Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Home > My Babies > Calvin Phoenix > the ugly cry

the ugly cry

you know the kind. the kind that fills your entire body and wracks it with sobs. the kind that fills the silence of morning and mourning as primal, gutteral cries force their way through your gasps for air. the kind that chokes you with its pouring and suffocating, with its not enough spaces and ways to escape your lungs, your nose, your throat, your mouth, so you’re gagging and choking and choking down mucous and tears and wails, and flashbacks. and your hands. those hands. those hands that want to scream with you but can’t so they just clench and clench and hold back the anger that starts to rise beneath the ugly cry. the anger wrought from despair and grief and not grieving and loss and wishes lost and dreams lost and hopes lost and babies lost and held in death. that’s the one. the one you don’t want your babies to see or hear. the one for which you ask forgiveness. the one that leaves you exhausted and empty and sighing until you settle back into your new self and remember i had my babies. i had them. they were real. and they lived.

two years ago to this date, i lay in my bed crying. it was the soft, quiet, hopeful kind. it was time for my level II ultrasound. to check on the progress of the amniotic bands. then a beam of sunlight slipped through the blinds and onto my belly. i was 18 weeks pregnant. it was the last time i would be in that bed with calvin inside me. i knew the light meant something. but it didn’t bring me comfort that morning. now i understand why. it wasn’t God saying, yes, I will save your son. it was God saying, yes, I have already saved your son. (does that make sense?)

i guess that’s one good things about this kind of crying—the ugly kind. though it pulls me through all the painful stages of grief (shock/disbelief, anger, guilt/bargaining, depression) within a short span of time, at the end the contemplativeness that comes with exhaustion, i think, brings me closer to healing, to acceptance and hope. it’s hard not to fight it, this ugly crying that came in the space between night and daybreak on the second anniversary of learning our first child had died in my womb. but i leaned in, and i feel better.

Crystal is a mother-wife-writer whose explorations include parenting, grief, food, and semi-crunchy living. She is currently an MFA in writing student, a content editor for Still Standing Magazine, and the technical editor for Switchback.

0 thoughts on “the ugly cry

  1. I know that cry, too. I’m so sorry Calvin passed away – my heart breaks for you. Wish I were there to hug you. Praying for peace for your heart, dear.

  2. (((((((hugs)))))) YES!! I know that cry I call it the “ugly Farrah cry” (from teen mom)…..trigger days are so hard…im thinking of you today and Calvin…TOMORROW belongs to him <3

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

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