reconciling eros and thanatos

Eros…the life instinct.
This afternoon, after laboring for many hours right along with her courageous mom and dad, baby Addison Rose entered this world, and I, as their doula, was an awe-struck witness to this miracle.

Thanatos…the death instinct.
This afternoon, my grandpa doggedly forged a painful path out of his house to get to the barber’s for a hair cut, a hair cut that my dear grandma believes he was grimly determined to get for a particularly painful reason.**

 Eros.

Thanatos.

The life instinct.

The death instinct.

I can’t reconcile the two. 

My heart is broken with joy over the birth of a baby girl
My heart is ripped painfully in two with gripping fear for my grandpa’s future. 

Dear God,
Please bless the life of a precious little girl born to today.

Dear God,
Please bless and preserve the life of my precious grandpa. 

A very weary mommy and daddy cannot imagine tonight how their lives ever existed without their pink-wrapped bundle.

A very weary family can’t imagine life without their patriarch, their rock.

**I just talked to my mom, who just went out to my grandparents’ house, and while he is going to go to the hospital again in the morning, she thinks that my grandma is possibly projecting her worst nightmare onto activities that are, in fact, innocent.  Perhaps she is being “dramatic,” but no matter what, the fear we constantly walk through is sickeningly palpable.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by manhattandoula on December 13, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    This is a beautiful entry, esp. considering your sleep deprivation. Life is unbearably beautiful and unbearably painful at the same time. *sigh* I’m sorry about your grandpa, and I would love to help make your pain go away.

    Reply

  2. What an earthy, rugged and eloquent post, Jill. My face is crinkled in pain for you right now. The blessing of new life simply DOES NOT discount the fact that we were NOT meant to experience death-ours or anyone else’s. It wasn’t in the plan. It’s not what we’re made for. I’m sorry that life smells of it right now for you and your family. I wish I could take the weight from you, friend. I really, really do.

    Reply

  3. the day after Chloe was born, my friend Amy was murdered. (she was actually Tammi’s best friend.) after the funeral Tammi came over, held Chloe and just wept. i could swear that’s why Tammi and Chloe still have an unspoken bond. every birthday, those of us who knew Amy, realize how much time has passed since she walked among us.

    i am working on a meditation/poem right now that is about all the things i want to ask God when i get to heaven. lately i’ve noticed how different my list looks as i’ve “grown up”. i keep arriving at purely mystic answers to my questions—which sometimes comforting, sometimes excrutiating to this earthbound creature.

    the best i can do is pray for you and your family. you are on my list.

    Reply

  4. Posted by chill24 on December 14, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    joy and sorrow…what a necessary yet bizarre combination.
    miss you.

    Reply

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