Divorce after Infant loss – A Dash of Bitterness with my Latte


I order my usual tall, nonfat, Starbucks latté, patiently waiting for my meeting with a grieving mom.

“Oh man…here it is again.” The memories and feelings of the day he left start to zip through my mind.

“Stuff it down, Noelle. You have to. You can’t think about that now.”

As I sit, drinking my cup of deliciousness, I examine the seemingly happy married couple sitting across from me. She wears perfectly matched jewelry and rummages through her Michael Kors purse. He looks like he came from work at an Insurance company to enjoy a few moments with his beautiful bride. Gag me. My hostile feelings continue to run up, but I quickly shove them down. The bitterness is a cover up for the pain that sits in such a deep place that manifests itself in ugliness. Good grief, I am stinking ugly acting right now.

I glance outside at the birds eating the crumbs of someone’s calorie induced, blueberry oat bar and shift back into my days after Finley dying. The weeks after Finley’s death, I can barely process. I remember wanting my husband to understand my pain and just show something. Instead he went back to work designing stupid deadbolt locks. “Common,” I’ve heard, but not common to me. I had never experienced anything like that so the word common just made me want to throw something. “Take this you stupid common!!” as I pictured throwing a chair across the room. Is it common in society for women to be beaten? Yes, unfortunately. Does it make it right, No! So a battered woman doesn’t want to hear it’s common! This is same thing for divorce after infant loss.

“Bob…your grande mocha is ready” I hate when they yell that stuff.

Anyhow, I can remember the nights after he left me. The deepest, most-darkest pain I had ever known. I really didn’t think it was possible to survive it. I wanted the father of my child to be there with me. My dead, freaking child. I needed him. Where the hell was he? Where was his family? Why had no one reached out to me? What did I do wrong? He held our daughter as her body shut down, he saw her take her last breath and her eyes open as she went into heaven’s gates…how could he just leave me and her?

“This drink is way too hot I thought as I cautiously slurped on that over priced latte.”

The ceiling fan would circle around and around in my room as I rocked myself to sleep. My pillow was drenched in tears. It made my face feel disgusting. I was a sticky mess with eyes so swollen that they didn’t feel a part of my body. I cried out to God to take me. I couldn’t handle being forced to deal with this. I didn’t choose this.

I would wake up in the morning and in the first few seconds forgetting everything that happened, I would be okay…. but then I would remember. I would remember that my daughter was taken and my husband left me. My eyes would well up and that deep, guttural cry would begin. The cry like when you are a child and left at church nursery and your mom walks out. It hurt. I would erupt and I couldn’t stop for hours.

Finally my drink is cooling off. “Good thing,” I thought since I need some caffeine in a bad way.

I honestly couldn’t understand how I made it. Some would say it was the grace of God and I believed that somewhere deep down, but I still struggled, knowing God allowed me to come that close to the edge of life and death. I still struggled with feelings of abandonment, anger, and rage. I still struggled knowing the two things I always wanted in life, a marriage and a child, were taken from me or so that’s how I perceived it at first.

I watch as a group of prep school kids come pouring in wearing their perfectly ironed navy blue pants and white shirts. I wonder “have they ever struggled? Do they even understand what a life of hardship is like?” I sit back into pondering others responses to my husband leaving me. I would get so tired of people saying what a terrible person my ex husband was. It didn’t make the pain any less. My future dreams were destroyed the moment he slammed that door. The moment he walked out on me and Finley.

Those prep school kids are annoying me. They are so loud that I contemplate moving, but there is no where else to go. I begin thinking positivetly. Everyday I wake up to serve moms. I want to. I have to . I was destined to do something different and I don’t think my life could be anymore different than the friends I grew up with. Most days, I wish I could just be “normal”… Have a normal house, a normal husband, a normal kid or two.

As I finish my last sip to my latte, a beautiful yet exhausted looking mommy walks through the door. She needs help. She needs me.

I swallow my last sip along with my pain I have been running through and get up to hug her. She melts.I forget and at that moment, I am reminded that I am here for a reason and a purpose.

Shannon CalderonComment