Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged, understood.

Many thanks to artist Stephanie Sicore for allowing us to feature her little bird in our banner.

Powered by Squarespace
« balloon | Main | Youngest Kind of Pain »

the space between

Sooze lost her first son Will in 2006, and then her second son Tiger in 2009. As she shared, "I must have written this November of 2009. I was super into transforming and sculpting the immediate raw grief after we lost Tiger. After Will, it was just complete shock… which informed me the second time. I have a fascination with the Hindu gods and goddesses. I’m particularly interested in Durga, who rides a Tiger into battle, carrying eight weapons in her eight different hands. A wrathful goddess fighting for good. She is one of the three main, but ultimately multiple manifestations of Pavarti (mother of Ganesh, consort of Shiva). So I am particularly interested in The Space Between life and death. I hadn’t ever considered it until I was in it. And so it goes." And it does. Sooze's hypnotic post was first published on her blog A Walk in the Park.  --Angie


photo by skëne.

I’ve sat down with Durga at various intervals throughout our shared existence. It is rare for us to be in the same space or even the same realm for that matter.  So I took this unique opportunity to ask her and her manifestations some questions- related to motherhood, grief, the space between, her tools of battle and the edge of your world- over tiger-bone tea.

Pavarti the Seal (PS): I understand that this is an intense time for you. The nine-inch scar dripping down the center of your belly must carry quite a story. I wonder if you could share a bit about the space that you are in today? It has been a few months since you and your son decide to part?

Durga the Poet (DP): Well at the moment I am phosphorescent with this tea.. Am I glowing from inside? Yes, Tiger and I died…. -4 months 16 days and 2 hours ago- give or take. I believe that it was about this time of day, -4 months and 16 days since I was actually in the space between, waiting to come back to life. It’s a funny thing- this exactness for time. For the just-shy-of-three-years between our son Will’s death and Tiger’s conception I counted everything. If I have my serge today, I will ovulate in the next XX hours and then if the baby is conceived this month, the birth-day will be this date and Lucy will be this old and on and on. Then he was conceived around my birthday this year and there were more detailed dates- both the natural ones of pregnancy and the ones revolving around other battles within that creative time. And he died one a Saturday the 13th (as did Will) so I count backwards from that moment. What is interesting is that the counting doesn’t serve me at all. I’m not even interested. I suppose it serves to determine where others expect a wrathful goddess like me to be in her grieving. (Although that is highly variable between goddesses and gods, wrathful and peaceful). For me the time ‘since’ makes little difference. Grief- our grief- is a wily and sneaky and spiritual creature. Time actually is not the healer here.

PS:  I’m interested in your referral to the ‘space between’ as if it is actually a location that one can visit. You touch on this space when you discuss thresholds, rites of passage, and empty churches. Can you tell us what this place is like? 

DP: It’s frightening.  And lonely. A relief. It holds everything and nothing. The memory of where you have been remains only as a perfume and it mixes with the nervous anticipation of where you are going. You are…not…as you know yourself. But there you are without the body that you love, without the voice that stands for you, without the warmth of the other who knows nothing of the space between. And yet, you are alive. So the short answer is No. I can’t tell you what it is like. You will have to find out for yourself. I can say this: It is not life or death that we are most afraid of- it is the space between. Interestingly, the environment is all water and you can swim there just fine. 

PS:  ......  I’m thinking on that.... Whoa. Well then, why did you leave where you were- is that clearer to you? 

DP: Definitely not clearer. However I will attempt to translate that journey as best as words allow. I was with my son. We are all so breakable- (particularly when we are stripped of our weapons). And our time together really should not have been cut so short. We mourned that a bit. I read him every children’s story he would ever need in a single kiss. He massaged my heart. He asked me not to count time, not to waste it, but to eat it like sushi. Called me mommy and anam cara.  I fussed over him, breast fed him, and embraced him as a man. And so we decided I should return to his sister and his father and his grandparents. I learned later in the dance actually that it was a lovely wonderful place to be. I suspect it was not easy to leave.  I swam back- a mermaid reborn with legs.

PS: No weapons you say?

DP: No weapons. But my vehicle-my Tiger, my water, my mortality, my loves were close enough to sense. Weapons are not so important out of battle you see. It’s not a fight or a struggle there (your tea is getting cold)- that is for life.

PS: So now that you are back Durga, how do you remain wrathful? How do you take up your weapons again? 

DP: Hmm. I’m alive. We chose life for me you see? We are mothers remember. In all spaces we are mothers even before we are and so our weapons are like limbs, our movements our stories. My scars are horrendous and beautiful because they are thresholds. Wouldn’t you know, thresholds are never where you expected they would be. And even when they are bloody, it’s only on one side. What is blood to the space between- nothing more than cool-aid. 

PS: You are crying.

DP: I am.

PS: More tea.


What kind of goddess or god lives in you? What do you think of the space in between life and death? How long does it last? How deep is it? Are you still in it? Can you ever escape it?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (3)

This takes my breath away. I have not yet felt inspired to journal or write about TR, because I felt unworthy of his life existing only in my words. But this makes me long to write about his life, if only to allow a part of myself to speak to myself in a tongue that only I understand.
February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKC
"And our time together really should not have been cut so short. We mourned that a bit. I read him every children’s story he would ever need in a single kiss. He massaged my heart. He asked me not to count time, not to waste it, but to eat it like sushi. Called me mommy"

I don't even know where to begin. This bit really all of your writing is other wordly and so very beautiful. This feeling I have now where I can't swallow as tears start to well up.........is that the space between......

I just remember kissing baby taz and telling him all the things about him that were perfect and in the moments before he died when his big sister sang him twinkle little star and we cried and the doctors cried, and the nurses cried,..... in that moment I felt like we gave him everything we could and that he would need in that single moment with that song. Thank you for helping me remember that moment.

Thank you for this enlightening, thought, and memory provoking post. As of late I too have begun to write to try and find my voice and the idea of invoking a character, goddess, or spirit to help with this is very appealing.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLara
I am so overwhelmed by this post that I find words very difficult to come by.
I am a wrathful goddess, or, at least, I have become one in my own mind.
My Tess died in July, I had miscarriages before and after her. My anger has become my shield, my weapon against the world. During battle, I believe that I am defending her, my other losses, my living child as well as myself. But I find, when there is a lull in the action, that I am defending only myself.
My babies need no one to defend them now for they are beyond any pain this world can inflict. My living breathing beautiful six-year-old does not need my shielding for she does not believe this world to be a frightening or dangerous place. This world is beautiful to her. Even her dead siblings (she knows about them all, I cannot lie to her) are spirits that live in a world that, while strange, is not to be dreaded or feared.
It is I and I alone who need the accoutrement of battle. My husband (who again, despite everything, has no fear of the world) does not understand. My friends (there are few who remain) do not understand. I am afraid. And I need my battle gear to survive this world without being undone by it.
I fear that without my wrath, I am only a victim of chance. That is something that terrifies me.
Thank you again members of this terrible and beautiful community of the babylost that I am not alone. That there are others who are wrathful goddesses. That I need not carry the anger and fear on my own.
February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.