I am painfully aware of your stillness now,
And now that I’ve noticed, I can’t un-notice.
It’s an overwhelming stillness…
A nothingness that means everything,
– that changes everything.
One more time, 2 pink lines will end in heartbreak.
One more time, caught off-guard, an empathetic professional has said, “I’m so sorry…”
One more time, I will pack for a hospital trip that one fewer of us will return home from.
A special sign will go above my door on the ward, encouraging others to tread lightly and speak softly.
One more time, I will hold a piece of my heart in my hands,
A perfect, swaddled bundle of absolute stillness and silence.
One more time, I will kiss a cold face. I will admire tiny, silent hands. One more time, my mind’s eye will race to memorize every hair, every curve, and every detail – because pictures, like babies, can also be lost.
One more time, I will leave a piece of myself behind. I will choose a “Forever” outfit. I will make memorial pamphlets for another life barely lived. I will choose another tiny urn and make more room on the shelf.
One more time, friends and family will struggle for words at a time when words themselves are painfully superfluous.
One more lifetime that can be contained in one more box.
One more nursery will go unused – one more empty bassinet sits by my bed… And one more time, I will ponder the question, “Will you try one more time?”
Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash