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.