Tuesday, March 6, 2007

as I am, so shall you be

I've always loved graveyards. I'd examine the progression of carvings, from death's head, to cherub, to urn and willow. I'd linger over tiny gravestones for lost children, read aloud the engraved names and ages, looking for some clue to the person's life and death: "lost at sea," "taken by a fever," "death is a debt to nature due, which I have paid, and so must you." Back when it was still allowed, I used to tape thick white paper over the writing and carefully rub the inscriptions with the side of a black crayon.

But, still, I am lost when I try to imagine how I will choose a gravestone for my daughter.


Aurelia said...

I'm so sorry you are going through such terrible losses. Please know that even as bleak as this seems, it will get easier someday.

Yes, admittedly, someday can seem far away...but I'll be reading in the meantime.

AmyinMotown said...

There are no words, except the lame "I am sorry this happened to you and your children." But I am. I came here from Cecily's blog, as did many others, I am sure. I wish you peace and healing.

Anonymous said...

i'm screaming for you and your girls; i am so, so sorry. it's okay to be angry, hurt, feel betrayed, lost and dark. now scream for yourself.

sarabeth said...

I read about you on Cecily's blog, then read your comment on Persephone's. Have you been in touch with atime.org.? They are a Jewish organization that helps people with IF and losses.I think they have resources available (counselors, peer support, clergy, 24 hour hotline, etc.) for people who have experienced losses similar to yours. Maybe they can help a little.

Anonymous said...

Came from Cecily's blog too. You and your babies are in my thoughts today.

Teri said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My best friend lost her twins at 23 weeks, so I have seen the kind of profound sorrow you must be feeling, though I know that each sorrow is its own, not comparable to any other.

I share your anger at the Jewish traditions that don't allow a child to be named until 30 days. After my miscarriage (I know, not at all the same, but a loss that I felt deeply) I gave my child a name anyway, so I could always find her, and she could always find me. Don't feel that you have to wait for the tradition to meet your need. Your need is the reason to establish tradition.

My last thought is that reading your archives made me think of a poem by Frederick Turner that has meant a lot to me:

Latecomer, first to go,
Like the small arctic flower
between the snow and snow,
The fragrance of an hour.

I wish you healing, Niobe.

Katie W said...

I came from cecily's blog as well. I don't really have much to say except that I'm thinking of you, I have no advice to give, but I hope that someone else has.

I hope that one day the pain of your loss will fade, not so it disappears, but so that you feel better able to cope with what's happened.


Dearest heart,
I am so sorry. I will keep you and your babies in my thoughts and prayers.
Grief must be shared. It is the only way to survive. When I lost my first pregnancy in 1996, the internet was new, no blogs to reach out and help the suffering and anonymous, so I ended up burying so many of my feelings.
Whether or not you know it, you may be helping someone who is worse off emotionally than you.

Elena said...

I'm from Cecily's blog as well. I also lost a son at 23 weeks of pregnancy in 2002.

Your post struck a cord with me, because I too love to visit grave yards and cemetaries. I still do!!

I think actually your affinity for that will serve you well now. You will be able to choose something that will commemorate your baby and that you will welcome seeing at each of your visits to your child's grave site. I think sometimes we get experiences earlier in life to help us with something down the road. Maybe these experiences with grave stones and markers are something that you can draw on now when you need it.

I'm so sorry for your loss. The pain will dim with time, that's true. Having a nice grave site will help the healing. You are being a good mom to her as you go about this important task.

I wish you much peace and healing too.

JuliaKB said...

I wondered over here from Cecily's. I am so very sorry. It seems you and I have the same problem... I, too, have no idea what to put on that tiny plate. It's 30 days since the funeral today. How does one put all this love and hurt on that small piece of metal?

msfitzita said...

It's an unfathomable task. And who could ever possibly be prepared for it?

I'm beyond sorry that you're facing this too. I'm just so very, very sorry.

Thinking of you...

Carly said...

I came via Cecily's blog too.

You know, the though that struck me was that perhaps you don't have to put the stone/plaque there until you are ready, and you decide what you want. It's ok, that today, you don't know.

I'm very sorry about your loss.

My sister is a nicu nurse, and I wrote a short piece about a baby who had passed. You will find it at


if you would like to read it. I hope it offers you a tiny shred of comfort.