Friday, May 20, 2016
Goodbye Friday: A Mother Mourns a Miscarried Baby
"In the following weeks I pursued grief in every dark corner, on every flower petal, in any suggestive melody. I needed to feel all the dimensions of losing this much-wanted child. We told our children, friends, my parents. I cried in public and in private. I lit candles, picked flowers, said prayers, wore black. I moved slowly through the day, hoping to avoid accidents due to clumsiness, and also to slow things down mentally and spiritually. In the evening, I sat in the dark in our once-and-not-future nursing chair, listening to a sleeping Rose who made no sound. Each night in the bath, I spoke a few words out loud to the baby. Before long, my most urgent messages were expressed, and so I stopped. With a small number of trustworthy people I shared certain details....In chasing grief, I did not mean to disappear or wallow. I meant to find its dance partner, healing. I have made the mistake in the past of burying grief. I don’t want to walk with a limp for the rest of my life. In my travels with sorrow I pictured a series of nesting boxes. In the smallest, innermost box, I placed the core loss: I will never meet this already-beloved child. In the next box, I placed corollary losses: I won’t be pregnant, give birth, or breastfeed again. I won’t have another daughter or see another personality unfold in that glorious period from birth to age seven...I had often wondered how my parents recovered from the loss of a child; I wonder still, only with a new drawer of feelings thrown permanently open. "