Best 1000 Words for the Image Contest: Danielle Bernock: I Wish You Would See Me, Too

 

By Danielle Bernock

 

 

It was a wish come true until it wasn’t. Now I’m the man they don’t see. I stare out the window into the vast city and I see them. So many lives oblivious to my pain. I wish to be seen, to be known and understood. I sit here on the sill with my heart torn from my chest. The sorrow is deep.

The masses see her and so it should be. But I’m not invisible. I’m not insensitive. The loss of our baby was my loss as well and my soul is crushed.

All I can do is stare.

The hole in my heart can never be filled. A piece of it went to heaven with my precious child. I know I’ll heal, but I’ll never be the same. I know I’ll have to move on.

But not today.

I called in to work today.

Today I need to sit here staring out the window.

I feel today.

I feel numb. I feel angry. I feel sorrow. I feel confused.

I feel the loss trying to suck my soul into an abyss of darkness. But I also feel hope of light once again.

These unpredictable waves of grief wash over my soul like a tidal wave. I hold onto my faith for dear life.

I know I must let the grief run its course even though it feels like I won’t survive. The pain takes my breath away and hours pass unnoticed as I stare off trying to hold in my heart what’s been ripped from my life.

How can something you can’t see hurt so badly? That’s the problem with emotional pain. It’s not visible and it makes you feel alone.

You don’t see my pain, and I feel alone.

So profoundly alone as I watch the city buzz about without a care. But I know better. Even though they don’t see me, I see them. I know they have sorrows. I know they have pain. Some of them even grieve feeling alone like me.

I‘ve learned this from the word sonder. It’s the feeling you feel when you realize everyone has a vast and complicated life just like you.

Sometimes it makes me feel like part of a big community.

Today it makes me feel alone.

I choke on the lump of anguish in my throat as the bitter tears of grief cascade from my eyes. The overcast sky reflects the gloom in my soul. My heart cries out She wasn’t full term. She didn’t get to live, breathe and taste of this life. It’s so unfair.

Miscarriage is devastating. The loss of dreams and hopes of the joys to come.

We had her name picked out already. We waited longer to tell everyone because this happened before. It was supposed to be safe. I saw her heartbeat with joy beyond words.

Death is cruel.

I not only lost my little girl, I lost the joy of teaching her how to ride a bike. I lost all our tickle fights and teasing and fighting with her about boyfriends. I lost being able to help her with her school work. I’ll never get to walk her down the aisle and hold her precious babies that would follow.

The loss is deep and wide like an ocean and I’m doing my best to tread water when you expect me to swim, because you don’t see me.

I don’t argue the loss is traumatic for the mommy, the woman I love. Of course, it is.

Our precious baby had her temporary home in her womb. Their bodies were one yet two. This mystery of a life within a life is beyond my comprehension.

I know you see her.

I want you to see her. I see her.

I need to be there for her even in my weakness. I need to hold her as she weeps until she falls asleep, exhausted from the sorrow. And I do.

Now I sit as a sentinel in this window as she naps. Her emotions need the reprieve of sleep and her body needs rest to recover from a labor that brought forth so much sorrow for us both.

This sorrow we share is exactly the same and completely different because trauma is deeply, deeply personal.

I wish you would see me and enter my pain with me.

I know you can’t take it away. I don’t want you to. The pain is what I have left of my precious daughter. The pain validates her life in my soul.

But I wish you would validate my pain.

I wish you would see that I am grieving too, sitting here in the window, on the ledge, staring off into the feeling of my great sadness.

I know I’m not the only man to lose a child and feel this ache in their bones.

I have a brother who wishes to be seen too. He wrestles with his invisibility because his loss was against his will in a different way than mine. Mine was not by anyone’s choice.

His loss was brought on by the choice of the mother. They say it’s her body, her choice. It makes sense in a way.

But her choice went against every fiber of his being. This was his child too, but she wouldn’t hear. Now he mourns what will never become. Dreams and hopes of joys that could have been. The hole in his soul created by his child gone to heaven too soon.

My brother and I are not the only two. I don’t know the statistics but there are a lot of us and we all feel invisible and alone.

We have no desire to take from women, their grief or their rights, we just want to be seen too.

Will you see me? Will you see my brothers? We wish you would see us too.

-Dedicated to the countless number of men who’ve suffered due to miscarriage, abortion and stillbirth. I see you. I care. I pray for you.

 

Bio

Danielle Bernock is the international author of Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals a story of becoming free from childhood trauma and finding your value.

Danielle is passionate about empowering adults to overcome the effects of childhood and emotional trauma, enjoy their life, and attain their dreams. She publishes every Tuesday on her website.

Other books include A Bird Named Payn and Love’s Manifesto. She is a member of Tribe Writers, Rochester Writers, and the CEO of her company 4F Media.

Danielle is a sensitive soul born and raised in Michigan, the granddaughter of European immigrants. She has traveled around most of the United States and visited four countries. Due to the economy and the hand of God, Danielle lived in Arizona for five life-changing years but is happy to be back in Michigan near her family. She has been happily married since 1980, has two married children, and five living grandchildren she adores who call her Mima.

Forever young at heart, Danielle loves nature and new adventures (like zip lining). She enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing games, going for walks, having bonfires, heart to heart talks, and laughing. Lots and lots of laughing.

Get a copy of Emerging With Wings here and A Bird Named Payn here.

Subscribe to her newsletter to receive Love’s Manifesto here

Like her author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daniellebernock/
Follow her on Twitter @dbernock https://twitter.com/DBernock

Other posts by Danielle Bernock on Two Drops of Ink

 

Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing

 

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12 comments

  1. Danielle , my wife Lesley and I lost two boys consecutively within ten days of birth . The second time, with the same doctor, we went to him after Lesley went into false labor the night before . He listened for the babies heartbeat and said he could hear his heartbeat but after Lesley told him the baby stopped moving and to listen again, he did and the look on his face, before he confirmed her fears was all we needed to know. She cried and the grief overwealmed both of us as we left his office. I felt like killing the incompetent doctor, for we had him for both still born deaths, needless to say we switched phicicans. James and Lesley Sand

  2. Thank you Danielle. After our miscarriage I was so wrapped up in my own feelings it was difficult to help my husband, who stood by me like a rock, express his. This is an important topic, and largely silent because men are less likely to seek help for their grief. Yet, it is there just the same.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Mary-Lou. I became painfully aware of this perspective after the loss of our grand baby in October from miscarriage. I noticed how few people asked how my son was or offered to pray for him. #mensuffertoo

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