Primal Voices

A week from Tuesday it will be six years since I gave birth to Susanna via VBAC. I began pushing at around four thirty in the afternoon and kept pushing, to no avail, for maybe ninety minutes. We made some headway (no pun intended) and finally I received some type of inspiration from within to let out a final, guttural scream which, I believe, released her.
The “primal scream” is something I heard or read about when I was a kid in the seventies. Therapists were encouraging people to let their guts out with sounds from beneath consciousness. Nowadays, within the empty sadness which often overtakes our home, it is not unusual for deep sounds to escape amidst tears. Susanna’s father and I both cry when we want to, as hard as we want to, daily. My son, being seven years old, is in a primal state much of the time anyway. That is where the beautiful sounds you hear at the playground come from, a noisy collective of primal states.
Sometimes, when my mind is open to what is in my soul, I also have a primal voice in spoken words. It comes out sometimes, giving shape to what I need to speak beyond judgment. I am going to tell you something of myself with words that came out of my mouth a couple of weeks ago.
This Christmas, many friends, family members and neighbors contributed angel ornaments for “Susanna’s Angel Tree”, located in front of our house. Love and magic emanated from every needle. I often talked to her while alone in front of it, feeling such a strong sense of her. Once the primal voice started, and said these two things:
1. “I wish I could have saved you. I am so sorry I could not keep you alive”.
2. “Why am I here? I wish I could have traded places with you so you could have lived”.
These are things I did not know were inside of me. They are not things I knew I was saying to myself. Who wants to feel or think these things? Tragedy eventually becomes part of everyone’s reality, if they stay alive long enough. We all want to control and change what we cannot. So I stood, powerless, in front of Susanna’s tree, and said these things to her. She twinkled back her pink fairy lights and loved me anyway. She knows.

By trishfreer

Mother, writer, artist and teacher grappling with grief and loss.

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