Saturday, March 6, 2010

Human Mother

My son died and I have been transformed by the experience. I am better and worse for having carried our son, to have been the source of his life, to have given birth to death. I love my children more. It is difficult to imagine the mother-love that is intensified by death - but it is. Ordinary mother-love is more than enough to nurture a child. Baby-lost mother-love is the ordinary variety on crack. I'm not saying that's all good, and certainly not worth the cost to find. And yet I know now that I didn't really know the depth of my love for my children before Noah died.

And as I mentioned before, I feel shell-shocked. I don't feel like life is as safe as I did before. I feel less capable of protecting my children. I don't feel that our hard work and the force of our convictions can always keep us afloat or safe. I feel the pull of forces completely out of my control, conspiring with my own exhaustion to drag me under. Perpetually treading water, waiting for the sharks...... Of course Noah’s death was only one of the bombs that found our family.

So I am different, but I am still a human mother. I love my children beyond reason. My mind sees in technicolor what intuition only hinted at before - that I would give my life in a second for all three of my living children. I would do it gladly if asked.  But I am still a human mother and my kids bug me sometimes. They dump toys and refuse to pick them up. They fight with each other. They scream and have tantrums sometimes. They tell fibs and help themselves to quarters out of my wallet that I've told them 20 times to leave alone. Potty training has taken well over a year.  And I'm tired. So sometimes I feel frustrated. Sometimes - perhaps even most of the time - I feel overwhelmed.  And sometimes I raise my voice. And sometimes I complain about the beloved children I would die for.

Losing a child has trasformed me - but not into a saint. I am still a human mother.

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