Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mrs. Elkins

Five weeks ago I delivered a dead baby and had to tell him good bye. It's only been five weeks. I try very hard to remember that when I'm having a hard time which is pretty often. It seems like a very long time ago.

I'm tired of having emotions. I'm worn out.

I still can't believe this has happened. I'll never be able to accept it.

I keep thinking about Mrs. Elkins. Mrs. Elkins lived with her two children, her sister and the sister's son. And she was cracked. Truly off her rocker. Clearly, the sister was the sane one who took care of the family. I knew this family because I had the sister's child, Glen, in my kindergarten class years ago.

Mrs. Elkins was constantly pregnant. Only she really wasn't. She would talk on and on about pregnancy symptoms and tell you she was due over the summer but the next year there was never a baby. Sometimes she was "pregnant" with twins. The next year when we asked to see the "twins" they were always home sleeping. Once she came to school wearing a dirty bubblegum machine ring that had stones missing and said she had her man "right where she wanted him" but that she wouldn't let him touch her because if he did, she always got pregnant. When she went on like this the sister would just roll her eyes. One time I asked Glen if the new baby kept him up at night and he asked me what I was talking about.

We were never unkind to Mrs. Elkins to her face but a lot of fun was had by the teachers at her expense. We would deliberately ask her questions about her pregnancy trying to trip up her story. Then, we'd compare notes about what she'd said and laugh. I'm ashamed of that now.

I can't help but wonder what sent Mrs. Elkins into her own version of reality. If anything could drive a woman there, it would be having to bury a child. I wish I'd been kinder to her.

I understand now what a comfort a pretend world would be. I'm tired of fighting reality and trying to accept it. I wish I could create my own reality where I'm still pregnant and Sweet Pea is still alive. It would be so easy to slip to a cracked place where I'm still happy. It would be such a relief.


  1. wow....this story of Mrs. Elkins just got me. It's such a sad truth of what others had to go through before it was somewhat "okay" to talk about our losses. Wishing you could have a Mrs. Elkins in your life to connect with and talk to about what you're going through now. ((hugs))

  2. Wow- this story is so sad. It does make you wonder what sent her "over the edge." Everything I think to say sounds so trite and is untrue. I don't know how hard this is. I can only imagine and hurt for you. Keep writing and letting out some of the pain. We'll keep reading and caring.

  3. How sad. I too wonder what she had been through that lead her to that point. That said I know that sometimes the desire to just check out of reality is big and maybe it's ok to for a while but we'd all miss you and I'm sure many others would as well if you did it on a permanent basis. Hugs to you.

  4. The fact that you have more compassion for Mrs. Elkins is because love is reaching into you and expanding your heart even in the midst of pain. You will surprise yourself with the amount of love and compassion that you will eventually be capable of. Nothing will ever take the pain away, but the love will grow exponentially.

  5. I would be surprised if we all didn't have regrets like Mrs Elkins for one reason or another.
    Sending you love

  6. Grief is such a horrible, painful and exhausting emotion to deal with - it's easy to understand why you'd hate it. It gets better, but it never goes away. Maybe we just learn to live in spite of it? I don't know.

    Poor Mrs. Elkins. I wonder if she had to deal with the loss of a child, too, or if she was just crazy to start with.

  7. I think of things along these same lines often, things I regret thinking, saying, doing because I was ignorant and naive. I feel for Mrs. Elkins; she's lucky to have her sister looking out for her.

  8. As a mental health provider specializing in serious and persistent mental illness, I've seen many Mrs. Elkins. Most don't have family members to care for them and end up being abused, tormented scapegoats in society. I'd say your Mrs. Elkins fared better than most. But listening to all the stories, there is often a traumatic event (or many) in their histories.
    As tempting as a 'break' might seem, believe me when I tell you it is no peaceful picnic being delusional or psychotic. Its painful, confusing and terrifying in its own ways, and you can't just snap back to 'real life' when you want to. Far healthier to experience and work through your grief, and find peace and joy that is still out there waiting to be claimed.
    When you're ready. It will be there.

  9. My heart breaks. There is so much damn pain in the world.