Like I mentioned in my Father’s Day post, I have a lot to say about my husband. Even before the tragedy of stillbirth entered our lives, I knew I had an extraordinary man. Since A’s death, I have been further awed by his openness in grieving, his composure in accepting the injustice that befell us, his fortitude to keep going and his endless patience and devotion to me as I wander lost in Griefland. This is an ode to my E, but I think it may apply to many babylost Daddies.
In those last few months, as I succumbed to the physical tolls of late pregnancy and tidal waves of hormones, E really stepped up. He was clearly exhausted, but never said as much.
Then, when it should have been over. When he should have been rewarded with his look-alike prize, the world demanded even more of him.
His strong, opinionated wife lie shattered at his feet incapable of making even the smallest decision. And he, utterly beat and worn out, stoops down and gingerly scoops up the broken pieces of his woman, every last deformed bit. Arms loaded with these unrecognizable shards, he cradles them and gently lays them on the bed. He does not try to fix it, to fit the pieces back together or reassemble. No, he waits. He enduringly watches as the heap of his wife slowly reforms - a flicker of her old self, the woman he fell in with, the one he married – only to crumble again. And still he keeps vigil over the crumpled pile of woman, even though his own devastation wreaks havoc inside him, his concern is for her.
He walks on eggshells as life moves forward, never quite sure what state she’ll be in that day, that hour. Sometimes he arrives home to a wife making dinner, humming along to the radio. Others, he opens the door and rushes towards the sound of her sobs. Immediately setting aside his own needs and wants, to embrace her in the only love that heals.
Time marches on. He’s had no reprieve. Exhaustion is an understatement. He is utterly burnt out from giving so much of himself, coping with his own anguish and functioning in the greater world for the both of them.
Regardless of his dried up reserves and his own need for nurturing, when he sees that wince of pain flash across her face he stops what he’s doing and comes to her. Still giving when he has nothing left to give. His dedication never wanes.
Patiently he monitors her status, absorbing the peaks and valleys; always braced for the storm. He abides.
I am so incredibly fortunate to have E as my partner. It is only with his love, patience and strength that I am surviving this. He is literally my reason for living.