There is always a great stillness.
Silence. There is movement around me, but I’m curiously alone, divorced from everything and everyone. It’s as though there is a pane of glass between me and the world.
It feels like the day I fell off a jungle gym as a child and landed on my back, the breath completely knocked out of me. I remember at the time desperately struggling for air, feeling the panic that I couldn’t seem to take that next breath. I remember wondering frantically if anything was broken, how badly I’d gotten hurt. How relieved I was when the air rushed in and there were no wounds. For years, I’ve always been eager to draw the next breath, dust myself off.
I don’t struggle to breathe now.
I know better. Because I know that when I finally am forced to breathe in again, it will be indescribable. I will not be as lucky this time, not to be broken.
It sounds like wind, shrieking during a storm. Suddenly, all the voices, all the movement comes into focus again. I can’t understand the words, but I can feel. As the blood begins to move again, as the nerves suddenly start to register, I know the extent of all the jagged edges. The pieces that no longer fit together as they did just minutes ago.
They are gone. Gone where I cannot follow. Gone where they will never be born to us.
I found out this morning that after two weeks of beautiful, perfect heartbeats and a single baby measuring right on track that the heart had stopped. The living one has joined his or her twin.
I don’t even have words for this kind of devastation.