In response to June

In response to June

This week two readers of the book I wrote about life after loss got in touch to say what amounted to the same thing. One with an offhand comment, and the other with a handwritten two-page letter: You may not know where your baby has gone, but I do. Here’s the secret. God will save you from grief. Am I the caged animal, or are they? Which one of us eats better—the one who forages, or the one who is fed?

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The wheel and the windmill

The wheel and the windmill

From afar, and recently, on my trip to India, in person, my Hindu family, friends, neighbors, well-wishers from every sphere of my past, have been swearing on the karmic cycle, the soul, the wheel. Many of them have referred to Raahi as a “liberated soul,” one who has attained moksha or nirvana. I am grateful. It should be enough. The compassion, a heavy sigh, wordlessness. But few people stop at that.

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Fall from grace

Fall from grace

There were times over the last few years when I have carried my loss around like an old favorite coat. No matter how heavy it got, I didn't want to shed it. It fit, hugging me gently in all the right places. Someone sitting too close to me would be able to smell its foul odor—it was that pungent. Still, I refused to wash the coat. Why would I? The dust mites that burrowed into the fabric were perfect. They were at home in my old coat and so was I.

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The immortal daughter, the mortal daughter

The immortal daughter, the mortal daughter

During the five days of festivities, the city never sleeps, and millions of people throng the streets all night, decked in their newly-bought finery. Friends and family return from all over the world, and in many homes, the festival also occasions their own daughter’s homecoming, from a city or country thousands of miles away. The festival is about new unions, reunions, of the coming together and being one again, of dispersed loved ones. There is space for all in these festive five days—from the deeply religious to the merely fun-loving.

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Enough

Enough

My gut instinct was to turn away from Agnes—along with everyone else—and I didn’t know why. However, at five months along, with the decision to continue the pregnancy, there was little to no room for rational thought, much less self-exploration. I didn’t have the slightest idea how to share her with the world, nor did I want to. It is hard to describe what it’s like to carry a baby you’re afraid to meet.

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