Who is she anymore?

The woman is still sad – a broken shell with cold eyes, a numb heart, but a smile as bright as a sunny day. She should tattoo tears on her pretty face, so the world knows, so they understand that she is wearing a mask. That it is all a farce, hiding behind life and denying death.

She still grieves the loss of the baby who should have been. She cries at times, without tears. It is an odd thing, really. The cruelty of unshed sadness. She called for death so many times, and it didn’t come. She placed the blade to the vein, hoping it would sink deep enough to ease the hurt, relieve some of the pressure. She wonders at times if she is a coward, taking the easy way out.

So the story goes, that the universe refused to grant her the freedom she seeks. It disowned her.

She is still depressed and miserable. She pops happy pills that make her even more unhappy. Prescribed by people who supposedly know better. Because without them she’ll crash and burn and the world will go up in flames.

But they know nothing. Not the feeling of holding a cold baby in their arms, the sight of a white coffin, prying open lifeless new eyes to get a glimpse of their color. They don’t know the ache the woman feels in her soul, even now, years later, whenever she thinks of the child’s name.

She is a bereaved mother. But what is that? Exactly? Why should there be such a title for a mother? Why should there be a day to commemorate such a travesty? Those around her never remember the day.

If a bereaved mother is a mother, let her have the day of the living. Because on the day of the dead she does nothing but sit in the abyss.

She still aches when she looks at other families growing. And yet she won’t try again.

Tick-tock, Tick-tock,

There goes the body clock.

Maybe if I sing along,

I will start to like the song.

She is afraid that she is letting go, that her baby is slipping away. The baby’s face is no longer marked in her memory. She’d filed it away for safekeeping, and now it’s gone. What was the exact color of her child’s eyes? What was the shape of his or her face, the length of the soft hair that formed the crown on their head? She tries to remember, wracks her brain. But comes up empty. Like the vessel she is.

She questions who she is in this world. Is there a place for the broken? Wherever they go, they either stick out like a sore thumb or fade into the background. So, who is she?

It becomes hard to explain the pain as the years pass. She is no longer the woman who just lost a child. The milestones of commemoration are passing, and yet, she is sad. The tears come, and she howls into the night for the baby. But she cries alone.

She had heard a song about loved ones being in a place where all lost things go. Maybe that is true, but she is far more lost than the baby.

Where should she go?

Who are you after the loss of your baby(ies)?