Monthly Archives: November 2009

a morbid topic deserving of its own post

A few weeks ago I was an “expert” on a panel of other experts about an historical topic. (My expertise came about when an official expert dropped out last minute.)

At a certain point, someone mentioned that President Abraham Lincoln had sat with the body of his dead son, Willie, for quite a long time after he passed away in the White House. Then someone else mentioned other “creepy” habits among bereaved parents and family members from the past. Without a second thought, I looked dead on into the faces of those who’d called it “creepy,” and said, “I don’t think it’s strange behavior at all. I think it’s a natural part of grieving to struggle with leaving your child’s body behind in a cold grave. In fact, it wasn’t unheard of in the 19th century for people who were having a hard time accepting a loved one’s passing to have them dug up for one last look. ‘Creepy’ isn’t really a helpful word for understanding what was going on.” And so….from there I kept my historian’s monologue and dialogue going, but in my mind I went elsewhere.

I have spent considerable time wondering and worrying about the natural processes of decay. It’s hellishly hard to come to terms with the reality that a little body you had hoped to nurture and see grow is now in the ground. I wouldn’t act on it, for religious and socially ordained reasons, but it’s not inconceivable to me that if given the chance somehow, I would have wanted to see what happened to Natan’s body after he was buried. I’m glad he was just put in a traditional pine box but now that I’ve been hearing about green burial options, I worry that we could have chosen a better environmental option.

As soon as we decided to get pregnant, I began thinking and worrying about the best choices for the environment and nurturing his little body.  But I only checked into diaper services and make-your-own baby food kits. Environmentally friendly infant-size caskets weren’t one of my registry options.

Pumpkin pie and wine

That’s what I’m looking forward to for the next few days. 

Thanks to all for the kind thoughts on my last post, and I am sorry for vanishing. Not surprisingly, the bouts of illness have sent me into a frenzy of periods of no (productive, professional) activity followed by bouts of crazy activity. I still don’t know what’s going on, but really, so long as I am very strict about eating in very small amounts, of very low fat bland foods, I am okay. I really have no answers about what’s going on–all ultrasounds and super nuclear tests and cultures come up clear. I will keep searching I suppose when I have a chance to do more than function. My sister is suggesting a simple chiropractic adjustment. I’m willing to try it. We shall see. This makes me seem like things aren’t good. Things are fine.

tummy ache and tired

Oh man. I am so tired and feeling so badly. I thought I was doing better, and then my parents came with all kinds of junk food and I ate some, like a moron. Now I feel so utterly horrible. Exhausted, my throat aches, my chest aches, my stomach throbs, even my eyes are burning. All this from some “peanut brittle popcorn,” and squash ravioli. My last test showed nothing of significance, just once again a slight “shadow” on my gallbladder that no one would notice if I weren’t complaining of issues. I suppose I will call the doctor with this new experience and see what he has to say. Hopefully they’ll give me a referral somewhere where I’m likely to get some answers.