My aunt and uncle write a yearly newsletter that goes out to friends and family, usually with the Christmas cards and presents. Both of them, as well as their grown children, write about the main events of their year. It goes to many people – they are wonderful and have many friends as well as extended family on both sides.
Last year, they included how very sad they were when they heard about the loss of our twins. I cannot even begin to describe how much this means to me, such a public recognition of their lives and the depth of our loss.
One of the memories etched into my brain since the birth of my daughters is how tiny they were, and how big and yet helpless I felt. So much stronger, so robust – and unable to save them. They were tiny but perfect, the only thing they would have needed was more time in my womb. Perhaps the worst was when A was trying to breathe – she was struggling to stay alive, and there was nothing I could do.
I think others feel similarly helpless when facing our loss. They would like to comfort us, but don’t know what to say. For me, not saying anything leads to a strange limbo – I keep waiting for them to at least acknowledge our loss, even though, realistically, that may never happen, if it hasn’t in the first few meetings or email exchanges since. Nevertheless I feel myself getting tense before each new meeting – for most comments, caring and loving as I’m sure they are intended, also stir up raw emotions.
Yesterday I had another helpless moment – H sneezed rather violently (not atypical for him) and then complained about chest pain. As it didn’t improve, we went to the ER, although we had hoped not having to enter another hospital for a while. Due to “data protection” issues, I wasn’t even allowed to be with him most of the time. After clear ECG and chest X-ray they declared the pain of “musculoskeletal origin, probably” and sent us home with blood pressure medications – that was the part they were much more concerned about. 200 isn’t a healthy value. He seems to be getting better, if slowly, but I woke up in the middle of the night with a pounding heart that wouldn’t calm down for a while. I’ve had such moments lately, though not this bad. I’m assuming they are good old-fashioned panic attacks. My babies died. Now my husband is sick. I’m trying to breathe and take it one day at a time, but every now and then perhaps my subconscious feels inclined to point out that something is terribly wrong here.