All the tests come back normal. My son was a perfectly healthy baby who inexplicably died mere minutes after his first breath. In some ways, the pathology reports make grieving easier: my body performed admirably, it did everything in its capacity right. In other ways, it makes it harder: there is no reason why my son should be dead. No cause to hang the tragedy on. No envelope to wrap the hurt in.

At times it is hard to not feel betrayed by God. Certain people were not happy when I first announced my pregnancy, insisting I had gotten myself in it deep, because I would not be able to handle it. It is easy to feel God sided with them. Like God gave me the blessing of my son, only to take him away to show me they were right. I was wrong to think I had what it took to be a mother. And I kick myself, because after all, I have been betrayed too many times already and I should have seen it coming… I hate feeling this way. It’s so ugly. I don’t want to blame God or be upset with Him. I want to believe He has a Plan. I want to believe I have more chances, that I was not weighed and measured and found lacking, and that should I eventually muster up enough courage to think about a future child, that one, too, will not pay the same price my beautiful son did. I want to believe I am not being singled out for misery. I want to believe that somehow, someway, some Good will come from this.

And in a way, it has: I no longer feel the urge/duty to tear my appearance down in front of the mirror. My body is beautiful and capable and healthy and strong. I see that now. For over 20 years I have been living in a self-conscious prison of my own making, and I’ve finally been handed a key. I was blessed with a wonderful, amazing pregnancy, which I had previously been led to believe was an unwise and horrible thing for me to go through. No: my pregnancy was beautiful. It was fantastic, and my respect for the outright miracle of life has grown beyond what I thought possible. For a short time, I got to live it. I got to feel it.

Maybe that’s the greater lesson at work here. Though the loss of my son is tragic and painful as Hell, I have gained (through the gentle insights of friends) a new and valuable reflection into myself. If I can remember these good things — and it’s going to be a struggle for a while — I can get through this….

In the meantime, I am writing music. My muse has come back to me with a vengeance. My head is filling up with music. This one is called “Hole in My Heart”…

I wrote this to help lay bare the struggle at work in my heart. I wanted to write a song that spoke to the love I have for my son — even though I only got to know him for a short time — and also to the pain of losing him. Of losing all the hopes and dreams for our future together as a family. I played it at his memorial service yesterday instead of “Tears in Heaven” like I had planned. My son loved my music, and he loved my guitar the best of all. My rehearsal and practice time during my pregnancy was our special time… Singing someone else’s song, someone else’s words for MY son just didn’t feel right. And that’s when “Hole In My Heart” came to me.

At first I wasn’t sure I could play it at the service. I was so nervous, up in front of the church. Unusually nervous. And the few introductory words I’d chosen to say tugged at my heart strings so strongly I nearly lost what little control I had over my tears… But when I picked up my guitar, my hands were sure and my voice remained steady.

I am sure he heard me sing for him. And my heart sings in return.

11 thoughts on “Betrayal and greater lessons

  1. it was a beautiful song and I also wondered at how you were going to find the strength to sing it, but you did. The “why’s” in this tragedy will never be known, but if someone told you , you shouldn’t be mother (and boy, that pisses me off), then you showed them yes you are very capable of carrying a child and being a mom.. I don’t know your whole story, but it sounds like you have been emotionally beat down. You are an amazing, strong, talented asset to this community. Say it and believe it. Hugs for you and James, who also did a great job on his ulogy.

  2. Dear Heather,

    You’ve been on my mind and in my prayers since I heard about your precious baby boy’s passing. I can’t even imagine. Your song is beautiful and soulful, a wonderful testimony to the loving Mother that you are.

    You may have only been a Mother of your baby for 34 minutes, but now you are a Mother forever; for though our children leave our lives in different ways, and at different times, that does not ever take being a Mother away from us. Being a Mother changes the soul of who we are, where we go and what we stand for. I just pray that God will bless your journey through this pain and comfort you and your husband in big ways.

    So musical little Mommy, be patient and kind with yourself, and thank you for sharing such a personal journey with us, and with the world through your blog.

    Praying many extra angels of comfort surround your home and stay with you.


  3. Yup, this is familiar. Doria only made it to week 36, but we’ll never have a reason why God made that call. Like you wrote, that makes it easier and harder. We know that we did nothing wrong, but everything went wrong.
    It made it easier and harder as we went to conceive Zoe. Still doing nothing wrong. Still seeing everything go well. We have no idea what’s coming.

    This is a crazy way of living we have here 🙂

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