Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Seduction of Darkness

last night at support group i was asked how i was dealing with the news of robin williams' death. i was just about to answer, "it's so sad, but i haven't really thought about it too much or been that affected." when, instead, i just started to talk. and i began to realize how much heaviness i've been carrying, but have been unable to really process it while caring for a two month old 24/7.

this is one of the reasons why support group is so healing. it creates a space, that otherwise is too mucked up with daily life, to bring the underlying hurt, fear and anger to the surface.

this is how i basically answered the robin williams question. no pre-thought. no analyzing. the words just came.


when i was in high school a classmate of mine killed himself and it scared the crap out of me. i couldn't imagine what was possibly going through his mind the days and moments leading up to that one, huge decision to take his life. such a permanent choice. that kind of depression, the kind that feels the only way out is to end it forever, really, really frightened me, because i didn't understand it.

i understand it now.

in those intense few weeks and months after noah died i experienced that kind of darkness. my pain was so deep, i couldn't fathom a way out. it was too much. so heavy i couldn't breathe.

my entire life, and all i ever knew, was radically shifted. all my beliefs. everything i trusted. wiped clean. i had a new life now. i lost a child and could never go back to my other self, my other life.

and this new life was a life i didn't want. it repulsed me. it exhausted me.

how could i go on living when, quite literally, a part of my very being was gone? noah was a part of me. my own dna, who i nurtured and carried for nine months. and he was ripped violently away. it's like if the entire right side of my body just up and disappeared. how do i go on?

(at this point, i'm weeping. and made apologizes for my sleep deprived emotions.)

but somehow i forged together 0.5% of hope. and i held onto what shred i had to save my life. my husband. my future children. my seemingly microscopic-sized faith. they gave me hope.

without that hope, my life was over. hope was that dot of light in the vast, eternity of darkness.

the fate of robin williams. that could have easily been me.


the group went on to talk about the fine line of darkness beyond hope. it's seductive. it is terrifying. one tiny step and it's over, no going back.

i grieve that robin felt that way. i grieve that anyone would feel that way.

i grieve noah. i grieve isaac.

but i made the choice to live. i make the choice, every single day and moment, to live.

this world is f'ing messed up. i know that all too well. it's absolutely not easy to exist here sometimes, when things don't make sense and fairness is extinct.

yet, we move forward. embracing the darkness and welcoming the light. sharing our stories with others and perhaps giving someone else hope in their despair. that's the beautiful thing about humans, we can bear each others burdens. we can lighten the load for another, while bringing redemption to our own soul.

don't pretend you have it all together, that your life is perfect. it's too exhausting and you'll eventually crack under that kind of pressure. be honest. be authentic. open up your heart and let others in.

we're in it together.
and that gives me hope.


  1. It may easily be me. I'm still looking for my hope.

  2. Your authenticity and bravery never cease to amaze me. Thank you for sharing your heart with us, sweet sister.

  3. McCayla, your sister-in-law, Laura, sent me your blog, and I've been soaking up post after post since I clicked on the link she sent me. It's really refreshing to read a blog from a fellow grieving mother who doesn't try and dress up her grief with spiritual platitudes. I'm tired of people telling me that God has a perfect plan for my life, but I don't feel the freedom to say that out loud. Thank you for sharing so openly and being willing to say the hard things. I'm so sorry about your Noah and your Isaac. They were beautiful. And so is Miles.