Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Unimaginable Pain - A family story

There are some stories that need to be told, even if the story isn't coming from the person the story is centred around. This is one of those stories. I will be using a pseudonymn, as the person whose story this is may want to keep parts of it to himself. This story is about someone in my family, someone very dear to me, who has experienced the unimaginable and yet come out the other end strong and optimistic. This is the story of my Cousin.


Just over a year ago, my Cousin contacted us from his residence at post-secondary. He had wonderful news that just couldn't be shared coldly over text messages, but broadcast to the entire family via video messaging.

My Cousin had just gotten engaged! We were all so happy, knowing that he had been with this girl for many months, and knowing that he was happy. It was announced that they would not be married until they both finished school, and until then they were just promised to one another with love in their eyes and hope in their hearts.

A few months later, another announcement. It came with a visit back home, at a family event. A sad event, but lightened with the news which my Cousin brought. His fiancee was pregnant. Though it had not been planned, it was a welcome announcement to all involved. Everyone was so happy for him and the fiancee, and best wishes were shared across the board.

All was well for many months, the due date being foretold as being December 26th. There were no sounds of dischord, no unpleasant news, all seemed to be well and my Cousin seemed to be happy.

Then, without warning, months later while my Cousin was visiting once more, he kept withdrawn. He barely spoke without prompting and he stuck to the sidelines and the shadows. Approaching him, I asked him how he was, and he brushed it off as "fine". Undeterred, I asked him about the fiancee, thinking, hoping for happy news.

My hopes were crushed, as was his heart, with the announcement that there was trouble in paradise. The girl he had promised his heart to, who carried his child, had broken his heart. And though he had tried everything to mend the scattered remains of their bond, she left him with no communication and no updates as to the wellbeing of her self or their child.

As Christmas loomed ever nearer, he wondered how she was. How the baby was, whether the baby was going to come early (as he did) or late or even on time. He fantasized about the different things he would do with the child as it grew into a toddler, preschooler, preteen. His thoughts were rarely on much else, aside from staying connected with his friends and functioning through the holidays.

Boxing day came and went with nary a word. Texts were sent to the mother, and to her parents, with short clipped replies. Curt "no baby yet" and terse "yes she's fine" was all he heard. Days passed. The new year came to being, a fresh new start. But the burden of not knowing remained.

What could be happening? Why wouldn't she just let him know how she was doing and how the baby was doing? Why wouldn't she even tell him which hospital she would be delivering at? No answer, or short "you'll know when you need to" and nothing more.

I watched as my Cousin pulled further back, away from the family slowly, for they (well meaning as they were) would always bring up the baby. His soul couldn't hold it together for much longer. No one knew how tightly he held onto the pieces of happiness that remained. No one knew the depths of his thoughts and the loss of the memory that wasn't.

Then, on what was our recently-passed grandmother's day of birth, news! The baby was here, healthy and beautiful. A little boy. But still, my Cousin was tossed around by her and her family. Told different wards at the hospital, before finally finding out that she had left the hospital.

What a torrid, painful game she had played on what had remained of his hopes.

Yet he persevered; he perseveres still. Nothing will keep him back, nothing will hold him down and keep him from happiness.

He is strong and optimistic, and he will find a way to be a part of his child's life. The life he helped create, the life he had watched grow ever so briefly in those early months of pregnancy. The life that he had dreamt of for the last ten months.

It may take time, and it may take effort. But every moment of effort will be worth it in the end, and my Cousin knows that deep within his heart.

So he waits.


Thanks for reading.

If you have anyone in your life, or know anyone, who has experienced anything similar, give them a hug and be there for them. Don't bring it up unless they do, and don't pass on your opinion unless asked. It is a hard thing to go through, and even harder when you are forced to bring your thoughts back to the pain time and time again.

Peace, love, and hugs.

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