Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Nothing Gold Can Stay

On the Monday of the last week of school this term, two of our former teachers had babies. One was a miracle baby, born after a long, prayer filled battle with infertility; the other a honeymoon pregnancy conceived without struggle. One lived. One did not.

Surprisingly, it was the honeymoon baby who visited only briefly, leaving a hand-print on the hearts of her devastated parents; parents who had been told that she was not well designed for this world and who chose to faithfully trust and prepare for her arrival anyway. The reality of her fleeting 6 hour visit has left them broken.

I question the wisdom of their miracle seeking faith. To me, if God had seen fit to let me know before hand that this baby was not going to live, I would have taken that information and prepared myself, and the people around me, who love me, as best I could. Is it not miracle enough that we can see inside the womb and see the truth of things? But I am wrong to make this judgement. None of us can know, with certainty, what we would choose to do faced with the shattering loss of the 'yet to come'.

I'm feeling a certain guilt that several of us, who were privy to the possibility, have discussed and pronounced and shaken our heads in disbelief at this couple's decision to believe. I am torn between the 'well, what did they expect?' and an angry awe that their faith was strong enough to allow them to take this road, ending as it did in such savage loss.

And it has connected with a loss in me which I have been feeling for some time now and had been unable to name. A loss which comes to me in dreams of a knobbly kneed laughing girl with freckles and golden hair, calling for me across a garden, or down some stairs, or past the faces of her friends in the school yard.

Because, as guilty as I feel for having had her for longer than 6 hours, she is indeed, just as devastatingly, gone.

And it doesn't stop me dreaming of her, and waking with wet cheeks and a hole in my heart because the reality is that her grown-up self is separating from me; ever so gradually, piece by piece, moment by moment, as inexorably as the rolling seasons.

Of which this grief, is one.