If you are coming from Building Heavenly Bridges (BHB), WELCOME and if you are finding me for the first time and looking for support after a loss, then please check me out at my grief/loss blog!

This blog is a series of anecdotes from our life after losing our first child, a stillborn daughter, then going on to birth the two other lights of our lives!

Bear is 6: serious, organized, my cruise director and my time keeper.

The Comedian is 4: She is pure comedy always doing something unintentionaly funny that I attempt to put into words.

Enjoy our stories, conversations, and delights as we embrace the lives of our second and third daughters without ever negating our first.

Children's Widsom - Quote of the week...

Children's Widsom - Quote of the week...
"I Wish Emma Was Alive Because I Would Tell Her Where The Bathroom Is"

Thursday, April 9, 2009


"Why do babies die?"

I have asked myself that question a thousand - hundred - a million times. Well, if I'm being honest, in the beginning it was, "Why did my baby die?" Only recently have I been able to open my broken heart to the world and broaden the query to a woe-is-us level.

"Why do babies die?"

But this post isn't about me. It is about Bear. For this was the question she asked on the way home from a dentist appointment yesterday.

Our conversation was so surreal. The words fell from my mouth without outward emotion. Keep it simple. Keep it short. Be honest. Be age-appropriate. The sun shining pleasantly through the window seemed misplaced, as though speaking candidly and honestly about her dead sister required weather more timid, maybe stormy. Inside I was grieving the moment, the conversation for its enevitibility.

I planned for this day. I knew it would come. How could it not? Children grow and within them, their minds evolve, creating connections, asking questions. Yes, I knew there would come a day when her curiosity about the pie-in-the-sky notion I had attested to all these years of a sister she'd never met living in heaven would clash with her cognitive ability to comprehend.

I had scripts ready; non-cliche responses in my arsenol so I may be honest in an age-appropriate way while letting her lead.

It all when out the window. When push came to shove, read: she fired direct, hard to answer questions, I did the best I could -taking long pauses to make sure every word counted. It went something like this:

Bear: Why do babies die?

Me: Honestly Sweets - I don't know.

Bear: But Emma died. Why did Emma die?

Me: Something happened inside my body and it made her body not work.

Bear: But I can't see her. Why can't I see her? I saw her one time in my bed, remember? So why can't I see her again?

Me: Yes. I remember. You might or you might just feel her from now on. That's what I do. I feel her.

Bear: You held her?

Me: Yes

Bear: But that doesn't make any sense. You said she died inside you. How did she come out of you then go back in?

Me: She didn't Bear. Emma died inside me. Then - I pushed her out. Then - I held her. She was still dead. Her body still didn't work.

Bear: (accepting this) Well, where did you put her? Did you leave her there?

Me: No Sweets. We buried her, in the earth -under the stone that we go visit all the time.

Bear: (becoming agitated) -Mom, you aren't making any sense! How could you put her in the earth when there was a stone in the way??

Me: (making the obvious clarifiying statement...then met with silence for a minute I continued) I can tell you are thinking alot about Emma today. Is there anything else you really want to know about Emma right now?

Bear: Mom, remember when I painted my nails using colors in a pattern: pink, purple, pink, purple?

And that was that. She was off to another topic that held her fasicnation equally, if not requiring the same mental energy.

It begins. She is putting pieces together. She wants answers. I don't have them.

My questioning circle is large, nearly oval after all these years of going round and round always returning to the question of orgin: why?

Hers is tiny: just beginning, but expanding ever so slightly each time she grapples with the abstract notion of an 'older' sister that looks very much like a baby - forever.

Today our circles connected, and overlapped - like a venn diagram of grief inqusistion. We have a long way to go. There are many more conversations to be had, with deeper, harder-to-answer-questions.

Someday - far from now, our circles will eclipse. She will be grown up. She will want the whole story - bar-none.

Someday I will tell her...someday.


Barbara said...

And someday she'll take it all in.

I love the honesty of kids. We should learn from it more often.

Smart Bear.


Dora said...

Hard stuff. I think you handled it beautifully. xoxo

Kristin said...

I am so impressed by the way you handle it all. I think your daughters are going to have an incredible foundation on which to build their future.

Another Dreamer said...

(*hugs*) You handled it well.

caitsmom said...

A moving conversation, thanks for sharing. I was struck by your phrase, "woe-is-us level." Makes so much sense.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it is something she'll bring up again, sometimes or another.