deep in my organs a few weeks ago. It’s a mystery-grief. Some years, especially
in the beginning, I feel the deep wave of sadness take over before her
birthday, most years after the 10th anniversary, I do not. But it’s those damn
milestones that get me every time: 13, 16, 18, and 21. You think they would be
superficial- I mean none of my kids felt like teens until 14, none of them got
their license at 16, 18 no longer seems like an adult and on his 21st birthday
my son, Martin, chose a mug of water instead of beer, but never the less, they
get me. Just like losing a first tooth, going to kindergarten and learning to
ride a bike were all unreached milestones that tore me apart during those early
years, these later milestones get me as well. They are fewer and far between
and my heart is healed in many ways so when the pain suddenly comes, I am
unprepared because it is no longer a constant in my life.
Last year marked 20 years since Margaret was born and died. It
seems like that would be hard. I wasn’t sure, but it was a painless celebration
of her life. But this year, days before her anniversary, I find myself catching
the saliva in my throat, going into empty rooms and closing the door for
several moments. And I feel both looming doom and weird happiness at the newly
resettled pain in my abdomen and chest. It’s always there of course, my
overwhelming love for Margaret-it’s just that some years I only know it and
other years, like this one, I feel it.
a walk on the beach yesterday. I actually try my hardest not to think of her,
my little lost darling, but I can’t help it. A long-ago dusty film I have kept
safely packed away in my memory resurfaces. It is of her little three-pound
body in my arms: innocent, perfect, ready to live, but already gone. I chide
myself for suddenly again being mad about her loss. Gratitude and faith over
the years have squashed any anger, but sometimes it comes back up churning like
settled sand in the waves of the sea. I miss her. I just really, really,
really miss her and I ache with want of her.
birthday. It wasn’t so much the pain as it just became too hard. I don’t know
what she would look like now.
try to help others navigate their pain ahead and to bring awareness to the
never-ending journey of grieving a lost baby and to let them know that one can
go on and find peace and joy again. I have shared my various feelings of anger,
acceptance, gratitude, faith, longing and always absolute love for one’s baby
in heaven. I hope the sharing has brought normalcy to all paths.
is a fishing contest, little boys with their dads, little girls with their dads
and daughters with their moms as well. They are casting their rods, all going
for the big catch. Some are generations of surf fishing families.
It keeps my melancholy strong. When I turn to head home, a mom and
daughter are walking ahead of me in the sand. The mother matches her daughter’s
small steps. I try to picture Margaret’s footprints in the sand next to
me. I look at all the footprints around and think of her small footprint I have
on my dresser at home. The pain of not seeing it next to me blazes with the
rituals. We began with our tradition of breakfast at sunrise on the beach, and
even though it was cloudy and drizzly, we could see a slant of pink light
amidst the gray. Next, I bought a bouquet of sunflowers. Later, we will make chocolate chip cookies
with Ms on them to pass out to cousins and, in the evening, something new:
Champagne. We will drink champagne with my sister, Katie, to ring in Margaret’s
21st birthday. I’ll hold the glass up high and toast my third child in
the sky, and then, I think I’ll drink her glass, too.