September 12, 2008

The hospital sent us home with several booklets on grief, and the funeral home supplied us with more. Since Teddy died, I’ve received and have thrown out three copies of a book called When Your Baby Dies. I think that people keep sending it to me because it’s used for counseling in the Lutheran Church, but after looking through it, I think that the Lutheran Church may want to explore some other options. I suppose that they aren’t terrible, these books, but they don’t seem especially useful, or comforting. I might feel angry about the death of my baby? Gee, thanks for explaining that to me because otherwise I might not have realized that I’m amazingly angry lately. Also, the titles disturb me: Healing a Father’s Grief, Healing Together, When Hello Means Goodbye, and I especially hate When Your Baby Dies. It taunts me; it hurts. Wasn’t I supposed to be reading Happiest Baby on the Block?

Yesterday a package arrived from a dear friend, and I opened it to find a card, and after pulling back the layer of newspaper under the card, I could see the cover of a book. For a second I thought, “Not more grief books. I can’t handle more grief books.” But they weren’t grief books, at least, not the traditional kind. They were Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I love these books, and I’d been thinking of A Wind in the Door for several weeks because it has some wonderful passages on names, on the importance of being named. I pulled the books out, and read the card, and cried like a lost thing, partly because of the message on the card, which was true, and sad, and heartfelt, but partly from relief, because these books are a real comfort.


One comment

  1. I just found my way to your blog, and I just want to acknowledge your loss of not just your dear baby Teddy, but also that of your world. Yes, indeed, that is so apt… we lost our worlds. I imagine so many lost worlds, bumping around, colliding… …
    I wish I can comfort, but all I can do is to offer to hold your grief with you, whenever you wish to hand it over, even if just for a little bit.

    I am glad you found some books that you will really enjoy reading. ((hugs)) to you, mama.

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