Memories in Withdrawal

When they placed him in my arms, he weighed nothing at all

I didn’t even know how to hold him

The moment I looked into his face, I felt something burst and bloom in my heart

Something I had never felt before and never have since

Even today I feel the tug of his existence on mine

Like a rope tied to my heart, pulling right through my ribs and far far far away

“He’s the smallest baby I’ve ever seen”

The priest tried to reassure me

Gentle pats on my arm

I saw his faith was shaken

His voice trembling as he began to speak

Before closing his mouth, half-uttered thoughts he’d said a hundred times before

His eyes never leaving the face of my son

One last tap on my wrist

And he shuffled out of my room

Head hung low, defeated

Sometimes I held him tightly

Sometimes I couldn’t look at him

Rolling to my side, my back towards him

Periodically a nurse would come wrap him in another warm blanket, giving me a false sense of life resting upon my chest

I didn’t know the human body could create so many tears

Tears on the doctor’s face

Tears on the nurse’s

Tears in the eyes of anesthesiologist who held my hand as I drifted into a blissful dreamless sleep

Tears on his blanket

Tears in my hair

Tears in my voice

Tears ten years later as I remember what I had gained and lost in one evening

I remember the annoyance on the face of a man sitting in the ER waiting room as I tried to answer the receptionist’s questions past my screams of pain and fear

I remember how small he was as they placed him in my arms and told me that I should hold him in these his only moments of life

I remember I didn’t know how to hold him

He was so small

He never even fought to live, so I fought for him

“Isn’t there ANYTHING you can do? I’ll do anything, anything at all,” I pleaded

Even still, eventually I placed him in the corner of the bassinet and turned to leave the room, never to return

I stroked his cheek, his chin, I told him I loved him

Walking away from him was the hardest thing I ever did

I still feel like I betrayed him, there in the end

tara caribou | ©2021

It’s ten years and my heart is heavy.

83 Comments on “Memories in Withdrawal

  1. A heart that has courageously carried such a burden, purposelessly ripped open, bore before the world to share the story of him is far from betrayal, when in fact, it honors his entire life and serves as evidence of his existence. I- feel honored to have come to know it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading. Grief isn’t always easy to write or read about… but I do think it’s good to explore all the emotions.


  2. Wow, this broke me on the inside.
    I know words can’t possibly cover even half the pain of such a tragic incident, but allow me to try and comfort you.
    Life is funny at times. Things don’t make sense but we are helpless. All we can possibly do is pick ourselves back up and keep going as far as we can. And you’re doing a really fine job at that, I mean it.
    It probably means nothing to you but I really do look up to you, much more so after reading this and so I wish nothing but the best for you. Remember that you are awesome ❤.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwww I’ve missed your beautiful comments. You’re so awesome. There are times the grief wells up and comes to the front of my mind. Other times it rests gently within my breast.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve missed our little conversations too haha. It’s just that these days I’m kinda caught up in finding the ideal post graduation university for myself since I’m almost done with my graduation.
        Besides, I’m also out of superlatives for most your work which is why I simply leave a like on them 😂.
        Also, please don’t friendzone me, Tara 😭😜.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not quite sure if it’s good or bad to stick with you… I am leaning toward good though because we all experience grief in our own ways and to varying levels over our lives. I think it’s good to remember but not dwell there. Life and light to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this post hours ago, and I still carry it with me in my mind. That feeling as a mother as not knowing how to hold your baby……….. oh…. The baby in this poem, is so carefully and perfectly held, with his mother’s love. And continues to be carried, carefully and perfectly, in memory. This post describes I think the most intense feeling that is even possible – grief for someone who feels an inseparable part of ourselves. And the heartbreaking guilt that often goes with it. This post evokes such strong feeling in me, and describes this experience in such a heart wrenching way. My thoughts will stay with this ❤️.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your beautifully kind comment. I will truly cherish it. Grief is something that never leaves. It is a part of the “new me”, so to speak. Instead of fighting it, I have chosen to embrace it. Love and peace to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A real heart-wrenching tale of woe. Not being able to comment on it ,until I thought it through for a while. It was though, really well written, capturing your grief, your emotions at the time and truly amazing that you’ve been able to put it into words after all that you’d experienced. I really feel for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, that killed me inside. Seriously, this is so sad and yet so good. Life can be such a capricious bastard and yet beautiful at the same time. Is it any wonder that the act of living can mess us up as much as it does?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Journal Entries – Raw Earth Ink

  7. Oh my, this is so raw and gutwrenchingly sad. My heart breaks for you my friend. A virtual shoulder at your disposal 😔


  8. I still remember reading this last year Tara. I will never forget it, it lodged in my heart. I see a year ago I felt the same things I felt now. I feel this more than I’ve felt probably any other post I’ve read on here.

    I send you so much love Tara.


    • Thank you for reading, Caroline. I truly appreciate that. I also really enjoyed looking at your blog. You write the type of poetry that I always wish I could. 💕


  9. This is such a powerful heartbreaking piece – you wrote it so beautifully & grief is such a tragic burden to bear. It takes enormous courage to share our darkest moments – you’re someone I truly admire for being so incredibly brave in writing this. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This couldn’t have been easy to pen and then share. I know it won’t erase your pain, but I sure hope that posting this actually helped. Even if just a little. For a brief moment.

    Although we didn’t feel what you and the people around you felt that day, we all definitely feel some sort of pain and sadness. Cuts to the core.

    I’m sorry for your loss, Tara…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words, Goldie. Somehow writing (and other art) DOES in fact help a little. This is always a hard time of year for me, but somehow this tenth year has been tougher than most. My hope in sharing is not only for myself but also in the hopes that others may have a new perspective for others who may be hurting.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh God, Tara! This made my tears run down my cheeks!! Such powerful and moving words to describe such a heart wrenching and heartbreaking experience. My heart goes out to you and all who have had to live through the experience you write about!! Such an Awesome and painful post, My Dear!!

    Here is a poem from me on this subject I hope will be of comfort, Dear Heart!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing this. I was going to leave a comment there but I see comments are closed. Your poem touched my heart. Your kindness means the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is incredibly powerful. My sister has had multiple miscarriages and this hits really hard. Such loss is never easy, it also affects those around. There are no words I could ever use to make anything better. I can only offer a hug ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So moved that I could not hold on tears coming out of my eyes. The pain of seperation is more than the pain beared for bringing life in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

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