clear
Poetry and Prose
by Lindsay's Mom

These writings are lovingly dedicated to the children who make our hearts sing.
And especially Lindsay, whose radiance will live within me always.

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Mother Nature

If we, as parents, waited nine long months for the birth of our baby girl, would you not expect us to love her?

If we brought our new baby home, would you not expect us to care for her, nurture her and adore her?

Anything less would be considered abuse, wouldnít it?

But what if she cries only once, and our happiest memories are of the months she lived and grew within?

What if her baby-blue eyes open only once, and all the pictures in her baby album can be counted on one hand?

What happens then?

What do we do when the milk comes down and no one is here to drink it?

Or we awaken for the two a.m. feeding and rush into the nursery, only to find it empty?

What happens when my tummy begins to flatten, and my pregnant body returns to normal, and we still have no little one to hold?

Where are the smiles?

Where is the joy?

WHERE IS THE BABY?

What if morning sickness suddenly becomes mourning sickness and "postpartum blues" occurs in the midst of grieving a baby child?

And what if the only cries in our house, are our own?

How do we explain that everything nature intended to happen when a baby is born, still happens?

Except the most important part!

Apparently, my tummy is empty,

And yet the cradle is empty, too.

(My mind canít comprehend this craziness.)

What if our love continues to grow as the weeks and months and years gradually slip away,

And our precious little girl never . . .

Ever . . .

Comes home?

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Loving Through Grief

There are very few, if any, significant events that parents feel more deeply than the grief experienced upon the death of a child. It has the potential to tear couples apart or bring them closer together.

In the first few weeks, Phil and I felt a tremendous strain in our relationship as we each struggled with our own emotions at our own pace. HE was grieving to the beat of a different drummer. When I was "up", he was "down". When he was "up", I was "down". Our marriage seemed to sway in a delicate balance as a sullen silence fell between us. We cautiously tried to comfort one another, but it was somehow easier to say nothing at all. To let him sit in his corner while I sat in mine, warily watching each other for any signs of collapse. He calmly endured the rage of my grief and entered into my compulsive schemes to keep the memory of our baby alive, even when he knew the obsession would soon be spent. He shared the pregnancy with me. He shared the labor and birth, the two days she lived and those agonizing final two hours as she died. He actively participated in every part of her existence: from her conception to her death. This is his baby too, and he hurts too. I want him to understand that I need his tears more than I need for him to pretend he is okay.

As if groping our way through a dark tunnel, we gradually began to see light and life at the other end, if only we could keep on going. We learned if one of us stumbled and fell, the other was there to give support and encouragement. If we both fell at the same time, we clung to each other, crying for strength and courage to face whatever our future held. As time moves on the closeness is gradually returning. We have learned the importance of making every minute with our children count, but we have also come to believe it is important to spend time alone as a couple. Our lives have regained a measure of peace, but we will never be the same as we were before. Because of Lindsay, we are different people now. Phil and I reach out to one another with a new respect, bringing new aspects into every part of our marriage. We have learned to talk, to comfort and to listen. We are learning to fall in love again.

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From Darkness to Light

Have you ever noticed the many mixed-up, confusing, emotions involved in grieving? On the one hand, you feel restless. On the other, you donít want to move at all. You feel desperately alone and yet you want no one around. You feel scatter-brained, forgetful, and yet frantically meticulous. You feel like crying at nothing and sometimes laughing at anything. (Or do I have that backwards?)

Being in a crowd of people is fine as long as they donít talk to you. And yet, if they donít talk to you, you feel as if nobody cares. You want so desperately for someone to mention the child, and yet it can make you furious if ALL they want to talk about is the dead one and never even mention the living.

Grief settles over you like a hot blanket. Youíre as cold as winter snow. Grief passes on you like a steam roller. Youíre floating in a bubble above yourself. Grief boxes you in on four sides and introduces you to a pain no one should have to know.

But then, in an almost imperceptible process, you begin to feel the world around you again. You relate with others who have had an experience similar to your own. And eventually, with a light as sharp as a sunburst, you hear yourself saying your childís name with an unfamiliar smile on your face. You remember a funny time and feel a chuckle building in your throat. One morning you notice the sun is shining, the flowers are bursting with the colors of spring. Three seasons have passed unnoticed . . . and somehow, you are still here. Even though your child is still There. You feel your heart swell with a love you never even knew could exist anymore. And you find a place in your life for something called (Dare I say? . . . ) Peace . . . And then, ever so gently, the memories enfold you in a warmth as soothing as a cool shower on a hot summer day. So you find you want to remember. And tender memories of love lift you to unreachable heights, to the brightest of stars, to the loveliest touch of Your Child.

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