Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sitting With Grief

I sat down in her room on my meditation cushion. I turned on the YouTube guided meditation about grief and closed my eyes.  I don’t remember the words of the meditation, but I do remember the pulsating sound and hypnotic rhythm of the gentle music.  As my eyes closed and I sunk into myself I remembered being told to take three deep breaths.  I breathed in, I breathed out, I breathed in, and I breathed out. Tears started rolling down my face from both closed eyes and it felt as if light was filling my body.  The tears were shear pain and longing.  That is the only way I can describe it, my words fail as I try to capture an image of the overwhelming but comforting emotions.

As I felt the tears fall from the base of my chin down to my chest and roll down and graze my breasts a thought came to mind, “This is where she was supposed to be.  She was supposed to be there, feeding, suckling, living against my breast, but she wasn’t there.”  I let the thought go as I pulled my left hand to my heart and my right over where she used to live, my now empty uterus, her lonely home no longer in use.  I cried more deep silent tears and I inhaled and exhaled as I immersed myself in their wetness, yet warm pain.

Then as I breathed and sat with my grief, I heard a word, “Mom”, I hear it again “Mom” over and over again.  It’s Nora, she is talking to me.  All she is doing is repeating, “Mom, Mom, Mom,” but in such a comforting way that a smile moved across my tortured face.
Then my mind takes me to a beach, where Nora and I are dancing in the sand.  I hear the waves hitting the shore and see our feet in the sand as we walk hand in hand. She is a little girl, probably 4 years old.  She wears a yellow dress and I am in a maxi dress, as we are frolicking together on the beach.  There is no longing in this place, there is no pain.  Her chocolate color hair is pulled back in pig tails and she and I are laughing and giggling.  She points to things and says their name, inquisitively asking me questions.  I smile and laugh in the image, but in my reality I know that I sit on a cushion with my eyes closed, watching all this in my mind’s eye as if I were watching a home video of Nora and me.  At this realization a wail comes out of my mouth as I long for this image to be true.
Then I hear myself asking, “Why?  Why can’t I have you?” and she just responds as a wise old soul would, “No one can have anyone, mommy.”  I wail again as I know she is right, but I also marvel at the brilliant soul she is, so wise, so full of love, so special.  I hear her again when I say, “Why?” and she just repeats, “Mom, Mom, Mom.”  I ask her if I will have other children and she says yes.  I ask if I will have another girl and she says no, and I ache inside.  Then all of the sudden I have this desperate need to open up her urn that is behind me and find her.  I want to see her again, feel her, hold her; a part of me even envisions eating and consuming her ashes so that she is inside me again.  Then I hear her, I hear her child like voice say, “I am not there.  You will not find me there,” and she shows me an image of the breeze in the trees and the stars in the sky and she says I am here and here and here.  I cringe and cry more deeply again because I know this is true.
I ache for her.  But all I hear is my strong little girl say, “I love you mommy," and I can feel her leaving, the mediation music is slowing.  I don't know if she was there or if it was me, but the image is fading now and I feel scared.  I say I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to leave.  And there is no voice this time, but I am reassured from somewhere deep inside that everything is okay.  A part of me knows she is never gone, she is always here. She is always with me.
I begin to allow myself to float back to the here and now. I have one more flash of the scene of us on the beach and then my eyes open and through the puddles of water at their base I see the light of the computer in front of me on her nursery floor where I sit cross-legged on the cushion.
I grab for my computer.  I hurry to write it all down as I don’t want to forget.  I need this memory.  I need this moment.  I write, typing quickly with no attention to spelling or even coherence.  I need her essence I don’t want to lose her again.  The words come flowing out…my fingers move fast…and the tears swell up from a deep lonely place inside and pour out of my eyes and the words flood the page.
I take a deep breath.  A part of me is calmed.  A part of me is reassured.  I take a deep breath again and I sit in peace.


  1. I'm crying so hard right now. How I long to have an experience like this...you have been so blessed!! So much hope offered by Nora through this meditation...and so, so much love.

  2. What an amazingly powerful experience you've had with yourself and your daughter.

  3. Lindsey, how my heart aches for you. As you write your vision I can see it. I can see the two of you on the beach at Cape Cod. How I wish I could take your pain away. My words feel so inadequate and for that I also apologize. Love you and Nora--Always.

  4. "Tears are the silent language of grief" ... Voltaire

    (((((hugs))))) to you from across the ocean.. xoxo


  5. This too brought me to tears. Tears that I really needed to shed today. 8 months out from my daughters death ( she too was stillborn after 41.2 healthy weeks) I have days of such intense grief and an anger that manifests in truly uninviting ways. I felt angry today, and after reading this and releasing some tears I feel more peaceful. Thank you for that. I relate so much to you and your story, I truly admire your strength and commitment to your grief project. It's beautiful. Sending light and love!

  6. <3. That is all I have for this post, for you, and your Nora. What a beautiful experience and thank you for sharing (says the girl who is wiping away buckets of tears).

  7. Thanks for the kind words everyone. I really love this post and the experience I had with Nora during it.


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