This past week has been a difficult one. The country was plunged into emotional darkness by the horrible loss of life in Connecticut, and I was not surprised to see that many of my favorite bloggers - who are also parents - were deeply affected. Many pages went dark, with the authors not knowing quite what to say to describe the emotional coil bunched just underneath the surface.
Many of you know my love for the website Just.Be.Enough. Elena has issued the latest writing prompt: write about coming out of that insecurity, that unsure cloud, that fear of taking a step forward - How can we have that smallest confidence in ourselves again, or expand that into the universe? Elena herself writes eloquently about being able to say, "I can." I took a few days to ruminate on this subject, because the doubt and anger and blackness had tarnished many of my hopes for the future of the human race.
I can't pretend to know how it feels to be afraid for your own child, as I don't have children of my own. I can't imagine the consummate, heartwrenching anguish of being told you will never hold your angel again. As I sat frozen in front of my television, sharing brief words of stunned nothingness on Twitter, the news came across that twenty-two children had been attacked in China. So much evil and confusion and cold, icy fear was spread into the universe on that day. I almost physically felt my brain switch to neutral, and for the first time in my life, I was terrified at the thought of having children of my own - how could I protect them? How can I trust? How could I ever allow them to walk to school, or their friend's house, on their own, without me trailing behind like some private investigator?
One word came to me in a rush all at once:
I have lost pregnancies. I know loss. I know hurt and anguish and the crusted, desert air feeling of your eyes after you have cried for two months. While I do not know the warm joy of embracing a small one in my arms, I did know that hope for the future. I knew that complete adoration of something so small that was so enormous in my heart. I'm not willing to give that up.
I can cage that fear. I can give over my entire life and spirit and soul for a small being, no matter what the future brings. I can nourish them and relish the small joys as well as the boo-boos and late-night cries for Mama. I can, without a doubt, raise this tiny peanut into whoever they turn out to be, and teach them that we are not all designed to be the same. I can love those who enter my life, child or adult, with all I have and more.
I believe that the most respectful way I can grieve for these families is to grow myself, and to not allow fear and doubt to cloud the future. Love and community and strength overcome the evils that needle us constantly. I have watched this country come together to support the families in Connecticut. Wouldn't it be marvelous if we could come together in the positive times, too?
Say it with me, and with those of us writing about being able to say it...