Posted by: Louise | August 19, 2010

Being with

There is a place somewhere between waking and sleeping where I can be with Laura. It has only happened a few times and each time it has taken me by surprise. But it has been sweet and lovely to see her and know that ….. she is.

The first time was this time last year. I had been scheduled for a minor knee operation – in and out in a day. It was less than a week before we got Laura’s post mortem results (everything was still coming at us thick and fast back then) which meant I was hobbling into the maternity hospital on crutches to meet the consultant. It felt fitting really. All baby lost mothers should be given crutches. Apart from giving us something to do with our hanging empty arms, it screams BROKEN. I am a broken woman. I need support.

But that was a few days later. On this day I was on the hospital trolley being wheeled down for the operation. The porter parked me in an ante room. The world was outside and through the doors was the operating theatre. It is a strange place to be, separated from the world, knowing a general anesthetic awaits – which there is never any guarantee you’ll wake from. It wasn’t my first time being in this place. This waiting place. But it was my first time being there with Laura.

Tears rolled down my cheeks. Are you nervous? the nurse queried. It’ll be ok, she reassured. How could I even begin to explain? As I lay there waiting, I could feel K and the kids behind me in the outside world and I could feel Laura in front of me and I genuinely felt I would be happy if I never woke up from the anesthetic. And my tears were tears of longing and love and responsibility and fear at my own depth of feeling.

An hour later I came to and I cried again.

The second time I was at a weekend workshop – family constellations – and I had been asked to represent someone’s dead grandmother. (It all makes sense when you are there). I had never been dead before and as the other participants in the workshop went about their business I lay there. It was strange to be aware of everything that was going on around me, but unable to participate in it. Strangely calm and soothing and comforting. And after a while I thought, I might as well spend some time with Laura since I’m here.

More recently I’ve been going for acupuncture for my dodgy knee. As I lay there the day I started, all needled up and drifting off into that place between, I found myself wandering down a beach we used to holiday on as kids. I had participated in a guided visualization just before I was pregnant with Laura and had wandered down that same beach. Around a corner on the beach I met my granny, sitting there in her deck chair. It had been so lovely to spend time with her again after many years.

On this occasion when I rounded the corner there was my granny, with Laura on her lap. I stayed in that place as long as I could, drinking in every detail which slipped through my fingers like the sand I was standing on as I was pulled back to consciousness. When I told K about it, he asked me, What did she look like?

The next week as I drifted off I made sure I brought K with me so he could see Laura too. I haven’t seen her since.

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