called out in the dark

i don’t ever want you to know the noises that mothers are capable of making when they watch their babies die.  or learn that they are likely going to, or have.

i don’t ever want you to know what a mother sounds like cooing to her deceased, or as she welcomes them while simultaneously saying goodbye. i don’t ever want you to witness the speed in which a mother can rush to her child’s side, trying to beat time. you shouldn’t ever hear the raw pleads of a mother begging her child to live again / more / longer / stronger.

it doesn’t matter how old their baby is… never born; could have been should have been but won’t be alive when born; soon after having been born; years after being born; far, far, far away from times of born… it doesn’t matter how their baby leaves them… suddenly, shockingly, traumatically, gently, predictably, knowingly, choosingly…  the ache that manifests from deep within mothers as they grieve their child is the same.

it is a raunchy and sour moan, it is a breathless and crumbling shudder of a scream, it is a fist pounding, feet stomping protest of all that is unfair. it is hair pulled out in clumps, and dry mouths, and shudders, and vomit.

it is a haunting, numb, and stoic silence. it is eyes to the ceiling, trying to find the sky, lip bit, head nodding, making deals with the unknown hoping to find a way to make it all different. it is a quiet and subdued submission when all efforts have failed. it is a broken and frank  acceptance that innocence is no more.

it is a courage that begs them to parent until the end, long after they would have chosen to witness. it is a collapse at the bedside, a collapse of heart and head, it is fingers that grasp for intimacy when close is all that’s left. it is warm skin against cold skin and deep breaths where there are none.

what i do want you to know is the strength that these mothers possess.

the resiliency.

the hope and love and faith and dreams and light that carry on in them as they move through the devastation.

i want you to know that the dull, grey, forlorn eyes that appear hollow and vacant for days, months, years even, they find light that is independent of the light reflected  in their tears.

i want you to know that these women who faint and bend into contortions of grief that can only been seen to believe walk straight again, one foot in front of the other, and even catch themselves with their shoulders back and chins held high, distracted by the gifts that remain and that continue to thrive.

what i want you to know is that laughter can come back to their throats, throats that you would think would be scarred from screams, and that new can fill them up and push out fear.

i want you to know that almost always the already born remain in the sight of them and continue to be priorized and loved by them, despite all the hurt. i want you to know that sometimes, they are brave enough to make more life and other life may be born to them and welcomed and nurtured with celebration.

i want you to know that these women can be reborn themselves and can can emerge with grace that no one could have anticipated or thought conceivable.

i want you to know that if this is possible, anything is.


2 Comments to “called out in the dark”

  1. How incredibly moving, you are a great writer and a wonderful woman.

  2. That was SO hard to read. Literally through the tears and simply due to the subject matter. I almost stopped. A few times.
    Thank you for writing that. I can’t imagine those moments being a part of your work. It was the least I could do to read on. I almost ran upstairs to wake up P just to hold her close and drink up her breath and beating warmth. Not going to take that for granted any time soon.
    Good things,

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