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Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Despair and hope sit face to face*

I’ve been working on this entry for a week and a half. I was waiting to get through yesterday to post it, and although I guessed that I may have jinxed it by writing this so far in advance, I couldn’t not write it.

Two weeks ago, I sat on my mother’s grave and wept longer and harder than I ever have. I’m going through this loss all over again because I have to do something permanent and life-changing without her. I still blame myself for her death. Have I ever mentioned that? It makes me the quintessential Lutheran, but it’s true. I sat there crying while Brooke and Dad wandered nearby and chatted about other family plots in the cemetery. I could have stayed there in the sand and the ants all day, but we were preparing to make the five hour drive home. I can bawl just as easily with 250 miles between us as with 6 feet of dirt.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see the heartbeat of the newest member of my family. Ebry, as s/he has been titled until s/he breathes on her/his own, is expected to arrive on Super Bowl Sunday, give or take a few weeks. Brooke and I have spent a great deal of time hoping and praying for the arrival of Ebry the Embryo. We sought the assistance of herbalists, acupuncturists, doctors, and friends. We have invested time, money, insurance coverage, and prayer. I’ve been pricked with needles, drunk foul tasting herbs, subjected myself to invasive questions and procedures, and wept, and I couldn’t be happier.

Gestating is an exhausting endeavor, and my mood can shift as the hormones fly. Our nurse, our much beloved nurse, asked how many grandparents the tiny little embryo has. We listed them: Brooke’s mom and stepdad, her dad and stepmom, and my dad. No, I explained, my mother’s not in the picture. She died last year.

And it was all I could do not to weep.

*credit to Carrie Newcomer


27 Comments:

At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!!

Congratulations. I am so, so happy for both of you, and I know you will both be amazing mamas.

Anna Phor

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous rich said...

Oh wow! Best wishes!

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Grace said...

This is as happy as I have ever been for anyone, I think. Congratulations, Em.

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger frog said...

You're in my prayers, E. All of you.

 
At 6:04 PM, Blogger hybrid said...

Lots of good thoughts headed your way, Emilin.

 
At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Em - Really? Really? Oh wow - that's wonderful news.

I understand about not being able to share with Mom - it is sad, but, as a believer, you must know she is rejoicing with you.

All best wishes and good vibes for a healthy pregnancy and a wonderful outcome. Knowing zilch about SuperBowls, I need a month when I can break out the champagne.Oh - kisses and congrats to you and Brooke. Whoooopeeeeee!!

Suezboo

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous (a different) brooke said...

congratulations on ebry! i wish you the most happiness in your gestating.. and the deepest of sympathies in doing this without your mother.

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger Jess said...

Congratulations!!! This is such exciting news!!!!

I had never heard of anyone naming their fetus really, until a couple of months ago. My boss's baby is Fievel the fetus, and a coworkers sister was "cletus the fetus" (not sure how to spell that...) Its quite cute!!

((((((Em)))))

 
At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Sheena said...

Wow, you'd mentioned it but I didn't realise it was so close. Congratulations!

 
At 1:00 AM, Blogger Matilda said...

Wow Em, how amazing for your entire family. I wish you all the best.

Sam

 
At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Nella said...

Oh wow, i had no idea! Congratulations Emilin and Brooke!

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger She said...

Oh wow. Wow. How wonderful. And your mom knows and is watching out for you...I'm so happy for you!

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger trisha said...

Oh, Emilin....what wonderful news!!!

I know I have felt pretty awful going through the life-altering changes without my dad--marriage, having my son. And I, too, blame myself for not doing more for my dad.

Not that losing a dad is the same thing, at all, but, well, I just want you to know I understand somewhat, anyway.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Emilin said...

Thank you, thank you!

My US-centric attitude strikes again! SueZ, the next Super Bowl is February 5, 2006. It's normally the last Sunday in January or the first Sunday in February.

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger k. said...

oh wow, indeed. congratulations to you and brooke!

 
At 3:18 PM, Blogger thistle said...

Oh, Emilin, that's such amazing news. Congratulations! I'm so happy to hear it.

My baby brother was named Droolman as an embryo. And as a small baby, because it took a while to train ourselves out of it. Beware of that :)

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger PPB said...

Wow. Such an intertwining of great joy and great sadness....You'll be a fabulous mama. You learned from the best, right?

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger witchtrivets said...

heck yeah. Congratulations.

 
At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god!!!!! That is so fantastic and wonderful and amazing and that makes me sit here, a total stranger, in my cube with tears in my eyes!!! I am so happy for you I can't even contain myself. Blessings and wishes of joy and love and peace to each of you, and the baby too. (Can't even believe I get to write that word!) YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
Franny - just a reader with affection for you.

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger portia said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! All love and hope and prayers from the three of us to the three of you.

 
At 7:44 PM, Blogger Teenytoona said...

Emilin, how wonderful! Congratulations to you the two of you!

 
At 10:06 PM, Blogger Siobhan said...

I'm thrilled about your news. All the best. I'll keep all 3 of you in my prayers.

 
At 12:27 AM, Blogger FractalGirl said...

Very bittersweet, Emilin.

Congrats to you and Brooke. There's more I'd like to say, but it's way too sappy. The best to all of you.

 
At 2:51 AM, Blogger Smithie said...

(collapses on keyboard in a flood of happy tears)

God. Wow. Congratulations. It's hard work, eh? Take many naps...

 
At 4:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy tears here. Congratulations.

Please know that Mom is watching.

 
At 11:29 PM, Blogger flyoverguy said...

Congratulations!!

Your Mom is watching, and I'm sure she is happy and proud.

Fingers and toes crossed, and you'll be in my prayers.

 
At 2:43 AM, Anonymous Nella said...

PS when i first read this i read the name as 'Ebly' - thought it was cute as that is a sort of grain, and i guess an embryo is a kind of grain of humanity or something. I'll shut up now. ;)

 

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