I haven’t been able to write or think about my blog much this past week, my husband went through the special circle of torture that is kidney stones, and I had to care for him and our 3 girls. I had forgotten exactly how grueling being the sole parent can be, and learned that not only can I eat, drink coffee, bounce a fussy baby and tend an upset 2 1/2 year old; I can also help my husband as he is wracked with terrible pain and put into and altered mental state from pain medications. I have never felt more exhausted, not even during my all night baby tending while he worked the overnight shift. Today is the first day in 10 that he has felt human again, and his pain is easing, allowing him to be up and helping a bit at a time.
I told him today that I felt like this ordeal taught me something, and helped me connect with a Goddess that I had felt distant from in the past. I felt as if I could see what Sigyn had gone through while holding the bowl over Loki as the venom dripped onto His face. In the past I had felt as if Her perspective and story was hidden to me, so little of Her essence survives in the lore. I knew She suffered along with Loki in this, but had never really felt close to Her in my life. Until now.
I ached and cried, wishing there was something I could do to stop the pain, to end the torturous agony that gripped my husband’s body and seemed to tear apart his insides. My body throbbed as I raced to make sure there was food and water for him if he needed it, and making sure he could rest so the simple act of holding our baby wouldn’t send him into crippling pain. He tried not to ask for much, and mostly slept in a drug induced slumber as the shards of waste etched inflammation along its path out of his body. I wept in the shower from sheer exhaustion, both physical, and mental. It felt like my beloved husband was gone, and I was alone. I had to care for each of our children, regardless of if I could or not, I had no choice but to keep going because they needed me to.
My duty and burden was to try and help my husband as he snapped at me during the worst of the pain, offering only my love and support in the face of this all-consuming beast gnawing on his body without ceasing. Seeing him go through this only reaffirmed that I would move mountains for his benefit, but the strain of his illness was as close to holding a venom filled bowl as I have come thus far. I had to be strong for him, and our girls because I needed to be, and I couldn’t imagine giving up even at the worst moments.
You might ask how this relates to Loki or Sigyn, but surviving this helped me learn Her perspective more than any piece of writing could. I can understand Her desire to stay despite watching Her husband bent in agony beneath the unending dripping of venom that often filled the bowl too quickly, leaving trails or acid burns on Her hands and arms. I can see how Her knees would have throbbed from kneeling on the hard, stony ground beside Loki, trying to murmur loving words or distract Him as the moment came to empty the bowl. How Her heart felt as if it would split in two as His cries and screams of pain followed Her throughout Her tasks, echoing in Her mind as Her tears flowed along with each drop of poison.
How She felt alone, stripped of Her spouse, Her children and Her life, with only this twisted facsimile of a relationship left. I cannot truly fathom what She felt after losing Her sons, or the disgust and horror that the bindings holding Loki in place were the remnants of Their sons innards. I can only begin to empathize that with Her, by having struggled through the ordeal of this past week with my family. Thinking of Her strength and sacrifice helped me be able to keep going, to get up even as my entire body ached with exhaustion and pain, to answer the cries of my 3 month old who needed to be nursed, to play pretend with my 2 year old who wanted to dance, to stretch my brain to assist my oldest with her homework, and to offer my best to them as each day went by. To make sure that there was food to eat, clean clothes to wear, dishes to eat off of, and changing dozens of diapers. Knowing that I wouldn’t walk away no matter how hard it got, because of how much I loved my family, even as my mind, body, and spirit screamed for a break, a shower, to sit down.
The story of Sigyn and Loki helped me as my husband writhed in pain, snarling as I offered him food and drinks, or a loving touch when he could stand physical contact. It shielded my heart as my husband snapped in anger when trying to find some information or alternative medicine that could aid in his recovery, knowing that the pain reduced him to a feral animal ready to know off its legs to get out of the trap. Except the trap was his body, something no amount of gnawing could create an escape.
I feel a closer bond to my family after all of this, even though I feel like a dish rag wrung of every last drop of moisture. I have been gentle with myself for the past few days, just allowing my mind to rest, even if my body cannot. Once I am able to, I will be working on creating a permanent shrine to Loki, Sigyn, and Their children. Until now I have only had a few scattered items or offering bowls for Them, but now I want to carve a space for more than that.