Thursday, May 19, 2011


I haven't been paying all that much attention to the alleged facts behind the claim that the world is going to end at 9:00pm on Saturday, but I have given a little thinking time to the concept itself.

Let me be clear: I have no wish to die. There are a lot more things I want to see and do here. I don't feel quite done.

But the truth is, when you've buried your only child and know there are no more coming, the idea of death - even at the relatively young age of 41 - isn't quite as daunting a prospect to consider. I am by no means sitting around waiting to die, and that's not how I'm living my life. But I'm also not living the same way people with children do. I'm not marking time with developmental milestones, birthday parties and school graduations. My child won't have a first date, first prom, first day of work. He won't get married. He won't call me, half out of his mind with excitement, fatigue, and relief, to tell me that I've become a grandmother.

People with children live for these things, and I can guarantee they've thought of half of them before changing that first diaper.

Those who are childless-by-choice are probably shifting uncomfortably in their seats right now, irritated that I'm suggesting that life is somehow less important, less interesting or less fulfilling without a child in it.

That's not what I'm saying. Well, not exactly. 

What I'm saying is that when I was carrying a wriggling, healthy baby boy in my tummy, I looked out at the vast expanse that was rest of my life and expected him to be in it. You know, alive and everything.

But he's not. I'm passing time without him instead, and that's the difference between someone who wanted it and someone who didn't. I missing him, and all the future he was. It's not that my life isn't fulfilling and often very happy, it's that it always has that empty spot where Thomas - and his own big, full life - might have been.

So to me, life is less fulfilling, less interesting and less important than it would have been with my son in it. How on earth could it not be?

Which means that if I do die on Saturday - if those placard carrying doomsday enthusiasts are correct - I won't be leaving one of the people that I love most in the world, I'll be meeting him again. And sooner than I'd expected at that.

I have so much to live for - so many wonderful things I haven't done, seen, read, heard, and experienced. But I have a lot to die for too.

That's just the way it is.


delphi said...

I remember driving under a train bridge in the months after C's death and thinking that it would be okay if the train just fell through the bridge on top of me. Just one big freaking disaster that no one could predict - like his death, I guess. If death meant I could be with him again, well, I was ready for it.

Illanare said...

Hugs and more hugs, sweetheart.

Terynn said...

I get it. I haven't lost a child, but I trust that the life after this is better and fuller and sweeter with the people I HAVE lost, who are waiting for me, than they could ever be here.

Rachel said...

What a wonderful post. I understand wishing to be with your baby who is not on earth. What a great day the will be when we are reunited with our children in heaven.
I was wondering if you would be willing to e-mail me. I have a personal question for you and could not find any other way to contact you than through a comment. my email address is alastingfootprint (at) gmail (dot) com