Ten Simple Words
By the end of the week, my grief was compounded by guilt. Jeff told me to take as much time off from work as I needed, but I knew that my paycheck helped us survive. I knew Caroline didn't mind feeding the dog, emptying the dishwasher, and helping Luke with his bath, but I wasn't being fair to her. Those were my responsibilities, not hers. Luke had avoided me since I returned from the hospital. I hated seeing him confused by my sadness, but I didn't have the energy to change the situation. He's just too little to get this.
I had to get back into life. But how?
Then something happened. As I was tucking Luke into bed, in the quiet moments before sleep, he said he had something to tell me. Then he held my face in his little hands to be sure that I was listening.
"I love you," he whispered. "And I'm sorry that the baby died."
Those ten simple words took my breath away. They were the words I had waited a week to hear.
In that instant, my sadness was moved to another place. A place only I will know. And I thought about the women who have gone through miscarriages without ever having even one child. I had been blessed with the gift of two. And from these gifts, I have learned how to act and what to say if someone experiences this kind of loss.
Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the February 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.