Apr 18, 2010

We Celebrate

A few weeks ago the Resurrection of Christ was celebrated. A friend had asked me if this special time of the year gave me some hope and encouragement. I expected it to, I told her. Even though I was warned by those who had lost babies before me that holidays were hard, especially the first one after the loss.

In the week earlier I had experienced a small miracle, if you can even call it that. I do though. I had missed church throughout all of lent. There was a particular hymn traditionally sung during this time to Christ's mother Mary, who we in the Orthodox Church refer to as the Theotokos (God-bearer).

I leafed through every page of my prayer book hoping to refresh my memory of the words. I read every word in the lenten section and couldn't find it. Just before giving up I said aloud, "I'd like to sing you this song, but I can't find it." I looked down at the page I was on, and my eyes went right to it.

She was with me. I felt at once calmed and desperate. Tears came, I said thank you and please stay. And then I sat there for a long time, wordless. And then I sang to her.

Here is the song: I wish you could hear the melody, it is as hauntingly beautiful as the content.

All of creation rejoices in you.
The assembly of angels and the race of man.
Oh hallowed temple and spiritual paradise ...
of whom God was incarnate and became a child
He made your body into a throne
and your womb He made more spacious than the heavens
All of creation rejoices in you
Oh Full of Grace, glory to you.

So, heaven was close that week. Saturday night I lovingly made tiramisu for the big party. But when I woke up Easter morning all I could think about was an Easter outfit that my baby girl would not wear today. I had nothing for her. This thought would not leave. I had to include her in our day. I decided late in the morning that I had to go to her grave immediately, an hour away. Gratefully Jimmy was willing to change the day's course with me. We hurriedly showered, dressed, and sat in Boston traffic with a potted pink hyacinth for our daughter's grave. Shane blew bubbles for her while we were there.

We left and sat in more traffic on the way to church, so much so that we missed the service alltogether and headed straight for the party. Within 5 minutes of our arrival a poor unsuspecting parishoner asked if I'd had the baby. For some reason, when I'm feeling especially vulnerable, this makes me mad. I held it together well enough to say "No, she died... They announced it in church weeks ago... It's OK, you didn't know ... thank you ..." endured the obligatory hug and made a beeline for the door. I did not set foot back in the house, fearing that this would happen again. I asked Jimmy's cousins to sit outside with me and protect me from all of the happy people. They did, adding several bottles of wine for insurance.

Today I am making invitations for my own party. They have an angel, a wedding couple, and a graduation cap on them. We will have a memorial service on May 15, followed by a celebration in honor of our daughter, our ten year wedding anniversary, and Jimmy's completing five years of school to become a journeyman electrician. It occurs to me that this is a strange mixture of honors. That some people may think it odd, even inappropriate to celebrate them all at once. This is the best part about the transformational process I've gone through recently: I don't care. Brynn is part of our family, our marriage, our life together. We have reason to celebrate! And so we shall.

1 comment:

  1. May 15 is also your grampa Verne's birthday. He would be 91 this year. I'm sure he would have loved the opportunity to be with you for the service. We were able to take Megan and Ollie and Anabel (who was just a week or so old at the time) to see him two days before he died, and he was able to hold her in his lap and enjoy watching the beginning of a new life as his life was ending.