Monday, October 4, 2010

Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope

Today, Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is sharing Lucia's birth story (a shortened version of the one from the sidebar over there). I so much believe in what Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is doing in their corner of the universe. Putting faces to loss. Collecting stories. I have always thought that stillbirth and loss stories should be read like a litany to the people, loud and strong, so they know what we go through. Instead, stories are whispered, told in hushed tones under hands, we, of the babylost, hear about them now that we are seeing that dimension of life. Isn't it like that? Like gaining the ability to see the fourth dimension of life--suffering, you lose a child and everyone tells you their stories of baby loss and death and disease and suffering.

Truly, collecting stories is what I feel my project still life 365 is about as well. Stories are just so damned important. And every day, I read each story posted on Faces of Loss. Each. Damn. One. Because I want to bear witness. I want to hold that baby in my heart and remember how missed and loved they were. I want to hold the reality that other families suffer and grieve and pine and keen. It was one night last week, I thought, it was my time to share her story, add her name to the list, and open my heart. This is my worst and best moment of my life. This is my most vulnerable moment.  I have written about Lucy's death and her birth and my grief so much in the last 22 months, I really thought that submitting this story would be kind of easy, if easy is a word that can ever define this writing process, and in some ways, editing and writing helps me clear my emotions and lay things out. I touch the emotion, then intellectualize it, then write it. So, in that way, it ceases hurting for a moment in the construction of language. And so I guess that is what I meant, imagining it easy.

Tonight, I took my blackberry reader to Thor's room to feed him before bed and read my Google Reader. I almost said my stories, like the Mexican old ladies always call their telenovellas. And there was my face, and I read the story that has come to define my life, my writing and my entire understanding of justice, God and the universe. And tears streamed down my eyes, soaking my sleeping son. Lucia was a little girl. A little girl who is so missed. It ached in me to read it like that, in a space I didn't create, amongst all the other grieving mothers. And I felt this compassion for myself, like I feel for everyone else's story. It was powerful. Putting this experience into language isn't quite working. It was visceral, like my body and mind were removed from my experience, "I mourn for you, Angie, and your daughter Lucy." Sometimes I forget that I am little inside too. And this hurts all over again.


  1. Interesting - like you were one step removed.

    I guess maybe we do forget to take it easy on ourselves sometimes.

    I was struck by your description of her hair, eyes and lips. She must have been striking.

    I am sitting here thinking "It's still sad. After all this time, it's just still sad."

    I do like what Faces of Loss is doing, I wonder how many outside the community read the page...

  2. That is a really wonderful website. Thank you for sharing Lucy's story there as well as here.

  3. I haven't had time to read more than a handful of your postings, but each one has captivated me. You are a beautiful writer. I'm sorry that your daughter is gone so that it is sorrow that is your muse. Thank you for sharing her with us. Thank you for sharing YOU with us. I need your honesty.

  4. You're good to read them all. I was. And I try and read them most days. But sometimes it gets all too much. So many faces. So many stories. So much loss.
    I did read yours though. And I read it as if I'd never "met" you and I wept for you, and for Lucia, all over again.
    I wish I never had to see your face in that space.
    I wish Lucia was here.

  5. Oh, Angie. I just now got the chance to read what you wrote on Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. I sobbed through the whole thing. I cried for you, Lucia, and Sam. I cried because you didn't get to meet Lucia alive and suddenly Nara's 28 hours of life seem longer. I cried because I loved giving birth to my eldest son and your story made me remember that, only with such a crushing heart ache added in that I cannot fathom. I cried because I had general anesthesia and missed labor and holding her and seeing her right away and I cried that what we have left is to compare and contrast our sad stories when we should be exchanging happy ones, or even frustrated parent ventings, not grief. I cry...and I send blessings to you. Thank you.

  6. Angie, I just finished reading your story. It is so much like mine, it breaks my heart. I'm sad I had to meet you this way, but am happy I stumbled upon your blog.


What do you think?