Emotional Extremes
by Karla ° Thursday, December 20, 2007
I have been very much looking forward to Christmas this year. I mean, I was also looking forward to Christmas last year, the year Nate was born, but spending Christmas in a hospital under the glare of florescent lights wasn’t exactly the most relaxing of times, you know? Especially with a child confined to a heated incubator and a postdural puncture headache that felt like it was raining bricks on my head.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally grateful for my little family, and I hate to sound petty, I’m just saying I could have done without a the soggy grilled cheese that I was served for Christmas dinner that was quite obviously made with condom rubber and gremlin ass.

This year was supposed to be different though. This was supposed to finally be the year of peace, and relaxed contentment. The year where we floated merrily along on a current of laughter and the year where magic and wonder twisted through the bedecked halls of our humble home.

It kind of started that way, that feeling of awe and wonderment I mean, when we showed Nate the colourful glow Christmas lights shimmering against the red brick of our house. Watching his eyes widen and fill with towering curiosity brought a tear to my eye, it really did, because it was a one of those magical moments where everything stops, for just a second, and you get to see the world through innocent and amazed eyes once again.

I floated on that buzz for a few days, but then the lingering sadness started creeping in knowing that this year Ava would have almost been three, and quite possibly, this would have been the first year that Christmas began to mean anything to her. This would have been the year that we got to watch her excitement build and her imagination soar with visions of a magical Santa and a tree lined with vibrantly wrapped boxes delivered all the way from the North Pole, just for her.

I guess these feelings are normal, but they seem to feel more intensified and weigh more heavily on my heart this time of year. I suppose that’s because this is a season for children, really, and it’s hard not to reflect on all that has been lost in a deep void of a cold reality.

Truthfully, I didn’t expect to feel so much heaviness now that Nate is here, safe and alive in my arms.

I guess I just need to accept my emotional limitations and give myself permission to feel what I feel, deep love for my son, deep hurt, and all. What’s hard though, is trying to separate my feelings of absolute joy for my Nate and the lingering sadness in my heart my Ava.

I just wish that there wasn’t this massive cloud of emotional extremes hanging over my head, and that the piece of me that died with my child didn’t hurt so badly.

Labels: ,

Permanent link to this entry


Oh, my sweet friend.

It is so hard to know what to say. The only thing I know is that you never have to justify your feelings, regardless of the situation.

I think we spend far too much time fighting our emotions instead of just embracing them, living with them in the moment, then moving on -- stronger and wiser because of it.

Don't ever feel bad or sad for how you feel. It just is.

I imagine you will always feel split between the living and the dead. It's so hard for those of us who have never gone through what you have to a) not say something unintentionally insensitive, and b) know what to say to make you feel better.

Just know that you have this network of people who care for you and your wee family.

And hope you can steal some strength from that.
Posted by Blogger Carly :  December 20, 2007


Oh how I wish I could just steal your heartache. I wish you and Mark never had to hurt again, because you've definately been through enough hurt. I wish I knew what to say, but the only thing that is going through my head is that you need to keep telling yourself that it's okay to have these emotional extremes and you never have to get over loosing Ava you'll simply get through it one day, one moment at a time. Some of those moments will be unbearable and during some of those moments Nate will make you believe again and heal a part of your aching heart. It's not fair and it never will be. I'm sure that as much as a part of you wants all to be well, you realize that you will always have these feelings through out the years. Realize that you gave her "Christmas" during her entire life, no matter how short it was. I keep thinking how wonderful it would be to only experience love, and hugs and kisses on this earth, and you gave her that priceless gift. Keep the hope and faith that someday you will be reunited with her again and your family will be whole. Until then enjoy your angel here on earth and believe that Ava is your guardian angel above.

Carly pretty much said everything that I wanted to say. My heart goes out to you and your family this Christmas Season.
Posted by Anonymous Lovebuzz :  December 20, 2007

There are no words for how heavy and full my heart feels for you. I can't even begin to imagine the many emotions this time of year, or any time for that matter, would cause. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and I hope you have as much joy as possible this holiday season.
Posted by Blogger Brandy :  December 20, 2007

I'm sorry to hear that Karla. Perhaps we can wallow in a funk together. I thought this Christmas would feel like more fun too, but I'm finding myself just too worn out to enjoy it.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  December 20, 2007

wish I were there to hug you.

Posted by Anonymous uumomma :  December 20, 2007

Big hug from a stranger in tears.
Posted by Blogger Alena :  December 20, 2007

Oh Karla,I sit here with tears welled up in my eyes. Tears for you and your precious baby girl.
I wish I was better with words, so that I could say something to bring comfort to your heart. I often think of you and Ava, and the heaviness that must consume you fully at times. Then I think of your sweet little boy Nate and the happiness the he brings. Please just know that we will be here to help lift you up when you are down and laugh along with you when you are your happiest. With lots of love and warm thoughts my friend.

Oh, Karla. I really do not know what to say, except that my thoughts and prayers are with you.


"quite obviously made with condom rubber and gremlin ass"

Made me laugh out loud.

Posted by Blogger Angella :  December 20, 2007

A beautiful post Karla.
Posted by Blogger Linda :  December 20, 2007

I've never had to experience the pain you have. However, I would guess that having Nate is a wonderful thing, but also makes you realize all you've missed with Ava. I'm so glad you have Nate to enjoy!

My heart aches at just the thought of the pain you must have. You may not feel like it at times, but you truly are a strong woman!!
Posted by Blogger Candi :  December 20, 2007

I have been having a similar problem, riding the ups and downs with the holidays. I used to love Christmas time, and I still revel in the joy of it all, but I just have these overwhelming moments of sadness at times. Logically I know I should be grateful for my wonderful husband and our perfect little (11 month old) boy. But at times I just really wish my parents were here to share this wonderful time. I know it is not the same thing as losing a child. No two griefs are the same. But it is painful just the same. I just try to make sure I enjoy the good more than think about the sad. A few bouts of grief can't be avoided, it creeps its way out no matter how hard you try to suppress it, but it is normal, and perhaps gives a brighter shade to the moments of happiness... Best wishes as you navigate this season of joy.
Posted by Blogger Erin :  December 20, 2007

Posted by Blogger Julia :  December 20, 2007


Thinking of you this holiday season~
Posted by Blogger Poppy :  December 20, 2007

I don't even know what to say, except that all of those emotions are normal -- both the happy and the sad. Big hugs to you and your family tonight.

I feel exactly the same way about my little family. You just said it better than I ever could.

Your Ava is so gorgeous.
Posted by Blogger delphi :  December 21, 2007

I found your blog by following one of the comments you left on Angella's (or was it Amanda's?) blog a while back...you made reference to losing Ava. I read your blog for over an hour that night...(which is an eternity when you have a one year old!). I am in awe of your strength and spirit. I hope Santa spoils you rotten...you totally deserve it! Merry Christmas!
Posted by Blogger joyce :  December 21, 2007

Sweetie, you feel the way you feel, although I hear you in wishing it felt different.

Hugs to you, babe!
Posted by Blogger Gina :  December 22, 2007


I wish I could take your pain away. I have no idea what you are feeling but my heart aches for you. I am so glad you have Nate in your life. I wish Ava was here to be with you but she will always be a part of your life just not the way you had thought.

Posted by Blogger TBG :  December 22, 2007

Hey.. I wrote you a long email full of deep thoughts. . No pressure to write back; just check your spam filter.

What a BEAUTIFUL ornament of you gorgeous little girl.

Like others, I have no suitable words but know that from the other side of the world, you are being thought about during this time (and many other times).

Ava has touched the hearts of so so many and it is because of you that her memory is so strong in the hearts of strangers world wide.

Be easy on yourself ~ you have had to live the unthinkable and the strength you exhibit is admirable.

V xxx

I am so sorry Karla.
Posted by Blogger Christy :  December 22, 2007

I don't even know how to console you on this, b/c truthfully, I think I would have just as hard a time. I guess just use your pain and focus it on loving Nate that much more. Children need to see you sad, too, so they can understand the different extremes of our emotions in life, so don't hide it from him. Sure, he doesn't get it now, but one day he will...As truly upset as I am about the loss of Ava, I'm so happy you have Nate now to celebrate Christmas, and her too-short life, with.
Posted by Blogger Christi :  December 22, 2007

heavy sigh...I'm so sorry Karla. Words aren't sufficient....hang in there Karla.

my sweet friend, you have brought me to tears. i cannot help but think of how close Zander and Ava would have been in age...and it continually breaks my heart that she left you far too soon. when i read this post i thought of the email i sent you, writing about how Zander is just starting to understand this whole Christmas thing...it just makes me so sad.

i know Ava was watching over you, Mark and Nate this Christmas, just as she always has been and always will be.


Search Untangling Knots:

Search Results:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007