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Falling in a Hole

The physical manifestation of the metaphorical hole in my heart...

Last night I fell in a hole. Literally.

Remember when a tree fell down in my backyard? When the hurricane hit? Well, at the time we removed the portions of the tree that had fallen on my neighbor’s house and my fence, but we were unable to get the giant root ball or the bottom of the trunk taken out. They were too big and tree service guys in the area were too busy. Anyway, last night I went outside to measure the trunk and…whoosh…all of a sudden one of my legs was deep in the hole and the other one was not. I do not know why I didn’t break something. I’m thinking I was either lucky or it’s all the yoga I do — who knows. But I digress…

Falling into that hole reminded me of the hole I have been in for about two or three months. I feel like I have been buried with my thoughts and emotions, struggling to get free. And yet when I fell in that deep, dirty hole in the backyard I didn’t think twice about pulling myself up and out — and bitching about how pissed off I was that I had fallen in to begin with. I am ashamed to admit that it’s been really hard for me to do the same for myself emotionally and pull myself out of my proverbial mental hole. Until now, that is. Now, I think I am finally at the pulling-up-and-bitching point. I really, really don’t want to be in a hole anymore. I’m sick of this hole, actually, and the anger is a good thing.

I can finally admit it. I am very angry about what I went through this summer and early fall. I don’t admit being angry very much. It’s so much easier to feel sad. And yet I am so angry. I am angry that I didn’t get what I wanted. I am angry that I had to go through such physical and emotional turmoil. I am angry that my kids had to suffer during that time. I am angry that I am still sad about what happened to me. And most of all I am angry that I will never get to hold a newborn baby of my own again, especially since I was too scared the first time to enjoy it fully and too busy working to enjoy it the second time.

Today I ran around doing a thousand errands. At one point — standing in line at Trader Joe’s — I found myself staring longingly at a mom and her year-old kid, wishing it was me. And then I decided that I should be angry at myself for feeling like that. I need to accept my life. I need to be grateful for what I have. I need to forget about the past and move on. And then I need to stop being angry or sad and just be happy again. It’s coming. Slowly.

Last night I put Big Girl to bed and sat with her for about 15 minutes reading The Phantom Tollbooth out loud. We just finished chapter nine, where King Azaz tells Milo that he has something to tell him, but he isn’t going to do so until he gets back from his trip. (He being Milo, who is just about to leave to rescue Rhyme and Reason. What? You didn’t read the book? Go take it out of the library or buy it. It’s awesome.) Anyway, I was so happy sitting there watching my daughter’s face as she listened to me reading. It was so peaceful and so joyful. Not an ounce of anger or sadness. And that’s what I need to focus on. The little things that happen every day and every minute rather than he things that have slipped into the past. Because every time I do that, it’s like another shovelful of dirt is thrown into those metaphorical holes — the ones in my heart, in my head, and in my soul — and eventually they will be gone.

One Response to “Falling in a Hole”

  1. Peter Eicher says:

    Karen, your anger is understandable, and like all things it will heal only with time. The thing about miscarriages is they are so elusive. There is no reason behind them, other than perhaps the anger or arbitrariness of the gods or fate or call-it-what-you-will. So who do we rail at? Who do we ask “why me?” We’re left speechless.

    I experienced a miscarriage with my then wife many long years ago, and in an effort to give it speech I wrote this poem. It’s really about how we know nothing other than the grim, physical facts. It’s not a pleasant poem, but maybe it will help in some way, even if only to let you know your feelings are not in the least uncommon.


    We never knew this child
    So easily shed.
    Its birth and death were one
    And being born, it bled.
    So ominous this being
    That lives only in our head.
    A son, perhaps a daughter?
    Though it never knew its bed.
    With nothing left for saying
    For there’s nothing to be said.
    A life, perhaps? No knowing.
    All we knew of it was red.

    PS – If you didn’t see it, there was recently an article in The New Yorker about the origins The Phantom Tollbooth. You can find it here:


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