Another year goes by, Allira

It’s another year since your too early birth, already gone from me, already lost. Your younger sister and brother visited your grave recently. Your sister said “I stayed with my big sister for a whole”, and it took me a moment she didn’t mean hers – and yours, and yours – big sisters that are well and alive and marvelously, magically with us, but you, you my wee one, who would be 13, looking at 14, all teenage drama and angst and joy. I looked at your little sister, and wondered would you have been fair like her and two of your older sisters, or dark like your brother and another older sister? And it was, as always, the bitter and the sweet. I miss you so very much. I read today there is no grief like a stillborn loss. I think any pregnancy loss is raw anguish, just worse the further along you get. It’s a hurt you never recover from, no matter how many children you have, as no child is a substitute for another. So another year goes by, my little one, and I miss you still.

I found this, and it made me smile, and once, when holding your sweet so tiny body, smiling again seemed impossible. I never knew who you were, but I know you would have been as magic and wonderful as the others, your siblings. And that’s enough. We shared hopes, and dreams, you and I, as all mothers do for their babies. I sang to you, and loved you. So, despite never knowing you living outside of my body, I knew you before, and that is a knowledge that I treasured.

“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well.”

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