It’s a word I heard growing up. Mom had one, just under two years before I was born. it was devastating. She tells me now that she didn’t really let herself grieve.
She encourages me to grieve.
How do I grieve the loss of a person we never saw? Never held? Never got to meet or know?
They say I’m a mother now. Do two lines on a small stick make me a mother? I haven’t even gotten to change diapers, feed, wake up to the crying. We don’t get to hear the heartbeat, feel a kick, see the ultrasound.
There was something that changed, though, something that sprouted in my soul, the moment I saw those two lines. There was a new color added to my palette, a new flavor profile of emotion. It came loudly and without definition. It was fear and it was love. It was the willingness to do anything to protect the life inside me.
I didn’t, though. I couldn’t. Life hangs on a thread and not just for a developing baby but for all of us, really. Growing new life pulled the curtain back - the curtain of illusion that life is stable and strong and secure. The curtain came back to reveal a glimpse of the truth: we are all but a breath. It brings me fear. It also brings me gratitude: I am alive. What a miracle it is to be living!
My body isn’t any different now. My body grieved and the bloating went down and I stopped being hungry all the time. Like a small, deflated balloon things went back to normal. Not for my soul. This new world of color and love and fear holds true. It stays ahead of me like a hot air balloon that I’m looking up into. The flame has gone low and the basket is still on the ground and my heart is aching since it will not soar. Not today.
But maybe, hopefully, one day soon.