Tuesday, October 7, 2008
It is not uncommon, nor, I believe, unexpected for bereaved parents to go about their day with a subsequent baby while a second thought-track plays on. Would he have snuggled like so too? Would he have had more patience? Would he have insert any one of a million little things here? It is a new way of missing, sort of a granulation of the missing. All those things we never got to know about the baby who died now playing out with this new baby. And we wonder.
It is subtly different to watch that new baby, as it happens with me from time to time, and as it happened tonight while I was getting him ready for bed, and realize that he didn't have to be here either. There are no guarantees, remember? Anything could've gone differently at any point, and then we wouldn't know any of these things we already know about him.
Breathtaking thought, that. And it takes me to a place other than my usual duuuuude, but we got ridiculously lucky this time.
In the early days and weeks I unknowingly worried that I loved A less, and was greatly relieved to realize that it wasn't the case. So suddenly tonight I am thinking of that very common way parents talk about their babies, the "I am falling more in love with her/him every day." Suddenly tonight I am thinking about how that implies change over time, and not just in the speaker. Babies change so fast, they grow so much. From one day to the next there is a million ways a baby could change. That saying above seems to indicate that the more they develop and change, the more you get to know them, the more you love them. That bothers me. It bothers me because if that's how it goes, then, logic dictates, we love our dead babies less. But I am sure that I am not the only one who doesn't.
So I think it's like this-- the love, it's already there. And it's deep and infinite, as always. What happens with a live baby, I think, is that as we get to know them, we get to see that love reflected differently, anew, in each new day and each new thing. If you think about it, though, it happens with the dead ones too-- something in our world strikes us anew, makes us miss them anew, shows us this new to us facet of our loss, of our love.
So much in this post can probably be labeled semantics. Seems tonight, just like the day I started this blog, semantics are important to me.