Wednesday, May 9, 2007

That thinking business

I think a lot. I used to think about great many things. Politics, for example. I still check on that once in a while, but I have lost the zeal. Mostly.

For now, it feels like most of my thoughts are connected in some way to my grief. Did I mention before that I haven't been a terribly productive employee in the last three months? Well, I haven't.

All of this by way of introduction to my very belated thoughts on being nominated for the Thinking Blogger Award by the very thoughtful Lori.


I am honored that I make at least one other person think. Thank you, Lori. Apparently, I can't nominate those who have already gotten one of these, so I have to settle for honorable mentions for Lori, Niobe, Sara, Cecily and Aurelia.

So here are the rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

Trying to figure out who to nominate myself has been a challenge. What finally made my choices clear was thinking back to the first few days and weeks after A died. I remember feeling that I was not entirely unprepared to deal with this horrendous thing because I have read so many thoughtful and articulate women who have been there before. Reading their stories made me think about how one might handle something so humongous and unthinkable before this humongous, unthinkable thing became my reality. So I nominate them-- those who walked this way before, who retained their strength and their humanity, who showed me the way before I knew I would follow.

Julia at Uncommon Misconception. A long time ago I stumbled on her blog and read about the most wrenching decision of her life-- choosing to terminate her pregnancy to spare her son Thomas immeasurable suffering. She made me think about the entirety of what it means to be a parent, about the duty of mercy we owe our children, and about the strength it takes to live and hope again. In a post I can't find right now, Julia shared some pictures of Thomas with his parents. Funny, but the words she used when talking about the pictures pierced my heart at least as much as the pictures did. He might have had his father's nose, Julia said. That stuck with me. As I labored with A, I wanted to know whose nose he would turn out to "might have had."

Tertia at So Close. I started reading Tertia when she was pregnant with Adam and Kate, having recently lost Ben (and, before him, Luke). She made me think about what it means to mourn one life while trying to grow another.

I also think that more than anything else, Tertia's and Julia's pictures of themselves with their children made me get, on an intuitive and visceral level, that our dead children are still, first of all, our children, and only then dead (something everybody's favorite Dear Abby correspondent, and Dear Abby herself for that matter, might have done well to consider, but I digress). We too have pictures of our baby boy. That we have them, that it wasn't a question for me whether to take them-- I think I owe these two remarkable women a huge thank you for that.

Julia at Here Be Hippogriffs. She made me think about unconditional love and acceptance and about living with gusto even as one gets sucker punched again and again by life, universe, and everything. In a word, the unbreakable Julia has shown me what grace is.

Catherine at Everything is Under Control. I read Catherine's comment at Julia's last summer, and followed her back to her place. I read and read and read, laptop on top of me, my butt propped up on pillows, progest.rone suppository lodged in place. I thought about oh, so many things. For the first time, I thought about what it might be like for an older child to have a stillborn sibling. I saw the very vastness of sorrow and the very depth of love. And I saw that there is a way through, that you can survive.

For my fifth nomination, I choose Ollie at The Mind of Olivia Drab. Because someone has to educate the world with some first rate (and artistically impressive) snark.

I should also point out that all of these ladies are funny. Can't go wrong with that.


niobe said...

Congratulations on your well-deserved award!

Lori said...

I love your choices. Some I have read, and some I haven't, so I look forward to checking them out.

Aurelia said...

I am belatedly saying thank you. I should've earlier, so thanks!

Julia said...

Thank you. You're right: a wonderful belated Mother's Day gift, indeed. I always get teary-eyed when I read that something I did or said actually meant something to another human being. Ordinary life can make you forget that from time to time.

I'm praying for a return to post-child-loss normalcy for you... whatever that may look like.