Have you ever felt the emptiness of an abandoned bassinet? The yearning of joy and hope left bare and cold? Have you felt your dreams of the future torn apart by the coldness and violent reality of life?
Two years ago, I awaited the birth of my only daughter. The light of our lives. We knew the road ahead was turbulent. There was nothing promised.
As we watched the life drain from her perfect skin, we were not ready for what we would face. Our lives were changed. Our hopes and dreams were cut down in mere minutes. I braced myself for the tears and despair of my oldest son as I told him his sister would never come home. I braved the faces of sympathetic well-wishers and friends, although no words could comfort this enormous loss. I took solace in the fact that my youngest son would not understand the earth-shattering event we all endured as it unfolded around us.
We went through the motions. We took one step at a time. When everyone went home, it was my husband and I that were left to pick up the pieces. We sat on our bedroom floor and cried as we packed away the pink and purple clothes. I sobbed as we put away the pink sheets and blankets adorned in roses that tore our hearts apart.
Two years later, the sharp pain of loss is not yet dull. I have tried to shut it away with terrible vices that numb for mere minutes. I get older and I wonder if this is it? Is this our family… minus one? Do we dare try again?
Will our souls be ripped apart by the same pain? Is it deeper than the pain that I experience when seeing pictures of my friends with their newborn bundles of joy? They are so happy and yet I am so lost. There is never a baby that I see or pass that I do not look at with yearning and sorrow.
I live in a life of what-ifs and if-nots. This pandemic has given me an excuse to go on. If she would have survived, would the threat of covid consume us? Would her congenital heart defect be an inevitable death sentence? Would having her for a year or more just to lose her hurt more than her death so soon after birth?
I live incomplete and burdened in a world without Lucille. I live with the dreams of what our life would have been. As the world turns the corner of this terrible pandemic, is there a future ahead for our family to grow? Or, should we dig out those pink boxes from the attic and let them go? I stare at sad empty hands as we all look toward a brighter future relieved…and yet I am lost.