One

One year ago today, we lost you.

I remember the hospital, the nurses – thieves of slumber throughout the night – checking that bloody beeping blue machine, checking my IV drip, inserting the misoprotol. Waiting for my child to drop and be taken away.

Contractions. Broken water. Panic of a new mom. Birth canal. Pushing. A silent baby.

We held you, our beautiful, perfect Henry. We were afraid to handle you too much. You were so, so broken. Born with limbs jutting the wrong way. So frail. You were gone, but we dared not hurt you more, our precious son. A new mom who left the hospital without her child. A father without his second son.

Now, memories. Memorabilia. A few photos. Your footprints, and the hat they put on your head that still has some of your blood. Ashes in an urn I made you.

You are long gone, but you will never, ever, ever be forgotten. Where are you now?

I love you, Henry. My first love, my first child. And I miss you every day.

Once year equals 365 excruciating days without you. Happy birthday, my sweet Henry.

Photo on 13-05-02 at 3.22 PM

When friends lose their babies

On this side of the fence, the grass is crinkly, brown and dead. It’s spread out over a vast space in irregular,  ugly little patches. The flowers are wilted if there were any in the first place. It’s raining, and tall, gloomy trees cast ominous shadows over everything. Surrounding you are deep, dark caves. It’s not pretty, but it’s safe. Nothing can hurt us here because we’ve already experienced the worst scares and the worst pain life can dish out.

(The chorus of this song doesn’t fit well here: “What kind of paradise am I looking for? I’ve got everything I want, but still I want more.” Fuck that. We want our babies. But the rest of the song is very fitting.)

We don’t climb over the fence from happy expectation to the field of bereavement by choice. We’re catapulted and find ourselves in an unknown land, disoriented, with sparks of well-meaning encouragement flung at us from people standing in a sunny field who have a very detached, vague concept, but can’t see where we’re standing and what’s surrounding us. (I try to dodge these sparks, because they mean nothing, unless they’re gently handed to me from people not in a rush to make me feel better, and are there to actually understand and comfort.)

There’s thousands upon thousands of us standing in places like this. And when our friends join us, it’s not a happy occasion. It makes us tear up the dead grass, fling it at the sky, and fill the air with cries of “WHY? WHY THEM? WHY NOW? WHY THIS WAY?”

It’s ridiculous, impossible, and unfathomable how many pregnancies fail. Twenty-five per cent of them, actually. I guaran-frigging-tee you know a good handful of people who have lost a baby, an infant, or can’t conceive. They may not let you know about it, but the next time you’re with a group of people, look around you, and just assume (without saying anything, of course), that 25% of those  present have had life, dreams, desires and hope ripped from them, tragically.

When a friend joins this side of the fence because they had to say goodbye to their precious, perfect and enormously loved child, no matter what stage of development they were in, it takes everything in me not to fling myself to them and smother them with the things that helped me inch forward in the days following my own loss. But that would be really a really dumb thing to do. Grief is a slow drip, and it’s not my job to gather the evidence of pain to show I understand. I’d be a fool to do that. Only they understand what they’re going through. I went through my own loss, and only I know what that was like. Now is a time to listen and listen and listen and love. That’s all.

Image courtesy of wallpaperstock.net

Image courtesy of wallpaperstock.net

Grief nostalgia??

I was getting supper ready for my bunnies and listening to Vanessa by Grimes when I was hit with a wave of nostalgia for my intense and dark period of grief not long after I lost Henry.

I’m trying to understand it.

It could be that it’s a time when I felt closer to Henry than I do now.

It was autumn. We were waiting to collect Henry’s ashes from Mount Royal cemetery  I did nothing but grieve, cry, blog, and think about Henry in those days.

I think about my son every day. That hasn’t changed. Will never change.

The sudden onset of nostalgia took me by surprise.

Why would I have feelings of longing for a time in my life drenched in tears, living in a cocoon, wanting desperately to join my son, and feeling like my life was worthless if I couldn’t hold my baby? (rhetorical question!! please don’t try to understand it or explain it to me. If i dont’ get it, this complex sea of emotions, then you certainly won’t! Thanks!)

It’s a pleasant experience. Remembering being immersed in the shadow of my baby. Even if it’s marred with sharp grief on the jagged cliffs of pregnancy loss. Maybe this is the part of the grieving process I was told would turn to bittersweet.

Thanks Grimes.