Day before yesterday I posted…
It seems as if there are almost too many things that we’ll never get over.
We just learn to live with them.
…and I’ve been thinking lots about that whole topic ever since.
Some of you may know this story and some may not.
I was married for a brief era in the mid 90s. My wife at the time was pregnant and she carried our baby the full nine months. When she was due we rushed to the hospital and then something went horribly wrong.
They took Kathy to another room and had me and her family over in some waiting area. I could hear the baby crying and crying. Medical staff was running back-and-forth. A lot of commotion for sure. And then it was over. The baby died 15 minutes or so after she was born.
The loss of a child, the unexpected death of a loved one, traumatic physical injury, those types of pains are things we never get over. They just become part of who we are. Our life stories shape us, define us. We are who we are because of what’s happened while we’ve been alive.
Every time I hear a story about a child dying it almost always makes me sad. It pulls at my heart strings because I can relate. I think about being in that hospital with Kathy in the middle of nowhere Iowa and the emotional earthquake that changed everything. And the aftershocks are still with me not because I haven’t prayed for acceptance or processed my grief. It’s because it’s part of my story now. There’s no getting over it. There was no quick solution for dealing with the flood of feelings that came afterward.
In related news I read once that our parents’ memories can be passed to us genetically. Not like vivid, detailed recollections but more subliminal feelings, maybe subtle intuitions. When I read the article I thought, “fuck… our experiences are literally fused into our DNA.”
My feelings of loss can even resurface unexpectedly when I’m having a great moment with Maggie. I always wanted to be a dad and my first chance was taken away from me. Abruptly. Am I going to get over that? No. Don’t ever ask someone to. Pain of that magnitude will stop when it’s done working you over. My part is just to process and carry on.
Sometimes life works out how we want and sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s never about the outcome. It’s about the experience. It’s the shifts in our soul that offer to make us bigger people. We learn how to love and support each other.
When we look back over our lifetimes they’ll be overflowing with memories. Some good, some great and some bad, and others horrible. That sudden death helped make me be the best dad that I can be for Maggie. I know that it has.
Don’t be quick to discard life defining moments. We need those experiences to build better lives in the here and now.
Keep living, peeps. Keep loving. No matter what. ❤️