Not quite sure why I’m here today. Over the past months, I’ve come to the blank page with a question, theme, feeling or relationship in mind. But today I am in a place of not knowing what will come out here. You see… there’s actually so much. I’ve been chewing on a number of things these past months. It has been a time of rich learning, growth, reflection, connection, meaning-making and meaning-breaking. A time of much movement all over this hemisphere.
En mi experiencia, el nacimiento de un bebé muerto puede pasarle la factura a las relaciones. Puede ser particularmente difícil dentro de la relación de la pareja. Para mí, justo después de la muerte y nacimiento de Rafael estaba pasando tanto al nivel emocional para todos alrededor de nosotros. Cada persona estuvo procesando el choque, el duelo y solidaridad de forma propia y a su propio ritmo. Y nuestros procesos tuvieron encuentros íntimos entre ellos, se entrelazaron y a veces chocaron… hasta el punto en que a veces fue difícil saber a quién pertenecían cuáles sentimientos. Al fin de cuentas, hubo una emoción que se profundizó y un campo que se amplió entre Yeyo y yo: el AMOR.
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 origen 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.
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.
Mostly these days, I’m doing badly. I’m not sharing this fact to elicit pity. In fact, it’s one of the things I least desire. Nor am I seeking advice on how to make it “through” this moment, nor how to fix/heal/find closure. It’s simply how I am.
For some months this fall, I felt a lot of tension and anxiety about how to navigate my relationship with the outside world following Rafael’s death. I’d say that some of my feeling badly now is still related to this: wondering how to reengage with the world, return to work, be with other people. But something has changed, settled down a little. Maybe I’m aware that other people aren’t thinking so much about how I am or feeling as uncomfortable around me because nearly five months have passed. (Note: I recognize that many ideas I have about other people and the external world-at-large are fantasies and projections that most likely exist only in my head.)