How is it, when something really bad happens to somebody good, that the world doesn’t just stop? It seemed so strange to me, to walk outside a few days ago and see that the sun was shining, the sky was robin’s egg blue, the air was cool and breezy, just the perfect temperature. Most people, I imagine, would have declared the day to be “perfect” or “beautiful.” I can even hear the conversations in my mind, of people outside, walking in the park, on their way to lunch “I wish every day could be like this…” and the response, “Yeah, me too! Isn’t this fantastic?”
But most people would not know that a friend of mine just suffered a parent’s worst nightmare, just lost her first child to a stillbirth, little more than a week before the baby was due.
And I cannot fathom it. I swear that on the day it happened the skies should have darkened, storms should have raged, the seas should have churned black waters as lightning bolts were thrown from the heavens. And yet, they didn’t.
The day was bright and clear, in absolute contrast to the drama and horror and sadness that was unfolding in a hospital room across town. The darkness… Darkness of spirit and emotion and grief and pain over a life dreamed of, sought, achieved, nurtured, then lost, in the blink of an eye, for no apparent reason at all. A life that ended even before drawing its very first breath. A life that can now only be remembered for what might have been, was so close to being, but never was… at least not outside the womb.
And yet, other lives go on. People have their daily routines and they continue… lunch dates, business meetings, dinner reservations, homework, television, football practice, errands, music lessons, baths, bedtime, whatever the routines are, for most people, they carry on, the world spins on it’s axis as it always does. This is true for me, and it’s probably true for you too. That’s the way the world works.
But suddenly it seems bizarre that it should work like that. It seems like there should have been some other kind of notice of what was happening, of what had happened. Perhaps a tiny blip in the earth’s rotation, a slight bump, a sudden storm, a “let me have your attention please,” kind of moment. A funny feeling, an intuitive knowledge. A notice other than a ringing phone…
It’s not my tragedy, I know that. But I am a mother. And the loss of a child is the fear of every mother. It hits, as they say, close to home.
And so I grieve for my friend and her husband and their lost child. And I simply wonder WHY? and NOW WHAT?