They held hands and promised to meet again to stare at nothing—to share their experiences, stories and memories. In time, their circle grew. Other women joined them, and they built a fire on colder days. None of them had asked to be in this tribe, but they were.Read More
The day she died, I felt an ache in my heart. It intensified day by day month by month, and year by year it grew stronger. The ache was crippling and I curled up in a ball of hurt from which there was no escape. No amount of medication could ease the hurt. I feel it still, in my heart where she lives.Read More
Sometimes we simply grab the person next to us and thrust a memory-strand into their hands, begging 'Hold this for a minute, please'. Letting go is, after all, exactly what it would mean to stop mentioning or remembering them altogether. The world expects us to let go of the little memory net that holds our child from falling deeper into the abyss. It shouldn't, but it does.Read More
It was only in that moment, ten years later, that I figured out why I did it. Why I circled the NICU like an animal, fending off every other lens. It was for Ben, for his ballast. So that someday, he might attach Liam’s humanity back to him, like Peter Pan’s shadow, despite all the rest.Read More
Guilt, the sharp-toothed animal, snakes in place of a tongue, hissing, biting, cursing, blaming. 'You should have, you must have, you did not…' The other face of imagination, uttering the same what if and if only over and over again. Ravaging my head, not letting me sleep, for fear of waking up to find her dead.Read More
I hide behind the glare of the summer sun in the door, hide behind the glare of the book on my tablet. He's alone, no older brother tormenting or teaching him how to be a maniac. Luckily he's figured that out all on his own, mostly. I do have my moments.
Laconic and prone to naps I don't have the energy a 6 year old would have. That relentless running; that sturdy, focused dash at top speed yet three year old slow would be beaten by the speed of his older brother across the yard, which would now be too small for the four of us.
But here there's three. Us and him. Her and us. Them and me. Whatever the daily configuration happens to be, it always comes back to us three.
He doesn't know yet. He has no inkling.
There was a moment about a year ago that I have told no one about when Zeph happened to see a framed memorial to his lost brother. It was a photo of Silas, his footprint, our tattoos, and his name in the sand at the beach during sunset. It was on the floor near my dresser where Lu and I can always see it.
"Baby is sleeping," he said when he glanced at it and my heart was knifed. I nearly fell over.
"Yes, baby is sleeping," I replied and we continued on our daily adventures with my heart pounding and my skin prickly and flushed all over my body.
I rolled on calm because there was no one else to play with, just him and me. I couldn't collapse like I wanted to. I couldn't freak out and howl at the unfairness of the world. I couldn't sit down and tell him everything, that he had an older brother Silas but that Silas was dead and none of us ever knew him at all.
He's two point five. I'm forty. Silas should be here with us but he's not, so I have to make sure Zeph has all the fun he would have had with the older brother he will never have.
I am totally distracted by the growth of this being. I tell him every day that he's my best friend, my squishy boy, my Zephyr. I am so busy loving him I don't have time to be destroyed by how sad I am he's alone.
What excuses do you make for yourself to get by?