You want to know the kinds of things people say to you after a baby dies? It is ridiculous, really, the way people feel like they have to say something. So they do. They say things like, "She was too beautiful for this Earth," or "Now you'll have an angel in heaven," or "At least you have living children," or (my absolute favorite), "Everything happens for a reason." (I don't know a single babylost mama who doesn't have the urge to yell BITE ME and punch the face of the person saying that last one. We rarely react to it, but the urge is there. In all of us. Really.) People will also repeatedly tell you that time will heal. They told me this after Sophie died, they told me this after Amy died, and I heard it again after my father died. Now it has been 8 years since Sophie died and I'm trying to figure out if it is true. Does time heal?
What does it mean to heal? Because if I cut myself, my skin opens up and I bleed. I might need stitches or a band aid or something along those lines to close up the skin, but it will close. A scab will form. Eventually (over time), the scab will fall off and new skin will be left. Perhaps there will be a scar, perhaps the scar will be permanent, but there will no longer be a cut. In many cases, there will be no indication that there ever was a cut. And VOILA, time has healed. I don't think that is true of the loss of a loved one, especially the loss of a child. I think time helps you integrate, but it doesn't heal. It can't. I truly believe that there are some wounds that simply will never heal. Ever.
When you ask the doctor how they are going to save the baby (because since it isn't the 1800's, the assumption is that it will happen, we only need to know how) and the doctor responds with, "I don't think we can," your world cracks. When the inevitable becomes the reality, you find yourself with a completely shattered heart and soul. Shattered into a million pieces that are so scattered into all corners of the universe, they are never coming back together. Never. Inevitably, in the weeks and months that follow, someone (with really good intentions) will tell you it all happened for a reason (resit the urge to punch them). They will tell you that time will heal your broken heart. "Really??" you'll want to say, "Really? Time can't even FIND all the pieces of my shattered world, never mind put them back together!" And yet...yet. Slowly, slowly, ever so slowly, you will find yourself crawling back into the world you left. You will claw your way up out of the hole and sunlight will fall back on your face. You will breathe again. You will smile again. Did time heal? I don't think so. I think that instead, you found the strength to get up with the broken heart. I think you clawed your way out of the hole because it was the only option you had. I think there is still a gaping hole in your heart and in your world. I think, like Leonard Cohen says, that eventually, that's how the light gets in.
And so here I am. Eight years to the day since the doctor looked at me and said, "I don't think we can." Eight years of finding my way in this world of being a Babylost Mama. Eight years of helping others on their own babylost journeys. And while I miss her more than seems possible, I do know I'm far enough out to say for certain and beyond a shadow of a doubt that the hole she left in my heart, the gaping wound that time will never heal, that, my friends, that is how the light gets in. Every single day.