In answer to Lindaghill’s prompt Streams of Consciousness Heal/Heel
He looks at her. She’s been sitting by the hearth, her head hung low since that morning. The small book lay open, but forgotten on her lap. Last night she stood by the window until she couldn’t keep her eyes open.
She’s always loved this space: it’s the reason they bought the house. She fell in love with this extra-room, like a small boudoir of ancient times. They put a secretary here so she could write and a couple of plush chair so they could read.
He doesn’t expect her to write any time soon and yet he knows how much it could help. But he won’t say anything. She’s too fragile right now. In fact, there’s something almost ethereal about her, as if a part of her didn’t belong here anymore. It scares him more than he will admit. She does belong here though. Still he can’t say a word. He doesn’t know.
She’s always talked to him before: he sometimes would tell her how annoying it could be. She could be clingy, but mot any more and he misses it. Now instead, she pushes him away. No, it’s not that, it’s more that she’s built walls around herself and within those she’s crumbling without letting anyone in to help.
He understands some of it, but he also knows he can’t grasp it fully. She needs to heal even though there’s nothing to heal per se. And yet everything. She hasn’t lost anything and yet she’s lost everything. He can’t help thinking he wasn’t with her when she needed him. When she saw the doctor. He worked that day and she didn’t think the appointment required his presence. She hadn’t been worried. She hadn’t called after either. So he’d believed everything was alright. Then they didn’t see each other that night. He had to wake up at 5am for work the next day and she left the office past 11pm to finish a big project for an even bigger client.
How do you heal from something that will be in your face for the rest of your life?
The next day, when asked her how her appointment went she had cried. Between the tears and sobs, the sentence had fallen: sterility. No children. No loss, but no life either. She had wanted them. He wanted them too. He had told her if indeed it was so, they could adopt. It would be ok. She’d been relived that he was fine with it. But it obviously isn’t enough. It isn’t because every time someone calls to announce they’re expecting it wounds her again.
Yesterday her sister told them she’s pregnant. She’s thrilled for her sibling, but she hurts as if that appointment had happened yesterday again. She needs healing. And he doesn’t know what to do. How can he understand?
He can grasp that she mourns the babies she’ll never have. He mourns them too. But what does he know of what it means for a woman to carry a child within for 9 months? How can he understand that loss? He’s known since he was a boy that he won’t have the same intimacy with his children as a woman. He remembers his mother pregnant with his siblings, her joy at their kicks. He remembers leaning on his mother’s belly and feeling the kicks too. The love of his life won’t experience that. Neither will he.
No loss and yet the most terrible for this woman who had wanted to be a mother.
No sickness to heal and yet a grief in his wife beyond anything.
He goes to her, kneels at her feet. She doesn’t react until he takes the Bible from her lap and grabs her hands in his with as much gentleness as he knows to give her. Her eyes, filled with sadness but no tears, find his. She tries to smile but fails.
“I’m sorry.” She says.
He’s the one who almost cries. She’s no less a woman for him. He doesn’t love her less. And so he endeavours to show her. They say there’s healing to be found in love. He will give her that.
picture by Aerankai original to be found here