Chapter 19: Tears In Heaven


Would you know my name

If I saw you in heaven?
Would you feel the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?
I’ll find my way through night and day
‘Cause I know I just can’t stay here in heaven

Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart, have you begging please, begging please

Tears in HeavenEric Clapton


The day after Kate moves out of the treehouse, in spite of desperately wanting to find her, I have to go back to work. James meets me at the first site and we go through the progress being made with the site foreman and the project manager. Our meetings take all morning as we both get back up to speed with the business. Christian has requested a meeting this afternoon to discuss renovations on his latest purchase, a mansion for he and Ana. I leave James to it and head over to Grey House.

Christian meets me in the foyer and we go to a cafe to talk. He is happy and enthusiastic about this project and I am trying hard not to punch his fucking lights out. All of his shit seems to have cleared and mine is just beginning. I want to yell at him for being so fucking blissfully happy. I just lost my baby you dumb fuck! And Kate won’t talk to me. Don’t you get it? I don’t fucking care!

I don’t say any of this. Instead I smile and nod and promise to talk to Gia. I feel sick about having to talk to her. Gia, whose presence in my life made Kate cry so desperately on the floor of her apartment. When I leave Christian I drive over to the apartment but no one is there. Of course, Kate is at work. Starting her new life as if nothing has happened. It is like she doesn’t care which I know isn’t true. I watched her heart break yesterday. I tried so hard to catch the pieces before they fell but she pushed and I failed. Again. I don’t know what to do.

At first I am hurt by her absence and then I convince myself she simply needs space, to grieve, to start her career. I keep trying to call her but she never responds. I keep making excuses to myself about the way she is pushing me aside. Now I am angry and desperate and I am about to knock doors down to get to her. It has been three days and this cannot go on. I cannot live without her. What we are doing now is not living. It is cold and empty and lonely and wrong. I don’t know which grand gesture is going to get through to her but I have to try.

I call Julie and arrange to go over to their house to talk. I explain everything that has happened in the past week, the club, Jack, Linc and the baby. Somehow I convince them that I was willing to do the right thing by Kate. That I still need her in my life. Julie holds me as I cry over our baby. They promise to try and help.

Thursday they call to let me know that they have failed. She still won’t see me. She still won’t talk although she gave them promises. On closer inspection we all agree that these are empty promises. She has a long way to go. They will keep trying but I can’t wait.

I plead with Ethan to let me into their apartment on Friday night then fuck the hell off so I can have some time alone with her. She isn’t back from work yet so I set about making her a romantic dinner. Candles, wine, fish in a smoked mussel sauce on a nest of steamed julienne vegetables. A chocolate souffle with cherries. Flowers and music and me. I wait and wait.

Finally she comes in around 10pm. Dinner is ruined, the candles burned down. She looks at me with wild, sad, confused eyes and when I try to touch her she backs away with her arms up.

“Katie, please. We have to talk.” My desperation brings an edge to my voice I no longer recognize. Can’t she see that I am breaking inside without her? My own tears are threatening. “I can’t. I can’t live without you, Kate. Please, don’t do this. Don’t cut me out.I need you. Please.”

She looks at me as if I have grown horns. How can she not understand that we are in this together? That we have to grieve together? Doesn’t she get that I am feeling the same pain? Not wanting to frighten her, I step towards her with my hands firmly clenched at my side. Don’t run, don’t shut me out. Please. Her hands go up to stop me from getting closer and I want to cry.

“No. Elliot, you don’t understand. I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you but I couldn’t face your pain, which was so big and all-encompassing, and then deal with my own pain as well.” I stare at her blinking to try to clear my head. What is she saying? “Your pain was just so overwhelming and I couldn’t…but I want to. I can’t do this alone anymore. I…I missed you so much. I just didn’t know how to get back to you. And then my family came and then Elena called and then…” Her words are coming fast, between sobs and I don’t understand it all.

“Babe, slow down. What are you talking about?”

Her body language is barely contained and she keeps her hands in front, palms up to ward me off. No fucking way. I am not letting her do this to us. I move closer and with every step forward she steps back. There is real fear in her face. Afraid of what? Surely not of me? The fear makes me hesitate. Her head is down, she has stopped looking at me, her body convulses with silent sobbing. I rush her, wrapping my arms around her before she falls to the ground, taking me with her.

Pulling her into my lap, we sit on the floor of her lounge, her body curled into mine and we cry. My hand goes to her face and I pull her head to my shoulder as we release our sadness and loss in a torrent of tears. My poor broken angel grips my shirt and screams against my chest, her release of pain is so strong. I rub her back in soft circles and then hold her closer, rocking our bodies in a slow trance-like rhythm. I don’t know how long it takes but her desperate moaning sobs ease eventually and I try to talk.

“Baby, I’m so sorry. So very sorry. I should never have let you dance, I should have taken you home on Saturday night. It’s all my fault. If you hadn’t been drawn into all of my bullshit then maybe this wouldn’t have happened.” Her body tenses in my arms and she is very quiet. “I just can’t take this. I can’t take being apart from you. I feel so guilty for not protecting you and the baby.”

“No, this was my fault. My body rejected our baby and there was nothing that could stop what happened. It was only a matter of time. But it hurts so much. If I think about it I can’t breathe. I don’t know how to live. I always thought I had this perfect life, too damn perfect. It turns out I’m just as defective and fucked up as the next person.”

“Baby, what are you talking about? You just overdid everything and then Jack Hyde hurt you. If it is anyone’s fault it is his and mine. I should never have told you to go into the garden.”

“Jack hurt me but not the baby. We were going to lose the baby anyway. There was nothing that we could have done differently. I should have told you sooner. I knew something was wrong. But I couldn’t have stopped it. Nothing we did changed any of it.”

“Is that what the doctor told you?” She nods and her tears start anew. I kiss her forehead and pull her close again. “You mean so very much to me and it hurts like hell to have lost our baby but it hurts even more to not have you. I just want us to grieve together. To move on together.” There is a long period of silence. She is considering what she wants and I don’t want to push. Just because I need her doesn’t mean that she needs me. But God, I want her to need me, I need her to need me. I need to feel useful.

“After talking with Jack, I convinced myself that we couldn’t be together. Linc is going to come after me and I don’t want him to associate me with you.”

“Linc is not going to get to you. He doesn’t know who you are.”

“No you don’t understand. Jack recognized me. He saw the collar. He knows who I am.”

“What the fuck, Kate? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I wanted to but the words wouldn’t come. Losing the baby changed everything and I couldn’t lose you too. I thought it would be safer for you if we stayed apart. I didn’t want to lead him to your door. After all this time I just wanted him to leave you the hell alone.”

” Beautiful girl. If Jack goes to him with this then he will know. He will come after both of us. We have to stick together. I can’t do this without you and I sure as hell am not going to let you do this without me. We’re a team, don’t you know that?”

She gives a slight smile but she is shaking.

“There is more, Elliot. Elena called me tonight. She seemed to know that I had lost the baby and she was ringing to offer her sympathy.” The horror on my face must show because Kate is quick to reassure me. “I don’t know what she thinks she was doing but I didn’t fall for it. Only…she is still really terrified of Linc.”

“The guy beat the crap out of her and then left her for dead. I am not surprised that she is scared.”

“No she is more than scared. She is petrified.”

“It doesn’t matter. We will handle Linc somehow. Right now I want to think about us.”

“I’m so sorry about the baby. I’m sorry that I couldn’t give you this.” My heart wrenches. Yes, I am sad about the baby, devastated. But my life is meaningless without Kate.

“Honey, we can try again. Maybe we can do things in what they euphemistically call the ‘right order’.” This at least brings a smile.

“I just don’t think I can forget that easily. I wanted this baby so much. All my love for you seemed to be wrapped around the idea of this little person and now…” She quietly cries.

“I know … Katie, I know. We won’t ever forget this little one.” My own tears start again and we sit holding each other and quietly crying. Eventually we come back to the present.

“Can we do something to mark his life? To remember him? I know we can’t have a funeral but perhaps there is something…”

“Honey, I think that would be wonderful. There are people who will want to be there for us. I realize that you probably haven’t forgiven me for telling your folks but I was desperate, and so was Ethan.”

She looks at me. “How did Ethan know?”

“Jason let it slip when we were following Jack Hyde the other night. He didn’t mean to but Ethan picked it up and called me on it. Your brother loves you.”

“I know. And I agree, I think everyone who knew should be a part of this.”

ooOoo

And so this is why we are in the grounds of the treehouse on Sunday afternoon with Karen, Jen, Jake, Jason, Gail, Stella, the boys, Liana, Ethan and Kate’s parents having a tree planting ceremony in memory of our unborn child. Everyone is wearing white to symbolize the purity of our child’s life. Kate looks so beautiful, so pale and drawn but always with that ethereal quality.

We start with a cleansing of our spirits. Karen and Jen have placed containers of sage in a circle on the lawn and we all stand in the center. A small fire of burning cedar is central to the group and the sage is lit from this fire. We rub our hands on the burnt sage and make a smudge on each others foreheads. While this is happening the guys all join together and sing for us.

Oh, a man is placed upon the steps, a baby cries

High above, you can hear the church bells start to ring

And as the heaviness, oh the heaviness, the body settles in

Somewhere you could hear, a mother sing
Then it’s one foot then the other as you step out on the road

Step out on the road, how much weight, how much weight?

Then it’s how long and how far and how many times

Oh, before it’s too late?

Calling all Angels, calling all Angels

Walk me through this one, don’t leave me alone

Calling all Angels, calling all Angels

We’re trying, we’re hoping, but we’re not sure how

Oh, and every day you gaze upon the sunset

With such love and intensity

Why, it’s ah, it’s almost as if you could only crack the code

You’d finally understand what this all means
Oh, but if you could, do you think you would

Trade it all, all the pain and suffering?

Oh, but then you would’ve missed the beauty of

The light upon this earth and the sweetness of the leaving

Calling all Angels, calling all Angels

Walk me through this one, don’t leave me alone

Calling all Angels, calling all Angels

We’re trying, we’re hoping, but we’re not sure why
Calling all Angels, calling all Angels

Calling all Angels, calling all Angels

Walk me through this one, walk me through this one

Don’t leave me alone
Calling all Angels, calling all Angels

We’re trying, we’re hoping, we’re hurting, we’re loving

We’re crying, we’re calling

‘Cause we’re not sure how this goes

Calling All AngelsCeltic Women

Kate and I turn the soil together, placing a dogwood tree into the ground. Then each person present comes forward to place dirt into the hole. As this is happening Julie reads out a prayer.

A Mother’s Prayer/ Affirmation After Miscarriage

In this time of loss I call upon my spirit within to guide me to my strength so that I may find peace and completion.

I will use this strength to demand of myself and others my need to grieve completely, for this will be my first step to healing.

During my time of grief I will seek guidance not only from my inner spirit but from loving persons who may offer wisdom and comfort.

I need to understand that the soul as well as the physical body needs healing and to pay attention to this. I will learn to accept that the soul may never heal completely.

I will learn to live not in fear and once again see beauty in my world and purpose in my existence.

In spite of my new knowledge that things happen that cannot be controlled, I must call upon the places within me that tell me I do have control over much of my life and use this control to aid my healing.

Let me recognize the gift in my ability to conceive and carry life however briefly.

Let me take joy in my ability to love so deeply and desire to nurture a soul unbeknownst to me.

Let me find healing in the belief that this soul knew my love for it and that that love helped it to pass to another place.

Let me honor this short life not only with my love but in finding meaning in its existence.

Let me recognize this meaning in not only my ability to survive, but in my fullest appreciation of all the moments motherhood will bring me, along with my deeper compassion and sisterhood to other women who’ve experienced loss.

Let a part of this soul be reflected in the spirit of my future children, born or adopted, so that I may know it through them.

I will listen to and trust the place in my deepest heart that tells me I will once again be reunited with this soul and will fulfill the need to hold it in my arms.

I will help myself to feel comfort in the knowledge that there is a star in heaven that belongs to me.

by Stacey Dinner-Levin

Kate and I each light a hurricane candle from the cedar fire and holding each others hand we lead everyone down to the water. Waiting for us at the waters edge are a basket of flower boats with tea light candles in the center. Everyone lights a candle from our central lamps and following our lead we get ready to let our baby go. Placing the flowers into the water we release them into the sound, watching little angels of hope bob and sway across the bay. As we all watch, Will begins to play guitar and Kate’s pure soprano voice rings out across the sound.

Fly, fly little wing

Floating Lanterns {EXPLORED}

Floating Lanterns {EXPLORED} (Photo credit: MASH POTATO)


Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven’s love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless Journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace all one word
But hold this mem’ry bittersweet
Until we meet.

Fly, fly do not fear
Don’t waste a breath, don’t shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don’t wait for me
Above the universe you’ll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won’t forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly, where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light.

FlyCeline Dion

The whole ceremony takes little more than half an hour but it offers us closure and a sense of peace amongst all of the tears. Afterward, we sit on the deck and talk over a barbecue dinner. Julie and Sam are very attentive to Kate and Ethan tries to engage everyone in conversations that don’t center on the baby. Zeus sits with his head on Kate’s lap as if he knows that she needs him close. Her hand absently pats his long fur as she seeks his comfort. There is more singing and storytelling and quiet laughter of friends and family. Julie keeps an arm around my shoulders for much of the time, letting me know that she has two sons sitting here.

“How are things with my sister.” I have been wanting to rib Ethan about it since last Saturday, knowing that once my little sister has her sights set on him he doesn’t stand a chance. He blushes furiously.

“I haven’t seen much of her since last Saturday to tell you the truth. I’m not sure it is a good idea to encourage her.”

“I thought you liked her.” Surely Mia isn’t losing her mojo.

“I do it’s just, weird, you know?”

“No, why weird?”

“Well, she’s your sister, man. And you are going to be my…” He stops and stares at me with a questioning look. “Are you still going to be my brother-in-law?” His voice is a stage whisper.

Kate hears and stands quickly excusing herself to take plates from the table. This confuses me. Surely she doesn’t think my feelings about this have changed? Then I wonder if perhaps I should be worried about her feelings. What if she was only talking marriage for the sake of the baby? I mean, she has her focus firmly on her career now. Where do I figure in all of this?

“I don’t know. Nothing has changed for me. I can’t speak for Kate.” And I feel a little ill that I can’t bank on her still wanting to marry me. “I’m not sure that should stop you from seeing my sister though. No matter what happens with me and Kate, if you like her you should go for it. Just remember that there is no guarantee with Mia. She marches to the beat of her own drum and nothing I could say would change that. The only person she is ever likely to listen to is Christian.”

“Yeah, well that’s what has me worried. If it were just you watching out for her then maybe. But Christian is one scary dude. I get the impression that he would knife me through the heart if I even look at Mia the wrong way.”

I laugh. “Yeah, well, Christian is a protective bastard. All you have to do is not fuck it up.”

“Easier said man. This is Mia we are talking about and I am only human.” We toast each other with our beer bottles at that thought.

My eyes are looking for Kate inside the house. I have this very real fear that she is going to shut down and run again. Although we talked well into the night on Friday and then she stayed with me last night here at the treehouse, I still don’t have any guarantees. She hasn’t agreed to move back out here which given the commute to the city I can understand but I want her to, so very much.

ooOoo

When I go inside to look for her I can’t see her anywhere on the ground floor. I check the pool and then our room. Finally I go up to the office and see her standing, arms folded, studying the wall of the war room. She turns to me as I walk in, wiping a tear from her eyes.

“I can’t seem to shut my mind off.” Her weak smile barely reaches her eyes. “I keep going over everything in my head, repeating conversations, patterns. It seems to help me to…deal.”

Wanting to wrap my arms around her but not wanting to crowd her I hold my position at the top of the staircase. She is bathed in soft late afternoon sunlight that creates a halo of gold around her head. Her eyes are luminescent green, the color of a troubled ocean but swathed in a sadness that breaks my heart. I had hoped that the ceremony would bring her some sense of calm but I can see that she has a long way to go. We both do.

“Kate, I know that you probably don’t want to talk about this but I really think that you should move back out here. It will be easier to keep you safe if we are together.”

She shakes her head. “That’s not terribly practical since my apartment is only a few blocks from my office. I have Ethan with me and you can come and stay whenever you want to.”

“Do you want me to?”

“Yes, very much so.” Thank God, this is something at least. “And I can be here with you and Zeus on the weekends. If you will have me.”

“Baby, I would spend every moment of every day with you. You know that.”

“Not terribly practical, but yeah, I get that.” We have edged toward each other slowly through this exchange and she takes the last few steps into my waiting arms. I want to talk about getting married but I can sense that with everything that has happened, this would be rushing her recovery. I hold back. The last thing I want to do is scare her off. Perhaps it would be good for us to go slow. To court each other properly.

“So did you come up with anything new in the case?” She steps back from me with a little frown and turns back to the wall.

“There is something but I can’t quite connect it.” Her hand reaches up and removes the photo of Dad with Mom and baby Mia. She runs her fingers over the fading images.

“When Elena confronted us in the garden she said something about us not knowing the extent of her reach with your family. I have been wondering what she meant by that.”

I shrug as I take the photo from her hand and study it. Dad is holding Mia, not Mom. They are both smiling and Elena is in the background although she looks nothing like the hard-nosed bottled-blonde domme that we know today. She looks somehow softer, more innocent. Probably before Linc destroyed her.

“She must be 19 or 20 in this photo. I don’t think I realized just how long Mom and Dad have known her.”

“When she called me the other night she talked about losing a child. Like she had gone through miscarriages too.”

“Perhaps she did. Maybe that is why she never had children of her own. Maybe she couldn’t carry them to term.”

“As much as I hate her, as a woman and a mother who has suffered loss, I feel sorry for her if that is the case. I just don’t know why she felt the need to call me. There was no love lost between us on Saturday night.”

“She was off-balance then because of what happened. Perhaps she hasn’t quite made her way back on balance. She might have thought she could worm her way back into our good graces by befriending you in your hour of need.”

“Wow, that’s pretty cynical even for you.” She raises an eyebrow as she looks at me.

“Yeah, well, she doesn’t have a great track record so nothing would surprise me where Elena Lincoln is concerned.”

“By the way, did you know that on Mia’s adoption records, only your mother is named?”

“No, but I guess there must be a reason for that. Perhaps that isn’t so unusual.”

“Perhaps, although on yours and Christian’s both of your parents are named. I don’t know if that is a difference in Washington and Michigan adoption laws. I never got a chance to complete that research.”

Perhaps she is right. That is kind of unusual. I wonder if we should be having this conversation with my parents but then my mother doesn’t know anything about the current situation and Dad seems to want to keep it that way.

“Maybe we should ask my Dad. Although I don’t know why it would be important.” If I hadn’t been looking at Kate at that very moment I wouldn’t have seen the tell. She is holding something back here. What do you know that you aren’t sharing?

“Mmm…maybe. I don’t even know if this is significant.” Kate, what are you hiding?

5 thoughts on “Chapter 19: Tears In Heaven

  1. […] Chapter 19: Tears in Heaven…Read More Here […]

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  2. Atterbury ( Liz) says:

    Oh Sasha, taking a big breath, this chapter is so special and so emotional. I too have experienced this loss, and understand Kate’s withdrawal from everyone for a bit, the sad eyes of others is the worst. You addressed this so beautifully. Happy that they are healing together now and looking forward into this enticing plot. Thank you for the special tears, I loved your words! Liz

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    • Thanks so much Liz. It is amazing hearing everyone’s story of loss and I feel quite humbled that I have managed to capture the emotion for you and this deep sense of responsibility to not leave everyone feeling ripped apart by their own memories. Thank you so much for sharing and crying. It took me a longer time to write this chapter because of wanting to get it ‘right’. It is good to know that I got close. I am not sure if I will get to posting another chapter in the next couple of days so I hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe Xmas. Love Sasha xoxo

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  3. Kaz says:

    I know that too sad feeling too…. You have captured it so right… Had my worries that something had happened to Elliott… Just glad she let him back in. He is a bit too special to let go. Looking forward to what is coming next now they are together. x

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    • Hey Kaz, it seems that every comment I am getting, both here and on fanfic is about how everyone has felt this at some point. I am sorry that this has happened to you and I hope that this doesn’t bring back too much sadness. I couldn’t let anything happen to Elliot for that reason – no one wants to feel that bad leading up to Xmas, especially when reading is supposed to make us feel better and help us escape! I think that they are working out that they are stronger together. Have a fabulous Xmas. Love Sasha xoxo

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