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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sad (07/26/07)

TITLE: Can't Go There Right Now
By Julie Arduini


His sad gasp pierced my heart. My ready to open the floodgate eyes zoomed in on the poster on the ceiling. I knew it was sports themed, but I couldn’t focus. My obstetrician chose his words carefully.

“Kari I’m so sorry. I thought the first ultrasound of the New Year would um, turn out better than this. You had a spontaneous abortion on New Year’s Eve. A, ahem, a miscarriage.”

I nodded. He gave me a hand to sit up. I couldn’t help it, but I was still nodding. Any movement I could make to stave off the onslaught of tears that were well on their way.

“Janelle has some literature to help you Kari. My guess is your body will take care of this naturally. If not, I’m afraid we’ll need a D&C. I believe you will be back here with a viable pregnancy once again.”

I bit my lip till I tasted blood, still nodding. I felt like I was in the middle of a tunnel experience, with everything around me spinning out of control. My single goal was to get dressed and get out of that office as fast as possible. Janelle had to follow me as I fled out the door to hand me the obligatory ‘You can survive a miscarriage’ brochure.

I dove in my Windstar maroon van. The paperwork flew to the passenger seat and my sob came with such force it was a rattling death shriek. I pounded the steering wheel with enough rhythm it sounded like a drum. Whether seconds, minutes or even hours later, I felt completely depleted when I quieted and turned on the ignition.

Of all songs to fill my van from the Christian radio station, it would have to be ‘Let Everything that Has Breath, Praise the Lord.’ I looked up heavenward with a sneer.

‘How could you God? How could you take my baby during worship on New Year’s Eve? How could you make me the first ultrasound of the year when I feel like I have to apologize to the doctor for starting the year off on such a downer? How could you play this incredibly cruel song when I am ready to absolutely fall apart and die? My baby does not have breath. She can’t praise you. I have breath and I don’t feel like praising you. So don’t make me Lord, not now.’

I had no business driving myself home but my husband was waiting with optimism as he cared for our two year old son. My face must have told the whole story because my beloved’s face fell and he was instantly wrapping me in an embrace. His hand circled my back as he whispered how sorry he was.

“We’ll get through this babe, you watch.”

I spent the rest of the afternoon in bed alternating between sessions of weeping and cries of despair. By the time Chad called me for dinner, the complete miscarriage was in full swing. Chad flatly noted that God’s graciousness was sparing me from the D&C. I pushed away the taco and ran back to bed.

Around seven I heard the phone. I walked out to the family room to see Chad smiling on the phone with our pastor.

“No Pastor, please don’t bother traveling all this way to check on us. We’re fine. We have a total peace about this. It’s God’s will.”

I froze in place. My grief gave me the shakes so bad I was afraid I’d fall. My anger had such life behind it I couldn’t believe how fast my hateful thoughts were running.

“We have a peace about this? No WE do not!”

My words attacked my husband before he clicked the phone off. He spun and seemed shocked.

“Kari I’m sorry. I didn’t want to bother them. I figured you’d want to be alone.”

“Chad how could you say we have a peace about this? Every trip I make to the bathroom is one where I wonder if this is when…”

I fell in a heap on the floor with a new barrage of tears.

“God showed me Kari. The baby is better off in heaven than so sick with us. I have peace. In time you will too. I promise.”

I fell asleep on the floor in Chad’s arms. I had no dream, no vision, and no peace.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

I just can’t go there right now.

*Psalm 150:6, NIV

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Sara Harricharan 08/02/07
Sad doesn't even begin to cover this. The emotions, the description. This is so real, I have to take a moment to step back to try and understand everything. Realistic reactions from your characters and a pain that we can emphatize. Good job.
Glorey Wooldridge08/02/07
I too have felt the emotions x2. It is amazing the things you hear by well meaning people and your story portrays well the emotional upheaval and the beginning of the mourning process.
Cheri Hardaway 08/02/07
You have shone light on something we need to be aware of as Christians especially. Platitudes. When we don't know what to say to someone wounded and grieving, we tend to speak in platitudes like: "Time heals all wounds"; "God is in control"; "You will be able to comfort others with the comfort you've received." Even though every one of these comments carries the weight of truth, this truth can be insensitive when it doesn't allow for the wounded person to go through the grieving process without feeling like they have to make everyone else around them not feel uncomfortable with their very real pain.

You have portrayed the initial mourning experience vividly and captured the topic well.

Good job. Blessings, Cheri
Cheri Hardaway 08/02/07
Sorry... I meant also to say that instead of speaking a platitude that makes us feel better, but often does diddly for the hurting person, we ought to just be honest. "I have no idea how you feel, but I'm here for you. I can listen. I can hug you. I care."

I know when I've been in grieving places in my life, those kinds of responses have been wonderful. I didn't expect my friends to have the answers, just be there for me.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/03/07
This is written masterfully, such a heart-gripping story.
Jacquelyn Horne08/03/07
This is a very profound article. Those who have had that type of experience will relate I'm sure. You tell it like it is.
Virginia Gorg08/04/07
I have been there. Unlike the woman in this, my (now ex)husband went out drinking and left me alone in the hospital. This brought back painful memories, but I know my child is in heaven. Thanks for writing such a heartfelt article.
LaNaye Perkins08/05/07
WOW, this is really powerful. I love how you show that it takes time get through the process of grief. You are right, sometimes we just can't get there right now. Well done!
Lynda Schultz 08/05/07
I think your title and the last line: "I just can’t go there right now" give this piece a touch of hope in the midst of the awful despair that you've described. I don't know if you intended it, but those two words "right now" say a whole lot. Not "right now" but later — the healing will come.
Dee Yoder 08/05/07
Your story is heart rending. And it shows me how helpless we can be when others are so grief stricken, except to just accept them right where they stand, or fall, and love them. God bless you for sharing this message.
Cynthia Hinkle08/06/07
Wow. This story could also be in the next week's entries on anger. Because anger is always a secondary emotion. Your primary one was of grief, swirling raw grief. We could see it, taste it, hear it. Compelling! Thank you for sharing this.
Janice Fitzpatrick08/08/07
Wow. I mourned with the main character and felt her pain though I haven't gone personaly through this experience myself but have many friends who have and we've wept together. So true to teh levels of grieving that all of us go through with one experience or another. Very well done. God bless and keep up the writing.
Caitlynn Lowe08/08/07
Wow...a truly heartbreaking piece.
Jan Ackerson 08/08/07
So heartbreaking! Although I've not had this experience, I can very much relate to the feeling of "I can't go there right now." Your narrator will be drawn into peace eventually, through grace. This is a beautifully written story.
Betty Castleberry08/08/07
Oh, this truly is sad. Although I've not dealt with this, I could feel the despair. You did a great job.
Loren T. Lowery08/08/07
This is such a tragic happening in a family's life. It calls so many things into question. I think you stated the mother's feelings honestly and that is what made this piece so appealing. Our family has had to face the same situation and it is so, so difficult.
Kristen Hester08/08/07
WOW! I loved the honesty in this entry. So powerful. I love the title. This is so real. Thank you for sharing this. Excellent, excellent writing!
Joanne Sher 08/09/07
Such honesty and poingancy and despair. Excellent description and emotion. Wow.