On February 1st, 2014, my baby died. His name was Paul. He was four weeks old.
The shock caused by his death was so violent i had the impression i would not survive it. I was hurting and crying so much i thought i would die. It’s not that i wanted to end my life, just that i wanted so hard to not exist. For weeks, i could not imagine surviving, let alone living a fulfilling life again. I had already experienced important losses. Both my parents were had died by the time i was 18, so i thought i knew grief. But the pain of losing Paul was so immense, incomparable to any other.
I remember not wanting to get out of bed anymore. I remember a day in particular, while we were travelling in Colombia, about a month and a half after Paul’s death. I was hurting so badly i wanted to hide in the sand, or let myself drift away at sea. I was hoping i could dissolve into my sadness. The only thing that got me out of bed that day was that we were sleeping outside in hammocks and that i was too self-conscious to cry all day without a closed door to protect me from strangers’ staring eyes. I had no desire to get up, though, because i had lost all expectations that life, that my life, would be good.
Those days were dark and difficult. At the time, i was convinced they would go on forever. I thought i would always carry this breathtaking sadness. But eventually, i started to have moments of respite. The thought of getting out of bed became less jarring. I started making plans again. Most critically, P. and i decided to try to have another baby.
I became pregnant quickly and realized i had much better prepared myself for the sadness of not being able to conceive again than for whatever the appropriate reaction to a positive pregnancy test should have been. I did not assume everything would be ok. I could not anymore. I was unable to trust life to be simple and good anymore.
Aimé was born. He is a healthy and happy baby.
In the way he lives his life so simply, he is slowly teaching me to trust again. He has no choice but to trust that we will provide what he needs, that i will feed him, that we will comfort him and keep him warm and clean. He trusts me. He trusts us without reserve.
So i too, need to trust, if only to show him it is possible.
This post was inspired by The Prompt.
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