s likely you aren’t witness to the happiness I can still feel.

I should really write more about the joy I’m still able to experience. I guess I’m too busy enjoying it to write about it. But this writing. It helps me move through it. I swear there is joy.

To celebrate his 8 months, I practiced yoga in the park, in full sun. I felt warm, I moved my body, I watched as butterflies and dragon flies and birds soared around me through the asanas. In my last downward dog, the sun shone through me.  8 months and I can see hope on the horizon. I’m moving through it, moving with it. I do it for Luca, I do it for Gina, for myself, and for Luca’s future siblings. 

At 8 months, I thank you for still reading, for being present, for all the positive energy and intention you send our direction, and for how you remember my dear sweet son.

Practice

I try and relax on the couch, in this ever-silent house, and it’s as if my anxiety is boiling over. I can’t get comfortable, and I can’t even relax.

It’s a common problem, I face it several times a week, though I’m never exactly sure when it’s going to happen. Sort of like when the intense grief sneaks up on me. I’m okay one moment, and then all of a sudden I find myself driving somewhere, crying at the top of my lungs, screaming for Luca. Wondering if the people in the cars around me are noticing the woman disintegrating in the car next to them.

Tonight I decided to do something different with the frustration. I got up, lit a candle at Luca’s altar, I unrolled my mat in the spare room, lit frankincense, put on my playlist, and moved.

I gave myself a class. I lead in with songs from Luca’s playlist, warming up, and then starting my sun salutations with “Stay”. It was a beautiful flow.

“All along it was a fever”

reaching my arms up to the sky,  folding forward, flat back, folding forward again

“a cold sweat hot headed believer”

 foot back, inhale crescent lunge,  exhale hands down

“I threw my hands in the air and said “show me something.”

strong arms, chataranga, upward dog, downward dog. 

“He said, “If you dare, come a little closer.”

 crescent lunge, exhale hands down, feet together, fold forward

And by the time I had gotten through that side, I realized I was dancing. I was moving to my breath, to the lyrics, to the music, and I was dancing this song for Luca. Every time I lifted up into my crescent lunge, and my arms lifted into the sky, I felt the beauty of my own movement, the way my arms swung up, so timed with the lyrics.

up. down. inhale. exhale. 

“It’s not much of a life you’re living
It’s not just something you take–it’s given”

up. down. inhale, exhale. 

“Round and around and around and around we go
Oh now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now you know.”

Dancing through each movement, breathing him in.

Eyes welling up with the salty stagnant tears. Moving. Stretching. Feeling the strength of my body, and feeling my breath lead me into the next pose, the next dance step.

Driven by love. By intention. By trust.

I taught myself something tonight, and I’m grateful for the lesson.