“I’m learning more each day
That my breath weighs more than I think
And each beat of my heart
So reluctant to start
More costly than gold ” -David Ramirez
I found out I was pregnant in March. My heart soared and my little family celebrated. Another soul had chosen ME, US! Disregarding the 12 week silent rule, I told everyone. I paraded around like a person you would be lucky to know, appearing as a self-absorbed, swaggering lady with a muffin top.
And then on the anniversary of my brother’s death, I began to bleed.
I went in for an ultrasound and the Dr. said the baby’s little home was intact and was measuring correctly. From what he could tell the bleeding was not affecting the baby; however, he could not detect a heartbeat. “It could still be early” he said with hesitation.
I chose not to prepare myself for her leaving.
I entered a space where the frailty of my humanity and the power of my spirit collided. A space where insanity and intuition used the same voice. A space where my dedication to hope felt like a wrecking ball swinging in my heart cavity. I entered this space without the protection of caution. I warded off fear like the mighty warriors in every “save the world” legend, just without armor, minimal muscles and no army. I stood bleeding in an open battlefield without the weapons of control, logic, and ego.
…and I loved.
…and I hoped.
I talked to her every night for two weeks. I played “Argue with Heaven” by David Ramirez 147 times.
I told her I loved her. I told her of the subtle magic of this world. I was honest about the vulnerability and pain here. I told her I would trust her decision. I told her how desperately I wanted to hold her body with my hands. I asked my brother to convince her that I would be the best mother ever. I told her I loved her so many times.
Sweet baby made it to Good Friday and began to let go. For almost 40 days she had allowed my bones to surround her sweet soul. And on Easter night, my body released the home her spirit had vacated.
I held her close as my body finished contracting. And the next day, I allowed my tears to fall on her. A desperate attempt for something of mine to accompany her on her journey. I played her song. I kissed each side of her and I placed her in the ground.
3 years to the day after I gave my brother’s eulogy….I buried my child.
mis•car•ry (mɪsˈkær i; for 1 also ˈmɪsˌkær i)
1. to have a miscarriage of a fetus.
2. to fail to attain the right or desired end; be unsuccessful
to go astray or be lost in transit
There are moments when life stands face to face with you, so close that you can feel its breath mixing with yours. It holds your gaze with a relentless stare. You can see the pores of its face in detail. It disregards your personal space requirements and you can’t quite determine if it is your body heat/sweat or Life’s or a daunting combination of both that you feel. You glance away to escape its glare and It moves It’s head to meet your eyes again. You step back, It steps toward you. This intense interaction with Life causes all of your pain to turn to rage at the surface of your skin. And if you believed with any ounce of your being that you could win this fight….you would take this opportunity to beat the shit out of It.
“You can escape this interaction with any of the usual human tricks” Life reminds you, “such as denial, going numb, repression, escape…..” It offers you your options.
But if you are curious like a cat or brave or crazy….You gather up all your courage and in anger ask for an apology for all the voids and pain in your heart.
And with a wise, compassionate smirk, Life responds….“I will not apologize for all that has been taken from you, I will not promise moments of happiness in compensation for the pain you have endured. This is me. This is my nature. I am asking you to love me as I am and as I unfold. If you are willing to see my beauty as your heart bleeds and your mind rages than you will acquire faith…and that my dear child, is what you really need.”
And Life turns to walk away and then stops….and turns halfway back around to where you are standing and asks “What would you have done with an apology anyway?” and then shrugs in casual confusion, turns back around and continues on to the next person…
As you watch Life walk away unapologetically, all the rage at the surface of your skin turns to tears. And you cry…. you cry all the tears you were hoping to avoid crying once you got your apology. You cry as all the voids and pain begin to make their permanent home inside you.
….and then you step forward into your life with an invincible heart. A heart that is willing to beat simply because it is alive, simply because it was given the chance.
al•che•my (ˈæl kə mi)
1. speculative philosophy of the Middle Ages that attempted to discover an elixir of life and a method for transmuting base metals into gold.
any seemingly magical process of transmuting ordinary materials into something of true merit.
Some beauty can only be “seen” if we allow alchemy to transform the miscarriages (all that has failed to maintain the right or desired end) of our life.
Alchemy transforms as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. Alchemy takes us into a suffocating dark night, where our hearts bleed and our mind tells us we will not survive and it produces a beauty that is unrecognizable from its original form.
This beauty does not have the capacity to heal our wounds or fill our voids…. it is not supposed to.
This beauty does not help us to conceptually understand the “why” of anything…. it is not supposed to.
This beauty is dependent on our pain and voids remaining part of us.
This beauty connects us with our capacity for faith.
This beauty is God’s existence.
My body contained her life and her death. I was the only one that knew her… and she was wise and thoughtful. She carried her beauty and vulnerability much different than my first daughter. Her voice quiet, her pace pensive. She was kind like her father. She urged me closer to my body than I had ever been before.
I loved her with every ounce of my being…in my hope before she existed, in the fleeting moment that she took refuge in my body, and every moment since I buried her.
To my girl…
You gave me freedom.
And now the world is at my feet.