Friday, December 17, 2010


I have to admit that the past week or two... and really, more like the past month or two... have brought about one wave of heartache after another.  

I was just made aware the other night of a second death in our family.  It's not only the second death, but it's the second death in which a baby has been lost during childbirth. 

The thing about losing a baby which is unique to most other deaths is the whole lead up and fanfare by which they're ushered into this world.  The birth of a baby is a highly anticipated event, not only for the mom and dad, but for everyone else who orbits their life.  

During the months in which babies are being prepared on the "inside", HUGE preparations are being made on the "outside" both emotionally and materially.    Having given birth to two children myself, I know what's involved, but more than that, as a woman, I know what transpires in the heart and mind of that Mother.    

I doubt I could ever find words adequate enough to express the love and the bond and the joy which occurred before I ever laid eyes on either of my daughters.  I doubt there's a day which goes by now that I don't look at them or talk to them and feel that same love and bond and joy.  O.K., so I'm a big softee; I'll admit that, but my point is that before the child ever exits the womb, there is an intense bond.

Not wanting to leave daddies out of the pre-birth bonding process, I'll say that I know of many an instance where the dad's voice  caused a noticeable reaction from the baby while still in the womb and that same daddy's voice was able to exert calm on the child when it was fussy...out of the womb.

Family and friends spend months gushing over ultrasound pictures (or pretending to), they buy gifts, they help prepare a special space for the baby in the home, motifs are chosen, a name is selected with great care and it seems that in direct proportion to the ever burgeoning belly, comes an ever burgeoning excitement for the Big Day!

So, when the big day finally does arrive and close family and friends take off work to join the "happy couple" at the hospital...

...the womenfolk making ready those first hospital gifts...

...the menfolk making ready the lighting of the celebratory cigars...

...but instead of a precious new life to celebrate...

a life...screaming in all its newborn splendor...

there is instead... silence and death and mourning...

...well, as an onlooker, it's difficult to know what to say or do.  The atmosphere becomes instantly thick and heavy.  Emotions run the gamut and intuitively you know that this is going to be a very long process of healing and recovery.

On the other end of the life cycle, I've got two older family members who are both hanging by a thread with brain cancer.    Yesterday I got a scare because my brother called to tell me that one of those family members passed away in the morning.   I left the house immediately to gather with my loved ones... only to find out that my brother had sort of jumped the gun.    He'd gotten news from a weeping family member and the whole conversation was misconstrued to the point where he thought there was a death. 

It was an emotional morning,  to say the least, and we were all overjoyed to find out that the inevitable had been delayed slightly longer.  I was especially overjoyed, as there are things I'd like to say to this person and now I've got my chance before they really do pass away and I'm left with nothing but regret.

So, my dear friends, the Christmas Season 'round these parts has been one which has put life in stark perspective and all of these things swirling around me have been quite a distraction.    It's sort of difficult to inspire oneself to think smouldering and sultry thoughts when oneself is being called out to weep for the death of a family member who isn't dead at all.  lol. 

Thanks for standing by.