The Fear of the Known

When I actually aclimatised to Rosie‘s death; when I was no longer in disbelief, no longer living a horrible nightmare I was going to wake up from, wishing to wake up from, pleading to wake up from. When I finally stopped feeling numb to my dead daughter, when I reaslised this had happened to me, to us I felt the feeling of fearlessness.

I still had a fear of seeing pregnant women and babies but life, death, pain I didn’t have a sense of fear to this any longer. Although Rosie’s death had struck me to my core I had things to do, a funeral to plan, new people to talk to, death certificate to register, medications to collect, pictures to take, I looked forward to these things because it meant I wasn’t sat thinking. To anyone going through grief time and space is one of the scariest things to face. Thinking becomes your enemy. Time becomes the monster creeping up on you with tiny slow motion steps. At least when I was planning things as horrible as they were I had something to do, I had something to do for my baby. I didn’t realise at the time how important and precious those funeral arrangements and stillbirth certificate would be later on. They were the only mum things I got to do for my daughter and I used them as an excuse to get away from my thoughts. For the first few weeks I just felt numb although at the time I didn’t realise it because I was devastated, I was crying everyday, I was stuck in the bubbling tar of death. I was the one consoling every one else, I told my father in law not to think of it as a bad year but as something horrible that happened but will end in a positive light, I told my mother in law I loved her for the first time. I said sorry to other people for my baby dying. I hugged people when they saw my cracked red face and said to them “everything will be okay”. I was the one holding everyone else up, telling people not to be sad because we still got nine months of Rosie growing, not to feel sorry because she didn’t have to live in a cruel world now. As cruel as this world is I would give my life for my baby to feel the love from those that would have surrounded her, even if it meant she wouldn’t feel my love. I remember the words that cut through the delivery room when I realised my Rose was dead I cried out in complete despair and honesty “if my baby is dead i want to be dead too” I then took constant breaths of gas and air and tried to slip away into death myself. At that point my blood pressure shot up and nurses surrounded me calling me, I didn’t hear their voices I only heard one voice, Andrew, all he did was say my name over and over, I fought off what I was trying to do and opened my eyes to his face, I tried to die twice more after that, whether I would have achieved it or not I don’t know but I know just how much I wanted to be dead and with my baby at that time, I wanted it so much I was willing to break my heart for it. Andrew stopped me completing my wish; I loved him and hated him for it at that point. He stopped me doing what I wanted to do by pure love. Now the weeks and months after Rosie’s death (14 weeks and 6 days) Andrew has pulled me through. When I was numb I just wanted to push him away. I wanted to lose him, just to get this great love out of my life so I could be completely broken hearted and die. All I wanted to do was to be with my baby. Andrew was the obstacle stopping me from being with Rosie. As much as I pushed him away, accused him of things, told him I wanted him to leave me and be happy with someone else, he never would. He never once listened to me, which is where his manly unlistening technique has finally come in useful, he stuck by me every step of the way. What an amazing person to have so much grief and despair thrown at him and to survive it with a smile on his face.

I had no way out so I became fearless, not willingly, I suppose it was what came from being stuck in the sinking, bubbling tar that is grief. When we walked to the funeral home to see Rosie I would be full of positivity. I put make up on, my best dress, did my hair beautifully and got extremely excited because I was going to see my baby. I wanted to make her proud and took great care in my appearance. Although I knew she wasn’t going to open her eyes I wanted to make a good impression for her. After we had changed her, the first and only time I have ever gotten to change my baby was full of tears, blood and snot. We looked at her face for so long, it was truly beautiful to see her and remember that she was real she had existed. I stroked her face. I held her in my arms one last time, it felt amazing. Holding her lifeless body wasn’t traumatic it was truly amazing. The moment I became mummy again after I had given birth. That mummy time was taken away all too quickly when the funeral home was about to close and we had to say goodbye forever. She’d be nailed into her coffin that night and i’d have no chance of seeing her face in person ever again. This is the day I became fearless. Walking back from the funeral home in the light sprinkling of snow and icy sludge on the roads I was quiet, running through my head was to step out in front of the cars,  just stop and turn into the road. I did, I took one foot up and pointed it out. I was ready. I was pulled back before I even moved my foot into a full swing. Andrew had full control over my actions, he squeezed my hand hard and pulled me into him. I forgot he was there. I forgot that I wasn’t alone in all of this. I didn’t say a word to him, I must have looked concise and planned as Andrew studied my face like he’d never seen me before. I didn’t speak a word going home. I just looked at cars and streets, I looked all around me for trouble, I was clinging on for trouble to come my way, when we got home I was hugely disappointed that nothing had happened.

After that I slowly started to thaw out, my numbness was replaced by blackness but my fearlessness had gotten stronger, I told strangers “my baby died” without a second thought leaving them with faces looking like they have been slapped by a slab of wet concrete stoning their faces permanently with sour shock.  I started going jogging at night and decided to walk across the busiest of roads without even looking first, I jogged down streets that I didn’t know in darkness, I went through abandoned parks and alleyways. I didn’t even realise how unsafe I was being. I agreed to a day at the theme park, going on the biggest and fastest roller coasters possible. I hate roller coasters, they had always frightened me but I felt nothing. I got involved in a fight happening outside of my house, I’ve always been one for helping others but this time I took it too far. I grabbed the girl that was hurt and took her into my home and then I left her and went looking for the guy that had hurt her, I didn’t know what was going to happen when I found him all I knew was I had to look for him. I even scorn and laugh at my enemies when I see them, wanting something anything to happen. When it doesn’t i’m filled with disappointment. I’m not scared of being fearless i’m scared that i’ll always be this way and one day when life is worth living I won’t be here.

Fearlessness is something that has happened to me because of Rosie’s death. I don’t know how to change it but I do know that i’m alive, alive for a reason or maybe several reasons and I will continue to live for as long as i’m needed. I don’t feel needed but I must be because here I am, and here are my typed words for you to read.

At least one positive thing has come from being fearless which is I am no longer scared of my in laws.

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