They say the days of motherhood are long. And the nights too. For motherhood is an all-consuming job.
And perhaps this is even more true for the mother who does not hold her child in her arms. Because although gone, her child’s life still consumes her, in the most painful of ways.
For the woman who has lost a baby, each day creeps by painstakingly slow as she moves through life at the pace of a wounded snail, her ability to move declining and her energy stores becoming as empty as her womb. The days seem to be filled with nothing more than longing, tears and grief. Nothing seems to matter anymore when the loss of her child becomes more evident than the life of her child.
The days are long because with each new morning comes the realization that her womb is empty. And her arms too.
The days are long because even as the sun shines, she is surrounded by darkness. For sunlight can do nothing to cast out the darkness caused by a baby who has died.
The days are long because they are empty. The noise and busyness of the world cannot distract her from the emptiness of a quiet womb and a quiet home.
The days are long because one life has ended while the other is forced to continue. And it seems impossible for her to survive without her child.
The days are long because while a mother’s breath hasn’t stopped, her life has. There is nothing to propel her forward and in her stillness she is alone and misunderstood.
The days are long because as a mother, she cannot find a reason to live, but knows she must. She watches as others fulfill their purpose, but she cannot seem to find purpose of her own.
The days are long because instead of sacrificing for her child, she simply suffers. For she knows she has missed out on a lifetime of memories with the one she loves most.
And when the long days fade into night, the loss mom can find no rest. Because the darkness provides an opportunity for the sorrow of another long day to be released.
The nights are long because the silence reveals just one heartbeat where there should be two. A reminder that a piece of her is gone.
The nights are long because her womb is still. There is no baby tumbling around within to signal that it is time for a midnight snack.
The nights are long because she knows it’s not her cries that should be breaking the silence of the nighttime hours. As time ticks by she listens for the cry of her child, although she knows it will never be heard.
The nights are long because the stored tears of another day can no longer be suppressed. And once the dam breaks open, the flood cannot be stopped; her tears fall endlessly through the night.
The nights are long because she wants nothing more than to feel the warmth of her baby against her now sallow skin, yet she knows she will never experience that sensation. At least not in this lifetime.
The nights are long because the weight of her guilt crushes her entire being as she stares into the darkness. She blames herself for her child’s fate and allows herself to believe that her pain is self-inflicted.
The nights are long because although she has the opportunity to sleep, she cannot. For the stillness and silence crush her entire being.
Yes, for the loss mom, the days and nights are long in the worst possible way. For where a child should be, there is nothing more than a memory. And the emptiness consumes her.
And yet, while the days and nights are filled with heartache, they are also filled with love. Because her love will always live.
This post was originally published at A Beautifully Burdened Life. Be sure to follow Jenny on Facebook for more on her incomplete family and imperfect motherhood.
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