The first time I threw up was moments before Nelle was born. I began to vomit uncontrollably, even with no food in my stomach for over a day. It was nature’s way of drawing to a close the excruciating passage of time until delivery. It was the first time my body reacted violently to grief.
In the days that followed, my body ached from the deepest core of my bones. It was so much more than a lack of sleep or constant crying. It was a hollow, sorrowful moan that came from the piece of my soul that had been ripped from my body. There were times that I could feel my heart like a misshapen rock in the middle of my chest, constantly throwing me off balance with every movement. My heart hurt, more than simply metaphorically.
After the heaviness lifted, anxiety took up residence. I could feel the fearful pounding, that no amount of focus or deep breaths or relaxation techniques could control.
And today, I suffer again from the physical signs of grief, from a loss of a future that I had envisioned with my daughters. My skin is raw from crying. My lips are swollen and a rash has developed around my face. The uncertainty I was feeling over the future came barreling over me, backed up a few times, and then kept right on destroying. I threw up again. How can I move my family forward?
“How often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty?”