Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Brave One

My cousin Nate, who I always loved like the little brother I never had, told us that he and his wife were pregnant when I was five or six months along with Nora.  After her death, they both drove over 250 miles to attend her funeral.  I was in awe of my cousin's wife's courage and strength to attend a baby's funeral while six months pregnant herself. I wrote this piece for her.  For her realizing that pregnancy and child loss is not contagious, where other pregnant women I encounter seem to think it is.

Thank you, Christina, for being the brave one.

The Brave One

She is the brave one.
Sitting there, watching me with her worried eyes.
She is scared, oh how she is scared. For she fears my fate will become hers.

But, She is the brave one.
I greet and thank people for coming to my daughter’s funeral.
My daughter I never knew outside of the womb, lost before her birth, born sleeping.

But, She is the brave one.
She sits there, six months swollen with what was once hope and joy in her loins.
She sits there, in this moment of acknowledging death, with terror in her stomach, realizing now that pregnancy is not a promise.

But, She is the brave one.
I go through the reception, in a haze as I say goodbye to our guests, and I can feel her eyes upon me.
I walk by her, envious of her future, but in awe of her strength.

But, She is the brave one.
My eyes meet hers across the crowed reception hall.
Hers say I can't imagine your loss, and mine say I hope you never have too.

But, She is the brave one.
She walks up to me, approaches me.
She does not ignore me, as I will soon find other pregnant women, who know, do.

But, She is the brave one.
I stare at her as she approaches, fearful of her words, but none are spoken.
She opens her arms, embracing me with her blossoming stomach touching my now deflated one.

But, She is the brave one.
She holds me and cries.  She cries for me, my sorrow, for my daughter.
I cry.  I cry for her, her fear, and her son growing inside her.

But, She is the brave one.
We hold each other a little longer.  I lock eyes with her husband who is standing in my view.
I nod in his direction, sending a prayer his way.

But, She is the brave one.
She releases me from her arms.  I am thankful.
She is courageous, strong, and validates my loss even in her time of joy.

But, She is the brave one.
I admire her courage.  I hope for her that her son will have a safe journey into this world.
And before she walks away, she whispers in my ear, “You are the brave one.”

I reply, “I am the brave one.”

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