I struggled to lift my head off the pillow this morning. I just wanted to stay cocooned in bed all day and get up tomorrow morning like Mothers' Day had never happened. It's taking all of my willpower to function today, to hold myself together, but what I really long to do - to lie in a dark room, barely functioning apart from displacing air - doesn't meet the criteria of good daughter or daughter-in-law. I need to phone my mother and I need to organise lunch and a card and flowers for my mother-in-law, so I need to make myself function at a higher level than feels possible. I also need to make sure that I don't let them see how much I'm hurting right now, how devastated I am not to be getting the card and flowers myself, because it's hardly a good Mothers' Day present for them to see my pain on the day when they are the ones who should be being cherished.
If I hadn't lost it my baby would have reached full term this week. This has already been weighing me down with sorrow, but Mother's Day on top of that seems a cruel twist of fate's knife in my belly. Last weekend I saw my entire family and I tried to enjoy it, but the huge gulf between what I had and what I should have screamed too loudly for me to ignore and I felt set apart from them, like I was watching them all from the outside. That's when the pain started, the physical pain of feeling so much dread and sorrow at the same time, like two fierce creatures circling and fighting inside me, which has grown steadily this week so much so that the last few days I've often been found clutching my stomach for fear of losing control completely, fearing that the swelling emptiness would spill out, leaving me in pieces on the floor.
I've wanted to write about these growing feelings for a while, but I just can't connect to that deep inner place where the poetry lives. Staying in the shallows, with the occasional light-hearted poem, seems to be the only way to survive at the moment, without drowning and becoming lost forever. So I've lost my muse, or at least I've put her to sleep for a while, and I feel like I've lost some of myself too.
As for Mothers' Day, it's nearly over and I can congratulate myself that I didn't fall apart, and maybe things will be just that little bit easier now I know I've been able to survive this.
Storm Room - Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller
8 years ago