Not mine, I’m short on those these days. But rather words that are of comfort to me. We just got a sympathy card from an elderly relative (via my parents, thus its late arrival). She said all the normal things, and then, “I pray you will be blessed with another child some day.” So do I. I could kiss my great-aunt- once-removed or however we’re related, for saying, “another” child. I know my son existed – I don’t need others to confirm that, nor do I need more expressions of shock at what happened to us. But somehow, I am haunted by the words of those who don’t understand – I wish they would just stop at, “I’m so sorry.”
I understand that to make sense of events, people need to fit them into familiar categories. But what happened to us just doesn’t happen and no one out there can explain it or say anything to make it normal. I can’t tell you how much I do not want to hear, “You know, I asked my friend, Dr. whatever, what your miscarriages mean about having children in the future, and he said it means nothing. It happens all the time.” Or, “Oh, the same thing happened to my cousin and now she has 3 children!” Actually, you know, I didn’t lose Natan to a miscarriage and thank G-d this does not happen all the time. Very few women go into preterm labor. Even fewer have their heart nearly stop from the effects of labor-stopping drugs. Almost no one goes into shock and almost dies, only to have their baby turn to breech position and suffocate.
Miscarriage is horrible. I don’t want to experience that again either. But what happened to me means a lot – it means that my viable, conscious son died and that I will never be the same. It means I will be grateful for one living biological child, and not even contemplate 3.
So, thank you, elderly relative, for acknowledging that if we are blessed with a child in the future, it will be another one, because there already is one. I can hardly bear this pain as it is, but I would die inside if I didn’t believe that Natan existed in this world and somehow continues to in whatever world is to come.