On Friday, we invoke the muse of motherhood to shine her light of inspiration upon us.
What I remember most from my tender, love-filled Blessing Way, are words my friend Sarah read about how we as mothers (and fathers) are called to let go the moment our children are born. Before Tulsi was born, my single relationship with birth (other than my own) was the death of my friends’ 3 month old son. I was not present for his beautiful, perfect home birth, but I had the honor of sitting with him and his mother and father and a few close friends, and sending him home with songs and prayers of love and peace.
Then, in our birthing class, we met a couple (who soon became our family’s dear friends) who shared their tragic dance with Loss. Their son died hours before his strong, amazing mama birthed him with fierce courage.
When Tulsi was born, my midwife laid her gray, and close-to-lifeless body, across my heart, for three seconds, before cutting ‘our’ cord and whisking her to oxygen, the ER, an airplane ride and another city. All while I was forced to let go. But she came back, and my healthy, radiant 3 year old daughter is enjoying a book with her Papa as I write. Her middle name is Grace. She is a gift from God.
When I read Elizabeth’s post on Monday and sat with the Loss card, I thought of my friend, whose adult daughter took her own life two years ago. When she told me in the middle of the grocery store, I hugged her. When we visited again months later, she mentioned her daughter, and I asked her name. I wondered if it was ok that I asked. “Her name is Randi,” she said. My friend hugged me and thanked me for asking her daughter’s name.
She then wrote me an email, soon after our Deck was published. Yesterday, I asked her to read this post-draft and if it was ok to share her email and story. She replied, “I am grateful that my words and our story might be a part of our piece of the human community learning to be more open and communicative about loss (and suicide).”
This was her email:
“It is especially dear that you ask me to tell you about Randi. People tend to be afraid to bring her up, when I long to talk about her, to tell her little stories, to re-live the times that were joyous. There was much, much suffering for her, but there was so much joy too. It is painful for me and you saw/heard today how close to the surface it is, but not talking about it/her, doesn’t make it less painful to me, only less visible to others. Thank you for having the strength to face Demeter’s loss and mine too.”
I ask myself again, how have I felt Loss? By feeling the grieving hearts of mothers who have lost babes. By grieving with them and praying with them and not running away. By asking about their children and speaking their children’s names. We mothers are all connected. We feel each others’ greatest joys, challenges, and losses. I can not think of anything more inspiring for today’s post then to honor these babes who have left by speaking their names here. If you feel inspired, please offer names in the comments for all of us to see, whisper, honor. love.
I will begin…