Samuel hates this blog

Without fail, if Samuel is calmly sleeping and I decide to take advantage of that time to write a post he will wake up. I don’t know why, because as yet he ignores my requests that he use his words. Josh is keeping him calm for now – we’ll see what happens.


I never thought bringing home a living baby would fix the pain of Natan’s death. Still I guess some part of me was not prepared for how much it could still hurt 13 months later. Two nights ago I was sorting through random papers and piles around the house and I found an empty picture CD case in a large envelope. The case read “[my last name], S. – baby boy. 1/3/2007” The CD is in a different case in Natan’s box – I don’t remember why. I stood there for a moment, frozen, unsure of what to do. I was trying to sort through unnecessary stuff and a generic CD case when the CD is safely in another case is unnecessary. But the little typed label with my name connected to the words “baby boy” made it meaningful, if only because the physical connection between us ended far too soon.

If it had been a random object connected to my hospital stay with Samuel, I probably wouldn’t have kept it. I have him with me nearly all of the time. But 13 months later I am desperate to maintain a connection with Natan. To have every bit of evidence of his brief existence in this world.

I cannot believe his tiny little body has been in the ground for so long. It’s easy, relatively speaking, to think of what we are missing emotionally with our children, but now that Samuel is here, so incredibly big and beautiful and growing every day, the physicality of death plagues me when I think of Natan. I think I may disturb some of you by admitting that I think about decay, about what has happened to my son physically, while my life and tissue renews and sustains itself. I feel as if I could go insane thinking of it, and I push the thoughts away, but still they return.

Most of the time I am beside myself with happiness. I half-expected a bout of postpartum depression that has not yet, and looks like it will not, arrive. But some of the time, I am still very angry, and still very sad. Despite the great ending, so much of this past year has been so terribly unfair.


7 responses to “Samuel hates this blog

  1. I catch those thoughts at the edge, most times, and push them away. But yes, I think of it too. And so does Monkey, I think, since she draws A’s skeleton in the ground. Skeleton, not the body.
    So much of childcare is physical, it’s hard not to go there, I think.
    Last year was unfair, and Samuel coming home doesn’t change that. That he is here doesn’t change that the road was unfair, sad, and very-very scary.

  2. We’ve told Bella that some people bury the dead, others turn them into ashes to keep and spread . . . . but we haven’t told her HOW. I figure an unreasonable fear of ovens at 3.5 is probably not horribly healthy, and then it starts stirring all that crap in *my* head about her poor lifeless body . . . well. I also don’t believe in an afterlife, but I get hit occasionally with the thought that she’s lonely. Is someone else with her?

    It’s hard to hold these two things in yourslef, the happy and the missing, and it must make each more difficult. And that? Is completely unfair, and I’m so sorry.

  3. I hate that Bella and Monkey have to think about this at all.

    I worry too, unreasonably, that Natan is lonely out there, particularly on days like today when it’s unbearably cold and the snow is blowing and the rest of our little family is huddled up together in the warm indoors.

  4. Oh Beruriah… I’m so sorry you are feeling this way. I too was not prepared for how sad I would be. I too “go there” and I hate it. I can remember when we first lost Jimmy that I felt like he was somewhere cold and hungry and crying. Those thoughts would haunt me for hours of the day.

    I agree about wanting to save everything. Since I cling to every memory of Jimmy, it is hard to not save everything that Andy touches.

    I almost did something bad yesterday. We put some of the clothes that we had bought for Jimmy in a shadowbox in Andy’s nursery. These were the most special outfits. You know, the one’s you would find yourself touching and holding when you had a bad night. Well yesterday I almost cracked the box open and put one of the outfits on Andy. Just to see what it would look like on a living baby. Just to see what Jimmy would have looked like in it. But I didn’t. I can’t bring Jimmy back and putting his stuff on Andy won’t do it.

  5. Oh sweetie, Natan isn’t there, not the real Natan, the one who could feel cold and feel lonely. He’s in your heart, and in God’s arms and he can’t feel lonely when your family and the entire blogosphere thinks about him and remembers him.

    As for Bella and Monkey and my kids? They are better prepared for reality than 90% of the rest of children. Everyone on earth faces grief and loss and many parents think it can be avoided by never ever talking about it, a ludicrous concept. Yes, they are sad, but we deal with it honestly and they will be okay when someday someone else dies.

  6. Samuel is a smart little baby who knows he shouldn’t have to share Mommy with anybody!

    I can understand those thoughts, but I hate that you have to have them. Our twins were cremated and we still have their ashes at home so maybe that is why my mind doesn’t go there. Maybe that is also why I was never interested in burying them. I don’t know…

    I know well that feeling of wanting to cling to every shred of connection. I still feel that at times, especially as more time passes and I feel the disconnect that much more strongly.

    My heart is with you.

  7. i still feel that way, sometimes. the further i get from the immediacy of connection, the more a different kind of sadness grows…it isn’t as powerful as the shock and grief of the first seasons, but it is still sorrow.

    and i worry about him needing me, needing a parent in some way, and me being unable to connect, to do well by him.

    it is all normal, apparently. and all unfair, and worthy of our sadness.

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