The Other Side: The EndPosted: March 18, 2014
Last night I was up late reading. One of the main characters of the novel described a news event in which a mother was on the ground, howling in despair, because she had been informed that the rescue crew would not be performing any more evacuations on her child’s school, which had been reduced to rubble.
Her child was still inside, and dead or alive, she would never see that child again because it was too dangerous for the professionals to continue their efforts.
I was hit with a wave of grief so strong that an animalistic, strangled cry tore from my throat and tears gushed down my face. I was imagining being that mother. I experienced her absolute devastation at knowing that her child would not survive. I thought of my kids, trapped in a building, unable to escape, and the rescue crew being forbidden to go back inside. I knew they would not be able to stop me–I would trample them to get into that building. I would find my kids no matter what. I would happily murder anyone who got in my way, hurl boulders, walk through fire, die in those hallways before I would allow my children to stay in there while I remained on the outside.
And then I thought, I am the evacuation crew. I am the reporter, standing by helplessly. I am the person who decided “We can’t go in after them. It’s too dangerous. It’s them or us, and I choose us.”
Can I describe my pain? Are there words to convey how I cried myself dry, buckled over with sorrow? How desperate I was to go back, to make a different choice, to not have done this? How do I explain being a mother who chose the two children she knows over the one that she doesn’t? Who calmly signed forms and accepted an IV and opened her legs and floated high on sedatives while they ripped out a life and threw it in the trash, chatting over top of me as though I was merely getting a manicure?
How do I explain it? How? How?
It is not exactly regret–it is more a sense of failure. Of knowing my limitations as a person and a woman and a mother caused this. That if I was more successful, more mentally stable, more patient, more together, this would not have been my choice. I would not have been in a situation in which it was the pregnancy or us, the embryo or us, the baby or us. If only I was braver, stronger, richer. If only I was the type of mother who could smile wryly with surprise and then start shopping for baby items. But I had been that mother twice, and I could not be her again.
If only I could. If only I was. If only.