Name

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I have to take a break before finishing Bea's birth story. What came after she was born is a little more difficult to write so plainly. It deals a lot with *feelings* and those are a little harder to recall after a year and two months. It’s not an emotional thing, I just want to be honest.

For posterity.

I was thinking of something else today- a simple little idea that has been rooting itself in my head. The more it roots, the more dirt it disturbs.

No one says her name.

To clarify- when I say no one, I mean no one outside of the people who live in my house- and even they use it too sparingly... all except for my littlest guy, who says it daily- how I love him for remembering her with me.

I would love to hear her name. I would love to have someone else say it, unbidden. I would love for someone to say something to me, maybe at work, and reference her. It's a beautiful name. We chose it with such care. I love to say her name.

Beatrix.

She brings joy.

I wrote a note, when I went back to work. I invited people to ask about her. No one did- but it was ok, it was so new- I didn't expect anyone to say anything then. I thought it was just too soon. I was new to this baby loss game. I didn't realize that no one would EVER say her name again.

Beatrix.

She brings joy.

I post updates on facebook, mention her name often. The majority of people who respond to the posts are other baby loss moms. Once in a while a friend or family member will *like* a status, or post a note. Occasionally, I’ll get a private message from someone asking me why I don’t talk to them any longer (because you said something that was so awful, that every time I think of you I feel pain,  but I can’t bring myself to unfriend you- you were part of the me I used to be. I hope (delude myself) that I will get back there someday.) They have a lot to say about football and Farmville and horoscopes. But I want to hear her name.

Beatrix.

She brings joy.

I have healed enough to understand that people may be frightened of hurting me. I have healed enough to understand that people may be saddened themselves by her passing. I understand- but she isn't an abstract idea. She isn't a "dead baby." She is very much alive, to me. I see her in everything I do.

Maybe that's the problem. If I would have invited everyone into the hospital room as she lay dying, they would have seen that she was so worth talking about. Her eyelashes were long, and sat so perfectly against her cheek. There was a peace in being the guardian of someone so fragile. The ordinary in life became extraordinary.

While I was pregnant, I spent time playing music to her- everything I could think of. I wanted her to hear it all….. Elvis, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Eminem, Beethoven… I tried to eat everything she would be missing because she would not be coming home. I talked to her. I asked her to hang on. For me. I told her I loved her. A lot. I tried to fit a whole life in 34 weeks. She missed Easter and Christmas- but she was with us for each of our birthdays. This meant so much to me. She mattered. I still need to hear her name.

Beatrix.

She brings joy.

It rolls so sweetly off of your tongue. It makes you think of rabbits and bonnets. Geese and the color blue.

It makes me think of a small girl that changed my life. It makes me recall that I was the mother of the mysterious SHE. I was the mother of a woman once. I was the mother of this prefect small being who inspired so many people to think of life differently- even if it was for a short time.

If everyone could just see that, they would not be able to resist talking about her, saying her name.

Beatrix.

She brings joy.

I have a hunger for those letters now. I want to paint them on walls everywhere- leave graffiti. People on the street will ask one another- “who is this Beatrix?”

I did it once- I scratched her name in the bench in the baseball dugout at the local high school. Maybe someday, some handsome boy will see it. Maybe he will wonder who she is- this mysterious Beatrix. He’ll say her name quietly, and wonder what she looks like. I could tell him that she had red hair. That her lips were absolutely perfect. I could tell him that I wish he could have met her but that she has gone away and won’t be coming back. He would go on his way, speaking her name to other people- talking about the girl that got away. He would be saying her name.

Beatrix.

She brings joy.

Her name resonates. It is solid and trustworthy. It suits saints and sinners alike. It will not disappoint anyone. It will not leave them cold. It will not leave me sad. I would like to hear you say it.

Her name is Beatrix.

And she brings joy.

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