Friends and family have commented how strong The Hubby and I have been since the stillbirth of our son. I can’t speak for The Hubby as no doubt he has his own take on the word; but I personally don’t feel strong.
To me, “strong” would suggest I’m not having moments where I’m staring into blank space or waking up at night feeling a huge part of me isn’t present. I wish I was strong enough to not have these moments but the reality is my sleep is disturbed and I do my best to exhaust myself during the day so that I can zonk out for a few hours at a stretch before being woken up by a nightmare or that feeling of something isn’t right.
“Strong” would also suggest that I’m carrying on my daily routine, looking after Rosey, and getting on with society. Truth is, each day has its own challenges. I love being around Rosey and The Hubby as they make me feel alive. However, so far, being in the presence of anyone else makes me feel ordinary. Strange word to use, I know, but that’s how I feel and it certainly doesn’t make me feel strong. Tasks would seem mundane if it wasn’t for my faith in Islam and the knowledge that even mundane tasks can be turned into worthy acts of service towards God. I think if I didn’t have my faith I would be a moving body unable to feel anything or think properly. Each day has its challenges and I’m ploughing through.
And finally, in my mind, “strong” would suggest that every Tuesday morning I don’t wake up reliving labour day, piecing the puzzles together and trying to answer those awkward questions. It’s not like I choose to do this. It just happens. I wake up as if I’m back there again, feeling each contraction as they came, understanding and knowing his heart stopped whilst in my womb, and then having to push to naturally deliver our son. The tears flow but then I’m comforted by that reassuring, soft Yemeni voice reminding me of the dua of muraqaba (prayer of vigilance); of our son being happy in Paradise; and that all those awkward questions only have the same answer:
It is as God Decreed.
God is with me. God is witnessing me,. I am in God’s presence. God’s gaze is on me. God is near to me.
It is as God Decreed.
Then everything becomes clear again and I’m back in my room, feeling the bed I’m curled up on, thanking God for having saved us from a greater calamity, for comforting us with His Presence, and for being The Best Guardian to look after our son.
Like I said: I don’t feel strong.
I’m just about surviving.
I’m only human.
It’s all good.