Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

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

Monday, February 27, 2006


Sanna, in her first weeks, strongly resembles my mother in her last weeks: sleepy, bald, and helpless. It has been suggested that, rather than a normal pregnancy, I grew her in a pod on my arm, and from that, I hear that she looks remarkably like me. She has my nose, but everything else about her reminds me of my mother.

The second anniversary of my mother’s death passed here on Postcards of Grief without any mention. I was, and to some extent still am, putting words to the emotions I had in the wake of my daughter’s birth and its proximity to the anniversary of my mother’s death. My brother joked that Sanna should have hung on for a few more days and been born on the 13th. Even apart from the 47-hour labor, I didn’t think this was particularly funny. Sanna deserves her own day, one without the shadow of her grandmother’s death.

On the 13th, I experienced sleep paralysis for the first time. My mother appeared, and she was ghoulish. She held me down, causing me to drop Sanna on the hard floor. She forced the baby from my arms. I know this was not really my mother, although I can see how sleep paralysis can be so convincing. This was not my mother because this would not be her reaction to my child.

Sanna’s birth is the only evidence I have that my mother still exists anywhere but in memory. It went well, far better than I had feared. Although far longer than I had anticipated, it was peaceful and manageable: no drugs and no tears. Just don’t ask about the screaming/begging when I started pushing. I don’t really remember that, so it must not count.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

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