I never saw it coming. The nurses warned me while going over the release checklist – reasons
to call: excessive crying. “You, not the baby,” they clarified. I laughed.
I wasn’t home 20 minutes before the crying began. Mine, not the baby’s.
No one else took it very seriously, so I tried not to either. “You’re so tired,”everyone pointed out. “Just hormones,”was another plausible explanation. “You’re overwhelmed,” I was reminded.
I wasn’t sure if these comments were meant to placate me or modify my behavior, or maybe just to
say this is all normal and you’re fine. But I didn’t feel fine – I felt like I’d fallen down a hole, and it was
dark with steep sides and no apparent way out. And the more time passed and the less anyone seemed
to notice I was in that hole, the more I settled in there, and the less I tried to climb out.
Ian’s pediatrician was the first to ask, to really question, was I okay? “It can be very lonely,”
was all she needed to say; I started crying again.
The desire to conquer the hole took time, and it wasn’t a straight path. Doctors, faith, meditation,
medication, pilates – I worked hard at it. I still work at it.
It’s not simple, not for anyone. I didn’t know it then, but I do now. That every other person out there is
fighting a battle, and maybe that battle is just to get through the day.
And sometimes the battle is lost. And it’s nobody’s fault, and it was never for lack of trying.
Everyone who knew Michael might not have known he was fighting, but they don’t doubt that he fought,
and that he tried.
Everyone who loved Michael will love him always, and miss him forever.
I was born in Oswego, NY,
"I had always wanted to be a writer, but was impeded by the belief that to be a writer one had to be extraordinary, and I knew I wasn't. By the time I was ready to give up my academic career I had realized that while books are extraordinary, writers themselves are no more or less special than anyone else." The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield