It has been, as you can probably tell, another string of hard days. On days like this, mostly all I feel like writing is “I am sad. I am sad. I am sad. I am sad. . .” over and over again, knowing that in a million years, these words would never communicate the depth of this pain. Our lives in Hudson’s absence are in such stark contrast to what they were before; the grief feels much like a being caught in a vise, the tension of which we simply can’t control or predict. And some days, I feel like I just can’t, won’t, make it through.
But I can’t go one more day without saying something important. So many of you have posted comments and sent messages of many kinds to us saying that if there was anything you could do to take away even a little bit of our pain, you would. I know this is true. I also know that there is nothing you can do that can take away the pain, now or ever. The pain will be with us and part of us for the rest of our lives, which is yet another layer of this unbelievable loss.
But I know something else is true, too. Back when I was pregnant with Hudson, our Lamaze instructor/doula used to tell us that there was nothing we could do during a drug-free labor that would take away the pain. But there were things we could do that would change the sensation of the pain—breathing techniques, different positions, motion, heat, meditation. And when I went into labor with Hudson, I discovered that the doula was exactly right. During the twenty-seven hours that I labored with her, without drugs, the pain went from uncomfortable to miserable to excruciating. There were many, many moments where I believed I would never make it without an epidural. The pain never went away. But using all the comfort measures we learned beforehand, we were able to change the sensation of the pain. Despite my doubts, I was able to bring that precious creature into the world naturally, just like I wanted to.
This is a labor of a much different kind. I survived a drug-free labor and delivery partly because I knew that it would eventually end and that the ending would be glorious. Not so with this terrible pain—it will never end and nothing wonderful is waiting if we could just get to the other side of it, because there is no other side. But still, comfort measures work. Love, support, prayers, thoughts, shared tears, comments, messages, phone calls, visits, cards, memorials, tributes, memories…all of these things help change the sensation of the pain. I remain so incredibly grateful to all of you, those I know and those I don’t know, for continuing to coach, coax, and encourage us, for crying, screaming, and grieving with us, for continuing to believe and tell us that we will make it through, despite our doubts. So thank you.