1.20.2017

6 years...

I will always be a women whose first child died, and I won't give up either that grievance or the bad jokes of everyday life. I will hold on to both forever. I want a book that acknowledges that life goes on but that death goes on, too, that a person who is dead is a long, long story.
-Elizabeth McCracken

Six years ago, I gave birth to twins. It has been six years, yet, that one sentence still holds the power to shatter me into tears. It shoulda-woulda-coulda been the single most happiest day of my life. But instead it was the worst - by far the worst. I lost a son, a dream, a piece of me that day. It is my Day Zero - I can countdown to that day and I can count up from it... but it is a landmark, a before and an after, a day that changed everything.

These six years make up a long story... Talmage's appearance, although physically short, is all encompassing in the telling. 

Just this week, I got to share with a friend, the abbreviated version of his birth. She never knew I had a stillborn - I have interacted with her for two years now and she never knew. This baffles me. Not because Talmage is normal conversation fodder but because it seems like something people should just know. That it is such an elementary fact to who I am that it should be as common knowledge as what color my eyes are.

But it isn't. 

And I have learned that I am entering a new stage of grief. 

The one when his story begins to fade. Not for me - no never - but yet - yes... even here.

His name is no longer spoken daily. The words "5 kids" no longer requires me to clench my jar or suck in fresh air. The posts from that pregnancy can now be read and I see that it is ok that I was happy, that I was supposed to be happy.

I can pull out Fielding's birth certificate and look at the time. Previous to this year, I couldn't know the time. I let the blunt trauma of the event erase the time of day, how far apart they were born, and how many minutes I spent in that hell between their two births. But now I know.

I can go through photos from that day and permanently delete the ones that represent him in a way that I don't want to remember, that I don't want anyone to remember. The ones that are utter devastation - that hold nothing of the beauty (for yes even on the worst of worst days there was beauty) in them.

I can take the pages and pages of blog posts that I have written since that day six years ago and see that yes, Talmage is a long, long story... 

And it is one that I feel privileged I got to write.

6 comments:

Danielle said...

Beautiful words, from a beautiful Mama! I love and admire you so much Cyndi!!

connie said...

We never will forget the joy this little one brought in the anticipation of his birth and the love we felt and still and always will feel for him. That loves lives on as he does. I so look forward to the day I can see him in the next life and thank him for the opportunity to be his grandmother.

Jolene said...

I like what Connie said. You love so fiercely, Cyndi, and so passionately. It's who you are. I am learning from you.

Britt said...

Beautiful post!

Chadwick and Julie said...

You are an artist with words. I'm lucky to call you "friend."

HowellAZ said...

6 years already...
I thought this post was beautiful. I admire so much about you and one of those things is your strength. You're a wonderful example of living through grief with faith. Thank you for being an example to me.