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Three months

November 17, 2008

Saturday was the three-month marker of Teddy’s birth, and Sunday the three-month marker of his death.  His loss weighed heavily on us all last week – something felt especially wrong and I couldn’t figure out why until I looked at the calendar and made myself process the information I’d been trying to fend off.

We try to lighten each other’s darkness, N and I.  We go on drives, go grocery shopping together.  I light candles, he plays music.  Last night I flung flour and powdered sugar all over the kitchen as I made carrot cake.  We look up poems that speak more beautifully and clearly of grief and hope than we can right now.  This is our latest poetic touchstone:

Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
~~~Tennyson (from Ulysses)

Today after N kissed me goodbye as I was heading out the door to work, he said, “Much abides.”  And he’s right, and I can see him straining to believe that, to hold onto it, just as I am.  We cling to each other, and it helps.  I’m not sure that we are quite “One equal temper of heroic hearts,” but I know that, hard as it is to bear Teddy’s death, it would be unimaginably (by which I mostly mean that I don’t want to imagine it) harder without N.

The good news is that we have made it through three months, which has seemed an interminably long time.  The bad news is that three months isn’t really all that long, we have a lot of difficult “firsts” in front of us.  It may be our first trimester of grieving, but grieving, unlike pregnancy, doesn’t have a due date, and while, truly, much abides, much was taken.  We can’t forget that, but sometimes I need to remind myself of it in a new way, in the way that allows me to be gentle with myself.  Much was taken, give yourself time.

If we can just get through Thanksgiving, my brother’s wedding in December, and Christmas, I will breathe a little easier, maybe.

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7 comments

  1. You sounds like the most amazing couple.

    Three months is hard, insanely hard. I think the holidays are a turning point for all deadbaby families- here’s looking forward to Jan 1st.

    Thinking of you and sweet little Teddy.


  2. Thanks so much. January 1st is a holiday I *can* look forward to. Not only do I want the holidays over with, but I want to say goodbye to this year.


  3. Hi. I came to your blog via Rising and Setting. I just wanted to say how sorry I am that Teddy is not here. The anniversaries are hard, and sadly, I haven’t found they get any less so.

    A women in my infant loss support group had a son with the same condition as Teddy had. Her son was born at almost full-term only to die a few short days later. I don’t know why I’m even commenting about this, only because I thought of her and her son when I read your blog and about me page and because I know the pain of losing a baby, I had to say I’m sorry.


  4. Thinking of you as your three months comes and goes. I wish I had more to say to make it all feel better. Instead I’m sending love and warm thoughts to you guys. Keep holding each other in the beautiful way you clearly are.


  5. The best way through this is together, truly. Three months was a huge hill on the deadbabyland roller coaster for me, and there are the loop-de-loops of the holidays left to come….


  6. Sometimes I hesitate to say anything, being that I am so far past all of those “firsts” now. So far past when you count the days, the weeks, the months. But the thing is, I remember that time so clearly. When I read your words I am right back there, looking at three months on the calendar- wondering how we will get through the next three months.

    My husband actually landed in the hospital on the three month anniversary of our twin’s death and for a moment in time I had to force myself to imagine what it would be like without him here. Like you, I couldn’t imagine. Thankfully, imagining was all I was forced to do and he is still here.

    I love the poem you shared. Just love it.


  7. Thanks so much. I thought that three months would surely be easier than, say, two, and in some ways it is, but in some ways it’s worse.

    And, Lori, it helps to know that you were here but that now you are somewhere else. I’m so glad your husband is still with you.



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