Completely incomplete

Completely incomplete

A baby entered my home for the first time, but she wasn't mine. My son watched the baby tentatively, and finally went over to say hello. Uncertain of how to greet her, he waved. He was fascinated by her tiny fingers and toes, miniature in comparison to his own. All the while, I was fascinated by his bravery, strength, and resilience. He was thinking about his lost sister, the one he never met. The one he often longs for. He handled this other baby, his cousin, so well. So did I. If he could handle it, so could I.

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Earthquake

Earthquake

No one can live in heightened grief forever but I never expected to find that happiness was possible again. You wouldn't know to look at me now, save for the look in my eyes that I often see in pictures of bereaved mothers, that look you can always glimpse, even when they smile. He changed the ground beneath my feet, my first and beloved little boy.

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Parting with a play kitchen

Parting with a play kitchen

I am pan-searing salmon with lime and cilantro when he comes to the door on Friday night. My husband ushers him in to see the play kitchen while my surviving son folds paper airplanes. I show the gentleman how everything works—the magnetic closures which are difficult, at first, for little hands, the washer/dryer door that requires a little finesse to close, the sliding pantry door, the timer that ticks and dings, the gallon bags of play food, pans, plates, cutlery, kettle and teacups I've packed up neatly—and as I head back to the salmon, he hands me a wad of cash. Before I know it, he and my husband are on either side of the wooden kitchen, carrying it out of my house forever.

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Acute

Acute

The loving and missing of my son will never get “better.” It’s easier to live with these days, chronic, not acute. Integrated, part of me, part of the fabric of my life and my family. As eight demonstrated, there are flareups. Which is ok. This is not a condition from which I ever hoped to “recover.” Because after all, we don’t stop loving someone just because they die.

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