Letters from Home

A Cold Day

Child and gunsIt doesn’t make sense, when the day starts with sunshine and ends, wet and unsettled, grey and cold.

It doesn’t make sense, when a friend comes. Rings the bell. Shines the light. Then disappears, shuts the door behind them, to seal in the silence.

It doesn’t make sense, at all, the emptiness of a womb, while the body still pulses with milk and blood and the instinct to hold.

The day I remember– like I gift now, my friend I give it to you– I walked into Paddington Station, clutching a slip the sliver of hope.

The last warmth of the last bit of any child that could carry my DNA.

The day I remember like a cold, wet slap.

I walked into Paddington Station, holding my legs together as walked, bent and not knowing the cutting heat which pulsed inside was the last warmth I would know for three years. At least.

And the black smoke hung over the waiting trains. And the people in navy suits pushed past me. And I looked over just as a stack of pounds thrust themselves at a woman from an ATM’s mouth.

So, I went inside the bathroom at Paddington Station, in London, cradling my womb on the outside as it ached, and I passed the thick, bloody child– whatever you call it, that’s what it was– into the toilet. And I suppose outside the stall there were noises and there was talking and there must have been the usual urine and fecal smells.

But inside the cold walls, the cold porcelain, we were alone and it was quiet.

And I remember, that day, walking out of Paddington Station– past the sushi bowls going round and round on its conveyor belt, and the cappuccino sippers in their table corrall. I remember the cold alone.

It was a cold day.

And even if I remember that Colin was there, it didn’t make sense.

What sense could it make. In November, in Paddington, saying goodbye to my smallest little family, then just one, now I know as ALL– as I used my feet on a sidewalk as if it were any other day?

With my back to the anonymous bustle, I thought I’d just walk away.

I doesn’t make sense, the souffles that rise and fall, like empires, like bloody regimes with children looking down the barrel of machine guns.

It doesn’t make sense.

6 thoughts on “A Cold Day

  1. Just wanted to tell you that I love you. And I shouldn’t read your blog at work cuz guys shouldn’t cry at their desks.


  2. These gifts we receive, fertilized cells that become newborns that become toddlers that become pre-schoolers that get on the bus for the first time that become teenagers (or so I’m told), they are indeed incredible, special gifts. Your love for these gifts that you will receive knows no limits. A loss like this will undoubtedly never leave you, but the joy to come will soften it greatly.

  3. I am so fortunate to have my people around me, all of you. I can share this story after three years but it hung around inside me like cold meat storage until then. Thanks for being here with me and letting me use this space to write about it. It means so much to me to have you all with me. Believe me, I don’t ever give up hope for our family, even in the darkest moments. But I have learned a great deal about perspective, grief and sadness in the last few years.

  4. Having just gone through this ordeal.

    The one thing that has surprised me is how no one talks about how often there are complications in pregnancies. I’m surprised anybody is EVER born. Before this happened I only knew two such instances. Now I talk to people at work and it is not uncommon AT ALL!!

    Seriously – I think that with todays advances we think that we can overcome ANYTHING. But in reality giving birth IS a miracle. Nothing has changed in hundreds of years.

    You can have all of the medical advances in the world and it is still a miracle when all goes right.

    Big and Little J are both anxious to try again and that makes all of us happy.

    Little J said that she is not afraid of actually giving birth anymore.

    She is strong and has a great husband!

  5. I can feel the pain of your loss in your every word. I wish somehow I could take the pain away for you. I don’t know why women whose bodies ache with every fiber to carry a child, to nurture and love have such a hard time, I don’t. I’m sure you feel the pain in every place you look right now. I wish there were something I could do, I really do. Please know I’m here for you to help ease the pain in any way I can. I LOVE YOU!!

  6. I don’t think we’ve had a real conversation since high school, so to hear of your loss, your m/c, in such a cold, unloving place just breaks my heart. You have mentioned before on your blog that you’ve been trying to have a baby but I didn’t know to what extent and I really don’t like to ask… it’s very personal. But I wanted to let you know that I feel your pain and know what it’s like. We spent 8 years trying to have a child, coping with m/c, dealing with fertility treatments, trying to maintain sanity each month when the cycle started all over again. But we finally succeeded. If your true desire is to be a mother, I sent my every prayer that your dream will come true. If you ever need to talk about it, just send me an email (or call me!). Now that we’ve kind of reconnected, I’m here for you – just like you were for me during those troublesome high school years.

    Elizabeth – I may be off-base on your situation since we haven’t been in touch so I don’t want to have you post a comment that doesn’t accurately interpret your blog post. Feel free to delete this comment if you need to… I won’t be offended!

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