Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dead Baby Diary

A friend from high school just lost her baby. Its kinda absurd to say "lost". Our babies aren't a set of keys that we've happened to have misplaced. I know where Mia is. She's on the bookshelf in a little cardboard box that I haven't been able to open yet. She's not lost, she's dead. Her ashes deserve an urn or box or freedom on the wind, but because I am a coward, she sits there. I don't know if it's the finality of it, but it's a step that I haven't been able to take yet. A step that some people think I should have taken long ago, somehow I need to get over it and move on. I have moved on, my baby died, I mourned her, and I live life in joy, not huddled weeping in the corner. But I will never get over it. I knew her. For months I could feel her movements. I knew she was shy and liked to cuddle up into me. I did my best to keep her safe and imagined a life for her. I held her and loved her, and miss her.

People tell me that I should be grateful that there were two. Even though my child died I should be happy that I have a baby here with me. I adore Ripley, I love her with every cell and I am so grateful for her, but explain to me me how one person can replace another? Not to get all Sophie's Choice, but if you have kids, which one would you miss less? Would you get over the death of one child just because you have others?

Part of me thinks its harder because there were two. Mia died, but in her twin I know what she would look like now. Their personalities were always different, but they were such little mirrors of each other. I am so happy that Ripley is growing so well and fast for two reasons: 1- because it means that she's healthy and well, 2- I saw and felt what she would look like dead. The bigger she gets the less she looks like her dead sister. It's morbid, I know, but that's death for ya.

Mia's death illuminated how many people I know who have gone through this. From their empathy and solace I know that I have joined a large community of mourners. My heart goes out to every member of the Dead Baby Club, may our memories remain strong and vibrant.

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