Friday, February 2, 2007

Sunday Scribbling: Goodbye

One of the most difficult aspects of life on this earth is the way unwanted goodbyes become necessary. In a most unkind paradox, it can be horribly difficult to say goodbye to one you've never met. As I find myself in this position, I learn that goodbye is not just a word but an entire process of mourning and healing. This is my "story of goodbye" that while tragic is not permanent.
Goodbye to an Unborn One

Although I pray in hope, I am not surprised when the doctor can find no heartbeat. A few minutes later in the ultrasound room, the lights are turned down and the doctor peers at the grainy images on the screen. Inside the dark shape of my uterus where there should be a kicking, flapping little being, there is only a tiny quiet fuzzy blur. The doctor leans closer, squinting and blinking, readjusting the angle.
Darkness. Stillness. Emptiness.
The doctor finally leans back in his chair to give me his speech and I try to concentrate on his words. I am not surprised and yet shocked to my core. I can be stone-faced with his solemn serious manner, but afterward when the nurse gives me a hug I crumble.


In the days and weeks that follow, the weight of my loss is in constant painful focus. This little one has left me. I have lost a child, my second child is already gone.

In the initial raw shock and grief, simple things like an empty shoe box in my closet cause me to break into tears, even though I am holding the shoes in my other hand.
It is so hard to get my mind around the fact that there's been a death inside my body.
I feel so tainted by this failure.
I have a constant stream of theories stream of theories going through my head of what made this happen. Was it something I ate? Did I do something wrong? (That must be it.) Or is it just my turn to have some rain in my life?
I know God doesn't have "oops" moments, but the like the Sesame Street character, "I WANNA KNOW Y!"
In the beginning I had a passing thought that maybe this little person had so much wrong with it--and that's why it couldn't develop--that it really wasn't a person, just a little hunk of tissue that was inside me for awhile.
But that's so wrong. It was a little living human being, and as such it had a soul. She was alive and grew for approximately seven weeks and then for some incomprehensible reason died. Like the story of the workers who were paid the same wages whether they worked in the vineyard all day or only for an hour, this little one had a soul as unique and treasured as an eighty year old's. She just didn't get to stay in the "vineyard" very long.

I so long for this little one and wish I could I have her back. Instead, I have to learn to say goodbye. "Give us grace, we beseech thee, to entrust the soul of this child to thy never-failing care and love . . ." from The Book of Common Prayer.
As one so tiny, helpless and wordless, I commend her to Jesus' arms. I know she is safe there and not crying and lost, wandering among the stars. I look forward to someday meeting this lovely one. And as much as it hurts, I do not regret that she lived. It was a privilege to be her mother, though for such a short time. I know her life has something to teach me though the lesson is beyond me now. I know my life is forever changed because of her, insignificant she may have seemed. Even though I never met her, her absence makes a lasting hole in my life. I will always miss this little one.

Goodbye for now, my baby. How I look forward to meeting you someday.


Regina Clare Jane said...

This was so touching... and I love her name... Anna Hope. You blessed each other while you had each other...
Thank you for sharing your story...

Liza's Eyeview said...

HUGS to you. Thank you for sharing such a tender moment with Anna Hope

dailypanic said...

to want someone in your life, that you love even before you meet them, that is what being a mother is. Anna Hope - perfect.

gautami tripathy said...

Hugs to you! Just be brave. She will be back!

Mary said...

I am so sorry. I recently experienced a similar loss, except I was almost 7 months along. Losing a baby is hard, I think because of the love and hope we invest in him/her. I'm sending you a big cyber hug and will keep you in my thoughts.

Bongga Mom said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that it was not your fault. It is so touching to know that in your daughter's short life, she was loved so much by you.

GreenishLady said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You make a beautiful tribute to Anna Hope here. Thank you for sharing it.

AnnieElf said...

Anyone who reads this will grieve with you. I'm so happy you named your little girl. It gives her life.

Kamsin said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You were blessed for a short time to have your girl, and although you never met in this life, her soul is waiting for you in the next. Be strong and hold onto the hope for which you named her.