I wrote the below the other day – when I was really feeling the physical effects of this shitty grief journey.
It really comes out of the blue, with no warning or reason. Just like it bubbles up and hits you. This morning I’ve felt similar. Like I’m still connected to Leo physically – I know he’s not inside me anymore, I’m not certified bonkers – but it’s like there’s a really long string from me to him and the things I do have consequences for him.
This morning, I was shattered & wanted to go back to bed. But I couldn’t stop feeling that sense of doom that people talk about. The last time I felt shattered after waking up, and went back to bed, he died. I don’t think I can ever let go of the fact that he died, whilst I slept. How is that even possible?! This morning, I asked N if I could go back to bed, and if in doing so, would I be harming Leo in some way, would he be okay. Like somehow that string connecting us would get pulled so tight that is would snap, whilst I slept again.
I did go back to bed. And it’s going to just be a right off of a day, I can tell. But that’s okay. I’ve had a good week and some days aren’t meant to be anything other than what they are.
When I came back downstairs though, a robin came to the back door, and quickly flew off again. Hopefully that just means the string is still there and Leo is okay.
The notion of ‘aching arms’ is so true. When grief takes hold, its more the physical ache that is so crushing. When your mind starts to wonder and all the pain just unleashes, it takes over your entire body.
I instinctively want to reach out and hold something. Well, not something. Leo. I can feel in the pit of my stomach, an ache so deep, it makes you bend over, hugging something invisible. Again, Leo. He was once there, you go to reach out for him in your stomach. Feel him. Protect him. But you can’t. You didn’t, then, why are you trying to now. He’s dead. He’s gone. You failed him. – I say to myself.
I know thats the depths of grief, pain, anger speaking but it takes hold and runs away so fast, that you can’t keep up. All you can do is keep physically reaching for something to hold. You cradle your arms, and then notice that they are empty. This isn’t metaphors. This is actually what you do. You want to fold into a ball and hold your baby tight, like he is still in your womb – you can feel him, like part of him is still there, growing inside of you. You want to hold him in your arms, and pull him close enough to keep him warm.
But you can’t.
2 thoughts on “Aching Arms”
So beautiful and authentic. I lost my little Jillian to stillbirth, many years ago. I remember, vividly, those aching arms. I tried to reason with people close to me that I should have a doll for a little while to help. They were definitely concerned about my mental health. So was I, really. I didn’t know others experienced this feeling so overwhelmingly and it helps to know. So, thank you and I am so sorry you lost your little Leo.
Thanks for your comment, so sorry to hear than you have been on this journey too. What a lovely name for Jillian. I have seen that they do actually do dolls weighted to the same weight as babies now, though I’m not sure that would help me, but I’m sure it would for some. Take care xx
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