Friday 27 May 2011

Right Where I Am: 2 years, 7 months and 1 week

I miss the life we should be living.

At the moment I type those words a cat squeaks and touches his paw to my face. I pretend that George is communicating through my cat. I wish for magic in the air.

I wake in a tangle of duvet and legs, the early morning light nudging me from sleep just before I'm ready. Ray is turned away from me and quite still. I check for proof of life. His chest moving, the rhythm of his breathing and the odd snore. All is well.
How long have I been missing George? I have to check. I no longer count but I can check how many days because there is a counter on George's page ... 949 days. Has it been that long? The grief of losing George and Little Poppet is no longer a raw gaping wound. It no longer scares me and it is no longer painful to touch. But I don't poke it too hard even now: it sometimes bleeds tears. A friend told me that grief is like a stone in your belly. At the beginning it's edges are sharp and they cut deep. The stone is always there but over time it's edges are washed in tears and worn smooth. My stone still has a few sharp edges.

I lie listening to the birdsong and seagull squawks waiting for Ray to wake. I wonder if it's too early for a cup of tea and my thoughts turn to George as they do many mornings. I remember his cold damp cheek and marvel at the memory of his beautiful face. Then the "what ifs" begin. I get up to chase them away and feed the cats. I make tea and return to bed with a book and two cuddlesome cats. I need distraction.

Where am I? I have been pregnant for almost 30 weeks in total but I have no babies. My fertility is waning with age and I fear we will never have another chance. The fear becomes panic. Once a month I am disappointed. The panic becomes depression. But I am still ovulating and my cycles are still regular so there must be a chance, right? I hope and hope and hope. It's exhausting.

Where am I? In a state of perpetual longing. I want to be a mother.

Where am I? In love. We drive up onto Dartmoor, stop and watch the wild beauty around us. We try to photograph a buzzard in the sky then make tea from a flask and drink it while the sheep keep the grass tidy around the car. We buy free range eggs from a farmhouse gate with an honesty box and drive home. I am aware of empty space in the back seat.

I am happy I have my Poppet. Laughing with him, sad with him, snuggling with him, adventuring with him, grumpy with him, gardening with him, making love with him, being with him is wonderful. I am filled with wonder. I'm so glad we found each other. I wish we had found each other sooner.

Where am I? I sit at my bench thumping a hammer onto a letter stamp held over a piece of silver. Bash. Another stamp. Bash bash bash. I am happy to be creating and I like the noise. Later I read an email from a mother thanking me for making a tiny tag for her and helping open a door for others to speak her lost baby's name. I smile and feel a just a little of the magic I wish for.

Where am I? I've been asking myself this question all day. Where am I?

I am not who I used to be. I am where I am. It is how it is.

And right now it's quite all right whilst not being all right at all.


I am quite terrible at joining in, awards, memes and all that sort of thing but wonderful Angie's marvellous project struck a chord with me. Perhaps it is time to take stock. Please visit her beautiful blog and perhaps join in if you haven't already. Thank you Angie.


  1. Beautiful and honest, Barb. Thank you for sharing right where you are. xo

  2. I'm terrible at memes and awards too, but this was different. And too amazing not to take part.
    My stone still has some sharp edges, too. Think it always will.
    And Barbara, you are a beautiful mother. One of the kindest and loveliest I know. I wish with all my heart that you will become a mother again some day.
    All my love to you, dear friend.

  3. so honest, thank you. sending much love to you.

  4. Barb, you are a wordsmith. Thanks for sharing where you are right now. Love to you.

  5. Why can't our little piece of heaven be complete? Why does there have to be a crack or splinter in it all the time?

    I am very very very glad that Ray and you found each other. From what you write, I can see that the chemistry you share is beyond awesome, and lovie, that's a rarity.

    But the fact that George and Little Poppet aren't here in person to be with their parents is a horrible reality.

    I can't promise you rainbows, and I know that you are getting more and more scared, but I still wish the Universe will give you and Ray a fair chance again. Soon.

  6. I love that analogy of the stone. It is so perfect. "I am where I am." And that is it. Because we can't really be anywhere else. Thank you so much for sharing with us~

  7. Beautiful and so much of what you wrote resonated with me. The longing. The disapointment. The panic...

    The stone analalogy is a good one. The weight of the stone lessens over time too, although like the sharp edges can feel it's full gravity if stirred or poked.


  8. I know what you mean by Angie's post striking a chord, it did with me too and some deep reflection is never a bad thing I think. Thank you for sharing where you are now, it does offer hope to me knowing that that jagged stone loses it's edges over time.

  9. I'm so glad you found each other too. I hope one day that longing to be a mother to a living child is fulfilled. xx

  10. "I miss the life we should be living."

    I have often expressed the same sentiment. It feels like somewhere there is an alternate life where we are living whole, complete.

    Missing your George and LittlePoppet with you xxx

  11. I think this is one of your best posts, Barbara. Wonderfully written and conveys where you are well.

    Triple S wears the pendant you made him everyday (we turned it into a necklace on a leather cord). I see it and think of my family, and I often then think of yours too. xoxo

  12. Barb, your writing here is stunning and so so beautiful.

    "And right now it's quite all right whilst not being all right at all." I totally get this.

  13. This post is so beautiful and really captures the balance between moving on and looking back. Thank you for sharing this.

  14. Thanks so much for sharing this - what I love about your post, especially, is how clear it is that the missing and grief go on even while other things are a part of your days, too. The bitter-sweet mix of it all, summed up in that last line. Thank you for sharing all of this.

  15. I most often lurk here, often not feeling like I have much to contribute in regards to encouragement since our experiences are different. But that's what I appreciate most about your blog, and this post in particular - the differences keep me aware of others place in their grief journey and that's valuable to not only me, but all the other readers you have. How's that for a selfish comment. You are beautiful though. Give your kittehs a sweet hug.

  16. This really got me Barbara. Gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching.

    And right now it's quite all right whilst not being all right at all.

    Shivering with recognition. x

  17. In a state of perpetual longing. Could it be that we exist in the same place, you and me? Both longing for our Georges? Barbara, I sincerely wish for you to have your longing to be mother to a living child fulfilled. Thank you for participating, in fact it was your participation that convinced me to do the same as I am terrible at joining in as well.

  18. Such a beautiful, beautiful post. So full of love for Ray, for George and for your little Poppet.

    I love your friend's description of grief as a stone in the belly. Very true.

    And this . . . And right now it's quite all right whilst not being all right at all.

    Me too. It is quite all right. Yet not at all. I think I'll inhabit those two seemingly contradictory states for the rest of my life.

    Like Ya Chun, I think of your George whenever I look at the beautiful tiny tag you made for my little Georgina.

  19. I so love the way this post flows and exposes your innnermost thoughts in regards to your George and little Poppet. You are an inspirational woman and momma to your two little ones and to us in this community. Thank you for writing.

  20. "And right now it's quite all right whilst not being all right at all." Funny how that works.

  21. I'm glad you took part. I really like the analogy you spoke of about the rock.

  22. " ... it sometimes bleeds tears. A friend told me that grief is like a stone in your belly. At the beginning it's edges are sharp and they cut deep. The stone is always there but over time it's edges are washed in tears and worn smooth. My stone still has a few sharp edges."

    They might be some of the truest, most perfect sentences about this grief that I have ever read. You have a beautiful soul and beautiful words too. Thank you for this post.

  23. beautiful, barb. thank you. so much of this echos with me... with being in love with my sweet husband, with feeling awe at seeing my first son, with the fertility issues (which should be non-issues... except for the not getting pregnant and not keeping the baby part). you deal with it all with such grace, even in the most painful posts.



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