The voices here will arrive and depart, and like a beach to tides a new sandscape will form in the elders’ place. We need this place like food and air and then one day we open our eyes and whisper I think I can walk now, on my own and with a nod to the others, we step from one side to the other, across a foggy sort of before-and-after boundary we hadn’t been sure we’d ever find.
From I am completely lost
to a deep breath and a rubbing of eyes and a blinking in some strange new sun and
I am not completely lost.
: : :
Following are the voices of Glow in the Woods, both current contributors and what we call the Glow emeritus -- founding writers whose words still live here, but who no longer contribute on a regular basis. They'll come back from time to time to sit with us, and tell us how things look from further down the path.
We honour them all, and we're so blessed with their company.
brianna of daily amos
Our boy lived for less than thirty minutes after he was born. It takes me longer than that every morning just to make my coffee and eat breakfast and yet his brief life has completely changed the landscape of my own in ways that I am still trying to understand.
burning eye of these are the things I'm made of
Porcelain. Gypsum. A book of mica. Those sugar crystals you grow in elementary science on a fuzzy piece of yarn. A thin sheet of seasalt, water evaporated. The slow seeping drip of water in a limestone cave, and the fragile tiers of rimstone bubbling out of a hot spring. After the stillbirth of our son, these are the things I am made of.
chris of elm city dad
My son Silas died the day he was born. There are two halves to my life, now. The words I write here are an attempt to reconcile who I was with who I have become, and to keep my missing son close.
There are so few ways to hold him. This place is one of them.
josh of jack at random
Just as the anticipation was nearing climax, after the build up and the longing and accumulating love and the physical hardship and everything else that went into those thirty-eight weeks, my partner tripped and fell on the sidewalk. Her placenta ruptured and Margot died. A new life is slowly emerging, one filled with overwhelming sorrow and an iTunes playlist that no longer includes Beyonce. I write here to join the society of the suffering and to keep my second daughter close.
julia of i won't fear love
Very much a creature of water, I am still drawn to the flame. Campfire, the symbol of many a good thing about growing up in the Old Country. Candle, the symbol of many a thing to many a people. To me, always, and more since we buried our second child, our first son, A, to me-- a fragile, finite, ephemeral, but necessary focus point in the dark. When there is nothing else to do, I find myself lighting a candle.
kenny of gentleman caller
My daughter, Roxy Jean, was stillborn on August 1st, 2007. Her 7 plus pounds are still etched into my arms. I sing for her and I write for her so that I may always keep her with me.
merry of patch of puddles
One brief moment of hope, holding him for the first time, our fifth child, our first boy. It seemed like it might come right. He seemed happy in my arms. I thought I was mother enough to make him stay. But I wasn't. Eleven SCBU days later he faded away, unexplained and unexpectedly. I went home to try and be mother to my daughters who broke in pieces without their brother. Picking up the broken parts didn't leave much space for my loss or healing. No deep dark hole of submerging grief for me. Turns out, it was waiting for me.
kate of sweet | salty
Knots in my hair and bags under my eyes, caustic soap, institutional green. Ben grunts in his cot, almost ready to come home, and the lost baby heart-trinket given to me by an NICU nurse as she took Liam away hangs on a string around my neck, warmed by my skin.
gal of growing inside
The day after my daughter died, eight weeks and two days after she was born with a body that was too fragile for this life, I wrote to her:
I am forever changed because of you, my Sweet Tikva.
Changed in a way I can't really explain.
Changed in an irreversible way.
Changed in a way I needed to be changed.
I am a stronger, wiser, more humble, more patient, more grateful and more loving soul because of you, my Tikva.
More than a year later, I still imagine what she would look like if she had lived, how it would feel to carry her against me in a sling. Now I see Tikva in the birds flying gracefully, playing within the gliding arms of the wind. Lucky spirit.
bon of crib chronicles
This is the third spring of buds on the birch trees we planted in our backyard my first Mother's Day...nine days after Finn was born, eight days after he died.
When I see birches bend to left and right/across the lines of straighter darker trees/I like to think some boy's been swinging them. - Robert Frost
Of course, it will not be him.
niobe of dead baby jokes
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
janis of ferdinand's gifts
World crashed when he died. Picking up pieces and trying to fit together a puzzle without having any idea what the completed picture should look like.
For nearly two years, we tried to get them here. Then they were. Then they weren’t.
On March 21, 2009, the first full day of spring, M. and I lost our twins, Zoey and Gus. They were born and died after our week-long hospital stay, which had followed M’s membrane rupture, which had followed a challenging pregnancy, which had followed an even more challenging stretch of infertility.
We mourned. We began trying again. Sometimes in that order, sometimes not. After months of facing failed pregnancy tests and other people’s pregnancies, and one year after conceiving Zoey and Gus, we conceived again. Another set of twins, another boy and girl: Zoey and Gus’s brother and sister. They should be here soon. It’s a lot to keep in the head at once.
jenni of demeter's feet
She was going to be our wedding present, but after a difficult early pregnancy, my body gave out at the half-way mark. With no answers to be had, and no little girl to bring home, I just keep writing, hoping to mark my trail, hoping to stumble into the light. Most days it feels like I’m more lost than she is, but I keep up the search.
We had no idea she would leave us.
Six weeks old, sweet cherub cheeks just starting to smile in spite of a heart that simply couldn't cope. Now I'm left, forced into the dark, reeling with shock, empty arms hanging at my sides.
I ache for my lost purpose while I force one foot in front of the other. Trying my best to find a way back to new and utterly different light.
mrs. spit of mrs. spit...still spouting off
I went to the Gynecologist for an IUD, I came out with fertility drugs and an innate sense that this was the right time. Conception with drugs was easy. The pregnancy was easy, right up until the moment it wasn't. Gabriel was here for 30 minutes. Nothing was easy after. Not the grieving and mourning, not the four subsequent miscarriages, not the reconciliation of living without children.
It is better now. It is not necessarily easier.
tash of awful but functioning
Just your average sports-watchin’, foul-mouthed, cynical mom who after five years of a miscarriage, infertility, infertility treatment, and a healthy toddler, decided to try one more time for one more baby. Be careful what you wish for. We are left with a gaping hole in our lives following a harrowing six days of our baby’s so-called life. This is me coping, grieving, trying to mother a live, inquisitive three-and-a-half year old, as well as the memory of my dead daughter. I wax profane on the limits of science, bad odds, my inbred cynicism, and my overwhelming sadness.
catherine w. of between the snow and the huge roses
Mother to twin girls born over sixteen weeks too soon. One of my daughters emerged from the shadowy world of the NICU but, sadly, her twin sister died there. A part of me is still waiting for my other daughter to come home. Still standing in the very spot where we said goodbye. It's going to be a long wait.
jess of after iris
My baby died. I never knew her. I wish I did.
angie of still life with circles
Winter solstice. My daughter died before she was born.
She was perfectly healthy, they said. Just dead.
Since her death, I am more of who I once was, which isn't always a good thing.