The Missing Piece

September 13, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone



"You are the Missing Piece to My Puzzle."

From my own experience, much of grief is emotional; there's a lot of feeling and instinctive responses to loss.

Much of what is felt is this deep and constant sorrow; it doesn't stop and it's always present, even when I'm "happy." Sometimes, this sorrow becomes suffering. Instinctive responses such as fear and jealousy are triggered by reminders of what is gone, will never be, and what others have that I lost.

Grief also effects the mental, physical, and spiritual states.

The emotions could really dig deep down into my heart, digging up and bringing with it these very dark and foggy thoughts that I am not always proud or aware of. I easily feel drained and exhausted after doing things I have always done. It is as if it takes much or double my energy to do anything, since losing Elijah. I have never needed "breaks from life" more than I have now.

I question my beliefs and second guess myself. I fear that one day, I may go insane because I'm not exactly sure who I am or what is the "right" thing to believe in anymore. I am constantly looking for confirmation or a sign. I question God, a lot. Many of my questions starts with the "Big W."

Why?

Why, God? 

When I think of ways to explain what it is like to lose a baby, I could never explain in a linear, rational fashion. I used to think it is because I am more "right brained" than left and would rather ask others to "feel with me." And if others cannot or do not want to, then I would tell them, "You will not understand (how it feels), until it happens to you."

But I realized that that is not necessarily true (most of the time it is). 

I learned that my husband and I do not grieve in the same way or have the same emotional or instinctive responses. We both have lost, but are not affected by loss in the same way or in the same depths. This is not to say that his grief is shallow or that he feels less than I do.

We agreed that I am much more hurt about losing Elijah, it was a tough agreement and made me highly emotional. I wanted him to feel the same deep waters, to swim with me not because of his love for me, but because of his love for Elijah. He told me that the things he does for Elijah aren’t really for Elijah, but for me. As sweet as this sounds, it hurt me to feel like I was the only one who was truly torn about Elijah. I thought it was because he didn't love or want him as much as I did, and still do.

I realized that there are things that he does not fully understand about my grief because our responses are just... different. He doesn't feel the same level of pain because his is just different. Even though we were both present through the whole entire thing: from the moment the rupture happened to the moment Elijah died, his grief world is just different than mine.


Although, I wished that our grief worlds were completely identical. I wouldn't have to explain so much of what is stirring in my heart or the thoughts that float around in my head. We would be fully in-sync with each other, but we are not. I don't know if that is a bad or good thing. I don't know if that is how we are and it is supposed to be after loss.

Maybe if I had explained things in a different way than I am used to, would it make things more clear? 

When I think of losing a baby, the image of puzzle pieces come to mind.

Now, I want you to imagine what a complete puzzle looks like. Most likely, you will say, “All of the pieces connect together and together they create an image.” Or, “Every piece of the puzzle is in its place.”

Losing a baby is like losing a piece of a puzzle, before you could finish it. 

Imagine purchasing this awesome, beautifully made 500 piece puzzle, working for hours on that puzzle, and then come to realize that the last piece is gone. You frantically search for it everywhere: under the bed, under a rug, the last place you remembered leaving any pieces, or places you think it might be, like in the trash bin or in the vacuum (in case it you accidentally swept it up).

But you can't find it. It's gone. Gone for who knows how long. Possibly forever. 

Even though it's just one piece - one damn freaking small piece - the puzzle is incomplete. Nothing will ever fill that hole, but that damn small effin' piece. It might just be a blade of grass or a part of blue in the sky or a patch of fur on a cat, but it is that blade of grass, that part of blue in the sky, that patch of fur on a cat.

Nothing can or could replace it. Nothing can fill that empty slot, that empty space. The puzzle will forever have a hole on the side or in the middle or at the top. Wherever it is, that hole looks huge and that piece makes a world of a difference.

If you were desperate, you would go back to the store, buy a new box of that same puzzle, spend more hours working on that puzzle (this time, you are careful not to lose any pieces), and then complete it. But the first puzzle will always be incomplete, undone, not finished. You can't even return it and get your money back.

You can buy a whole new puzzle. A different one. One that "looks better," but it's not the same as the first puzzle. It's not the same because it's just not. It could have the same amount of pieces, but it's not the same puzzle and will never be. And you do not feel the same way with this whole new and different puzzle as you did with the first puzzle because you worked so damn hard to put it together and make it a complete, one whole piece.

I thought we were going to be a family of three, a complete family of “mommy, daddy, and baby.” I made plans of what we were going to do and dreamed about what I wanted to do. I waited for five months and then the next four months disappeared in a matter of days.

We are now mommy, daddy, minus baby.

My life still has a long way to go to be a complete puzzle, but knowing that Elijah is that one piece I lost before the end, I also know that my puzzle will always be incomplete, undone, not finished. 

Elijah is that blade of grass, that part of blue in the sky, that patch of fur on a cat. He is that missing piece of my puzzle that I could never fill. That empty space is forever reserved. He isn't just a missing piece in my heart, he is the missing piece of my life.

Elijah isn't just one small piece with the smallest of details. Every detail about him makes a huge difference. Elijah is that one piece that I will never come to know.

I can only imagine what that piece looks like today and for the rest of my life, until the end.

With love,

Must Read:
Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

Photo: maxpixel

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