view from the cage


I’m sorry. You are not an oblivious asshole.

That’s just how it seems when I’ve thrown myself down the bottom of the well. Everyone else has it easy, our lives are over, I’ll never again be myself, a part of me has died... yes, that’s true. The part of me that was an oblivious asshole has died. Oblivious, contented, unaware that catastrophic events like this really do happen at 3 AM on a Saturday morning.

People say I’m so sorry for you. And I feel like snapping, take your sorry and stick it. Those are my sons in there, and they’re doing the best they can, and we’ll get through this, and we don’t need your sorry.

Then people say Hang in there! They’re doing the best they can, they’ll get through this. And I feel like snapping, take your optimism and stick it. You don’t know how bad it is. It’s not one grade IV bleed. It’s two, one on each side. There probably aren’t even statistics for that. You didn’t see all the white haze on his ultrasound. It’s like a bomb went off in there, shrapnel everywhere. It’s not going to go away, no matter how much we wish it. It is done.

It was the latter me who found the neonatologist’s blog (and the unfortunate comment, the second of a few of its kind on that thread). I turned off the computer after that but it stayed with me, the last word like a stink that gets stuck in your nose.

Hysteria and sense are oil and water. I’m sorry for snapping, for not leaving anyone anything to say. I wouldn’t know what to say, if I were you. But I will tell you that everything you say is perfect and pure, and we listen to it all, knowing even as we snap that we’re completely witless. You are all warmth.

These boys. All the answers are right there, ordained, filling me with rage and surrender and ridiculous hope.


Later, an update: we are very conflicted right now, torn between despair and optimism. No matter what you say—whether it's I'm sorry for you or Hang in there—we drink it up gratefully. No flavour of support offends, and there is no right or wrong thing to say. I just wish we could choose one camp and stick to it. To feel this way, both drawn to faith and abandoned by it, is to feel completely rudderless.