I need to remember that she was, not because I am, but because He is.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I watched this today. It was probably a mistake.

I began with a miracle baby story- one of those where the baby who was declared "incompatible with life" ended up surviving . It made me feel hopeful about the world- who doesn't love a little bit of the miraculous in the morning?

But then I continued. I wanted more- more miracles, more surviving.

That's generally not the case, though, when dealing with an "incompatible with life" diagnosis.

As I watched, I cried, and I grieved along with these families as they told their stories- that moment when they learned that their baby would be much more fragile than they had ever anticipated. The moment where they had to simultaneously hold tight and let go.

And inside of the videos and images there was a familiarity. Things that no "normal" person would ever recognize.  

The fact that a number of babies were not diapered- why diaper a baby who will never eat, much less digest and pass waste?

The fact that there were entire families in the room- generations upon generation, well beyond the usual three person limit allowed by most hospitals- because this is going to be the one and only chance to cherish this baby, this side of heaven. 

 The fact that mom was given the baby immediately after birth, even while still in the operating room, on the operating table, with no concern about the side effects of medications possibly causing mom to drop the baby- because if the baby dies before the doctor finishes sewing mom up, she will never have the opportunity to tell the baby she loves her, and that she is so glad she came.

I began this post with what was written above, fully intending to catalog all of the ways that a terminally ill baby is brought into the world. It would have been an organized list of the things that I saw and felt needed to be put down on paper for others to see- so that the uninitiated could fully view what went on in a hospital room when a baby dies. At least, so that they could catch a glimpse. 

Compartmentalizing (listing) things makes it easier to push them aside. 

It makes it easier to push back the parts of these events that I am not willing to confront.

What I really feel compelled to write about is the fact that it's not about lists, or the box full of stuff. It's not about the photographs and tiny footprints, or the way that the doctors treated me, or the fact that no one really seems to get that what was lost has created such a large hole in my heart that I will never be the same again.

It's about her. 

The life that she lived.

The life that she lived.

I let this sink into me for a few minutes this morning.

It's about the life she lived.

Both inside and out of the womb, she was a quiet girl.

I remember her tiny movements. Those small jerks that let me know that she was there. I felt "phantom" movements long after she was gone. She took up an enormous amount of space in the world, for such tiny bodied being.

Well before we thought of her as "alive" she lived.

She lived her own secluded life- a life that I only have minimal knowledge of- a life of sleeping and waking, floating and dreaming.  A life that I did not bring into being. 

Her life was separate from my life.

She had her own belongings, her own name, and her own distinct personality- which was amply evident during ultrasounds. 

She had her own soul. I forget that sometimes- that we are not bodies with souls, but rather souls with bodies. 

She was a human being, and her life had merit on its own terms- and sometimes, I get so caught up in the "me, me, me" motions of grief that her life gets lost.

It's not about me.

It never was.

Each life makes such a difference in the world, and one small pin point of light can bring clarity to darkness. 

Her life mattered. 

Because she mattered as a separate entity, wholly distinct from who I am.

Her light was so magnificent.

Her light is still magnificent- that’s what needs to be spoken of. That’s the most important part of her story. My Beatrix has substance. Her weight is immeasurable. She was created not because I needed a baby, or because I wanted a baby. She had her own purpose here and that fact has been overshadowed, in my life, for quite a long time now.

My grief is about me. 

Her life is about her. 

Those are two distinct items and as much as they may seem to be related, they aren’t. 

I need to remember that at times. 

I need to remember that it’s not about why she died but rather, why she lived. 

I need to stop concentrating on what’s missing and focus more on what I’m missing. 

*** the image came from a tumblr account, and there was no attribution.....  if it's yours, I will gladly remove it. :)


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