There is no training that can prepare the mind or heart for the thought of having to deliver your dead baby. Nor the knowledge that you had cradled and cared for its lifeless body in your womb for weeks without knowing. Celebrating him or her. Planning and preparing for their arrival earth side with love and excitement. Connecting across the ethereal plane in fleeting moments of fluttering movement which, now, are rendered impossible figments of your imagination. The fear and core strangling sadness that grips you, as you realise that the same journey that had been all about breathing life into being, would now have to be taken with only loss of breath and life at the end.
Weeks of anxiety had plagued my being, with no real knowledge of why. The feeling that something wasn’t quite right, crossing my mind whenever I caught my own reflection. So the news came as no great surprise to me and yet, its effect was no less crushing.
In the days that followed I roamed between grief and sadness like a drunk on a never ending road of total, consuming darkness…trying hard to find the dividing line that would give some indication of which direction to go.
So often when trying to understand our own values and beliefs, so much emphasis is placed on their development over years of repeat interactions and behaviours. But the truth is, what we intrinsically believe, what we deeply feel to be our truth, is cemented in only and instant…the following trials are simply opportunities for us to confirm or reject our position on life and the world that surrounds us.
Our almost five year old daughter was in the room when they told us, poised and waiting with a clip board and pencil to draw a picture of the baby when it came up on the screen. So this loss had been as much hers as ours. “But I didn’t wish for this” she said, tears rolling down her cheeks. “This is not what I wanted”…in some way sounding as though she thought it was her fault. “Now I won’t get to be a sister.” My heart crushed beneath the weight of her words.
Time seemed to slow completely… had this really just happened? There he or she was, our fully formed tiny human, only a breath away from reach. A tiny spine, arms, legs, head…all in perfect order…but no pulse, no blood flow, no heartbeat. And it was as hard for us to understand as it was for her. “But the baby is right there” she said, looking at the screen and not really comprehending how the word “gone” was relevant here.
Loss is a powerful demon which I have often fought and lost against. Rendered heart broken, soul destroyed and lifeless against its all consuming vortex.
On a clear night, what seems like an eternity ago, following the passing of our family pets after a long life of love, our daughter suddenly wailed for how she missed them so. A deeply connected empath, her emotional connectivity and burden far greater than that of most her age. As I tried to explain that her puppies would not be coming home again, her big blue eyes, soaked in a salty storm looked up at me and said, “Did Leuki and Oscar go to the moon?” as she pointed to the brightly glowing silver globe high above. Emotionally shattered by the realisation of the difficult life that would face a being of her connectedness, I could only smile.
I have thought for days about this elegant metaphor of transcendence imparted to me by this tiny human, so wise beyond her years, who often seems as though she has lived a thousand lives. Is there something she knows that we do not, as she walks with one foot in each world? Extraordinary, how such a simple idea holds such great power of comfort.
The last few days have quickly cemented our belief in the existence of the soul beyond the physical realm, as we have reflected a lot on her wise words during these deeply traumatic hours. Together as two and then three, we have spoken a lot of transcendence, and this body, this vehicle, simply not being the right one for our baby…who is still waiting in the wings to join us earth side, when the right body comes into being.