“And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.”
― Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year
I fumbled around with the idea of redemption yesterday, wrote nothing. Bits were churning in my head as I lay awake at night.
The Shawshank Redemption immediately came to mind. The scene where Andy Dufresne literally crawls out of the shit hole and holds his arms up to the thunder and lightning and downpour of rain, finally free.
I am unsure what would release me, make me free. Quite possibly, nothing. After losing Nelle, I thought that another child would balance the heavy debt of grief. Instead, it was made worse by losing Iris. It felt like a supreme error in judgment to have wanted another child to replace the one I lost. That perhaps I had committed a serious sin of the order of the universe. The universe growled back to me: “No. It does not work that way.” And still I wonder.
How can I redeem myself?
Sometimes I blame myself. If I had not wanted more, this never would have happened. Because I wanted, this pain was inflicted upon my family.
In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne was in prison, serving a life sentence for two murders. Two people were dead, but he did not commit the crime. He refused to accept the life sentence he had been handed. He then spent 19 years carving a hole in the wall to free himself.
Perhaps I expect too much from myself. Perhaps this is only the beginning of a 19 year journey of carving a hole in the prison wall to reach my own redemption: forgiving myself for wanting.