the saddest time of the year
The first weeks of December are marked with sorrow for me. Three years ago I spent December 1st through 7th in a state of joy, feeling my baby kick and listening to her on my home doppler. I had all my Christmas shopping done, the little tree up, and I was feeling especially happy that by next Christmas we would be celebrating baby’s first. I posed in photos with vegetables next to my baby bump and filled out my pregnancy journal with misty eyes. The nausea and fatigue of the first trimester had finally passed, and given way to a wonder and love for my own body that I’d never known before and will never know again. I felt beautiful. Not just sexy, but truly, radiantly beautiful, like Mother Earth herself. I felt powerful, like I was actually creating a miracle, and I had brought it about through my own will power.
I was walking on the thinnest, most fragile membrane without even knowing that I was about to crash through it into the dark underbelly of grief. I was blissfully unaware that in a moment’s time, everything you believe and want and dream of can be gone, replaced with death. I know this is a reality for so much of the world, but my existence had been privileged enough that I did not even consider the possibility.
So in these weeks leading up to December 13, 2012, the day my baby died, I look at my living child, I listen to her breathe, and I feel so very aware of how it could all be gone in an instant. A car accident, a shooting, a drowning… countless ways in which the truest of happinesses can be lost forever. The first weeks of December are devoted to that reality, and to the gratitude that comes to me every day that I have joy in my life again.