In my experience, stillbirth takes its toll on relationships. It can be especially difficult on the intimate partnership or marriage of the bereaved parents. For me, in the immediate wake of Rafael’s death and birth, there was so much happening on the emotional level for everyone around us. Each person was processing shock and grief and solidarity in their own way, at their own rhythm. And our processes had intimate encounters, intertwined and sometimes clashed with one another… to the point that sometimes it was even difficult to know which feelings belonged to whom. Through it all, there was a feeling and a field that deepened and widened between Yeyo and I: LOVE.
I heard that some of my friends have been struggling with the last piece I posted here. That makes sense. People were not really sure “what to do” with what I shared. I know that my families of origin and choice want to offer me their consolation and support. And I said I didn’t want to talk about it. That I didn’t want to be hugged. And I didn’t. I was fucking pissed when I wrote all that. I’m still angry. AND, that was a moment. It has come and it has passed. I am somewhere different now. Where that is, I’m not really sure. But I’m ready to talk about it… a little.
I do not want to be sitting here, writing this. I would rather be doing any other thing in the world. I have procrastinated for long enough and now, in the short time I have, I must write.
I was going to start this long overdue post by saying that time is flying. I was going to say that there are certain things I need to write about from the time right before Rafa’s death and birth so that I will never forget them. But now, time is mush. Time is nothing.
120 months (ten years) ago today, I moved to Mexico. One year and two days ago, I started to share openly that I was pregnant. Four days ago, my husband’s mom died. It is almost inconceivable to me that in less than 6 months, Yeyo lost his son and his mother… and both of them, so very unexpectedly. I only know how it has been for me, the departure of my mother-in law, María Ofelia Arruti Hernández. I can only talk about the way that one grief touches and stirs the other. I can only share that every time I imagine Ofelia on “the other side,” I see Rafa in her arms, the two of them smiling and enjoying themselves. Every time I think of this, I weep. They are tears of sadness and joy, pure emotion. I have no idea if a place like heaven exists. I doubt it. But it gives me so much solace thinking of Rafa with his grandma, that I am forced to suspend my disbelief.
Hoy hace 120 meses (o diez años), me mude a México. Hace un año y dos días empecé a compartir abiertamente que estaba embarazada. Hace cuatro días, murió la mamá de mi esposo. Es casi inconcebible para mí que en menos de seis meses Yeyo ha perdido a su hijo y a su mamá… y ambos de formas tan inesperadas. Yo sólo sé como ha sido para mí, la partida de mi suegra, María Ofelia Arruti Hernández. Sólo puedo hablar de la manera en que un duelo toca y revuelve el otro. Sólo puedo compartir que cada vez que visualizo a Ofelia de “el otro lado”, la veo con Rafa en sus brazos, los dos sonriendo y disfrutándose. Cada vez que lo imagino, lloro a moco tendido. Son lagrimas de tristeza y alegría, emoción pura. No tengo la menor idea si existe un lugar como el paraíso. Lo dudo. Pero me da tanto consuelo pensar en Rafa con su abuela que me veo forzada suspender mi incredulidad.
¿A dónde vamos desde aquí? Porque me siento un poco perdida después de estas últimas semanas de subibajas emocionales, de escritos y reflexiones sobre asuntos tan cerca de mi corazón y tan difíciles de articular; tal vez recordar la historia de mi embarazo me ayude a orientarme un poco. (Esto no quiere decir que ya no tenga muchas subidas y bajadas de ánimo, situaciones, sentimientos y pensamientos extraños, pero regresemos a eso más tarde).
Una de mis pasiones en la vida es hacer conexiones. Particularmente, me encanta crear las condiciones para lograr conexiones inesperadas entre las personas. Creo que las relaciones humanas honestas, confiables, recíprocas son magia verdadera. Cuando podemos compartir algo de lo que somos y cómo vemos el mundo de una manera auténtica, especialmente a través de la distancia y la diferencia, se hace posible algo que antes no lo era. Creamos nuestros futuros al relacionarnos, colaborar, hablar con la verdad y al poner a un lado nuestros egos.
Where to go from here? Because I feel a little lost after these last intense weeks of up-and-down emotions, of writings and reflections on matters so close to my heart and so difficult to articulate, perhaps going back to the story of my pregnancy might help me get oriented. (This is not to say that I am not still having plenty of up’s and down’s, strange happenings, feelings and thoughts, but let’s circle back around to all that at a later time.)
One of my passions in life is making connections. I particularly love creating the conditions for unlikely connections between people. I believe that honest, trusting, reciprocal human relationship is real magic. When we can share something of who we are and how we see the world in an authentic way, especially across distance and difference, something becomes possible that wasn’t before. We create our futures by relating, collaborating, truth-speaking and putting aside our egos.