Friday, April 10, 2009

Oculus de Patris (Eye of the Father)

Since November 14th, 2008, I've been a parent of a dead child. That statement in itself is profoundly unfamiliar to me, as I wish it is to everyone else. But why don't I feel the stereotypical emotions associated with such a loss? Grief, sadness, anger? Even with my best answer to this, I still feel as if it isn't enough, as if I should feel more.

I am a logical person. For each action, there is a reaction and each question there is an answer. In understanding the events surrounding his death, I really had to search inside myself to find the answer that best suited my logical thinking as well my personal reasoning.

First was his death. Duncan died at 35 weeks due to birth defects associated with Down's Syndrome. I do not believe that I was being punished by some guy in the sky because he got pissed off when I deconverted from Christianity. What I did find is that when I examined the human process and human nature, I realized one glaring comparison. Man's creations are always flawed, whether it is a pencil, a computer, or commuter jet. All aspects of man's life is controlled by a system of checks and balances to provide procedures for when things go wrong. For example, in the production life of a computer, there are quality control tests that are performed before the product is shipped to the consumer. If it passes, then it is good to go, but if not, then it is pulled from shipping. That being said, every once in a while you will read consumer reports of defective computers being purchased. That is where I pull my comparison from. When Duncan was growing inside Brittany's womb, he was fine until he basically got to the quality control checks, the point where his organs needed to work on their own. Being that his heart and lungs, among other organs, could not support life, he died. He did not make it to the the consumer market. And there are some children that do. Children born with mental or physical handicaps that run the gamut of living normal lives or dying at an early age. It all goes back to the human process. We are all made 99% the same. We get the same parts the same way. However, that last 1% is what makes us unique, human. The infinite combinations of biological chemicals swirling around in our body contribute to the best and the worst of humanity. It is tragic that the human process is extremely merciless when it comes to the growth of a fetus. Whether we like it or not, that is our process. The human process. Fix what is repairable, discard what is not. My realization of this comparison is what has drawn me to an understanding of my emotions, or lack thereof depending on the point of view.

First let me say that losing Duncan was the most traumatic event I have experienced in my 25 years on this planet and I wish upon no one to go through that. Now when I began to notice that my emotions following his death didn't portray the typical grieving process, I had to determine if I was feeling anything at all and why. My first inquiry was to the bond and I found that there wasn't a physical bond in place, due to the fact that I hadn't actually seen him until he was stillborn. Mothers have a distinct advantage when it comes to the birthing process in that they have had 9 months to bond with their little nugget of vomit and projectile poop. The kicking, hiccupping, and heartbeat will always be a second hand experience to the father and therefore must build his bond through the mother. Once the child is born, however, the father is then able to bond as the mother has. I believe that is why I was less visibly emotional after his death. I am heartbroken by his death, yet because I had no physical interaction while he was alive, I hadn't formed a fatherly bond with him. The bond I shared through Brittany was apparent that night and day in the hospital. The moment he came out, limp and small, I ultimately knew that he was gone and there would be no fatherly bond to be made. That is what affected me the most.

I found it relativley easy to move on though. I know that may be a harsh statement for some as it is for me, but it is the truth. With my logic mindedness, I recognized he had been a part of my life and will continue to be, but because a physical bond had not yet been established, the time I spent in grieving sufficed for me to move forward. It's really a judgement process in the amount of time spent in mourning. The two biggest factors that I think go into the grieving process is length of the relationship and personal mentality. There is no set timetable or stereotypical standard of grief. It's just what makes you feel right after you've honored your lost without diminishing the impact that they have had on your life.

When we lose something, we are not saddened by the loss, but rather the ceasing of possession. To really honor our loved ones when they have passed, we must honor them with our love while they are present.

-M. A. Hines

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Asherah, the Mother Goddess and Tree of Life

Hymn to Asherah (modified from "Hail Mary")

Hail Asherah, Source of all Grace,
Yahweh is with Thee,
Blessed art Thou amongst the gods,
And blessed art Thou of Yahweh.

Holy Chavah, Mother of all,
Hear the prayers of Your children,
Now, and through all their lives.

The birth that never came to be

For months I had been planning and anticipating the joyous and peaceful homebirth of precious Duncan. I was so completely excited and anxious. I had been wanting this experience for so long. I looked forward to it from the beginning. I love giving birth. Birthing a new life is so empowering, more so when it is done on your own terms, in your own environment surrounded by loved ones. I wanted this so much. I still get emotional and deeply sad when I recall the events that took place in the wee hours of Friday morning. I felt so helpless and lost. I hated being in the hospital. I hated not being in control and poked and prodded. I regret going back to be induced. I wasn't thinking clearly. I wasn't thinking at all. I was just so shocked and stunned by it all that I didn't even consider the idea of just staying home and birthing him there. It would have been as "peaceful" as it could be in that situation. It still wouldn't have filled the void, the void of giving birth to life, but it would have caused me less anxiety and stress.

I will get my dream birth; I will get my homebirth. I look forward to the day I where I will be overcome with joy, happiness, empowerment, awe and wonder. I wait for that day; I wait for that birth. It will come.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Isis, Goddess of Mothering

I conceived
and birthed all life.
Then, out of my love for you,
my children,
I gave you my beloved mate, Osiris
Lord of vegetation
God of the grain
to be cut down
and born again.
I nursed you through sickness with my healing arts
I made you clothes and invented weaving and spinning
I watched over your first steps
helping you grow from infancy to maturity.
I was even there with you
at the end
to hold your hand
and guide you to immortality.
You were All
and I gave you all
and to you I was All.
Isis, Great Goddess, All Mother.

The 5 month mark is approaching . . .

In eight days it will mark 5 months since Duncan passed away. I think about it several times a day. He's never far from my mind. Life now has returned to normalcy for the most part. I still fantasize about what life would be like if he were physically here with us. I have come to see how impermanent life really is and how I need to cherish the small things and what I do have. More to come later . . .

Sunshine After A Rainy Day

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