The conversations I’ve had the past few weeks have just been so warm and loving, so heartbreaking and lovely at the same time. This post is dedicated to all of those mothers and fathers who hurt with me, who hurt with each other, who have un-held babies and who have babies who were held. You know who you are.
When you’re a parent you fear a lot of things. You fear the impact that you have on your children, which ultimately will determine the impact that they have on this world. You want your kids to be upstanding citizens, you want them to be bright…or at least not stupid. It would be nice if they could change the world but as long as their world is okay you can live with that. You want to leave this world a better place than when you found. And really one of the ways you can do that is through your children. Yes we can all do little things but you multiply yourself, you create something and what happens to that creation or what that creation does seems to say a lot about what kind of parent you are, what kind of talent and expertise and gifts you brought to the table.
You don’t want your child to be forgotten, YOU don’t want to forget your child. Sure, you don’t ever forget your own offspring but somehow you do, you forget what those little laughs sound like as they get older, you forget what their tiny little baby voice sounded like, the words they said, the funny things they did, you DO forget. And When someone is so tiny and doesn’t tell stories yet, doesn’t have a laugh or a giggle yet, doesn’t do anything…It’s easier to forget. So you search through their clothing for that smell, that one article of clothing may have not have been washed yet and still smells like their sweet little baby smell. You those tiny little diapers that seem to appear in forgotten spaces, remembering just how tiny that baby was that was meant to wear them. You look at your family and watch as they giggle and laugh and enjoy one another and YOU giggle and laugh and enjoy them too, but then you do remember something, you remember that there should be one more.
And then what if the world forgets. What if the world never even realized? What if people don’t understand? On some level everyone understands. We’ve all suffered loss of some sort, a job, a friend, our parents, a child, a miscarriage, the inability to conceive. And while every loss is different, the pain is still the same. And the energy that we exert to make sure that our person leaves a mark in this place, we want their name everywhere, we want it on every tongue, to be spoken, to be written, to be engraved, to be imprinted. To be remembered.
I want people to know that she was here– she was tiny and she was quiet and she didn’t physically do much, but she was here. She existed. And then I think of all of the mothers out there who have suffered miscarriages and I feel their pain on some level because we are all missing what could have been, what should have been, the dreams we had for those babies, the named and the unnamed, the ones just called baby or just call mine. We all grieve and we all long for, search the unknown and we look for blame and we look for answers, and we try to be better.
Most of all we want people know that there was a life. There were dreams. And we knew those babies. Whatever impact they have on the larger world begins to not matter, because the impact they had on our hearts, on our bodies, for better or worse we are forever changed.