with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
This is the most polite way to say this: A college classmate just lost his beloved wife due to complications during labor. Complications is a kind word for pain, fear and horror leading to loss beyond imagining.
Their newborn daughter—and only child—will never know the mother who’d been so eagerly awaiting her birth. Family and friends are in shock, trying to come to terms with this loss that should not be, this terrible turn of events. In one day, my classmate becomes a single father and a widower.
There are no words for this, nothing original to be said, nothing that can be said to make any of this right or better or easier.
I knelt and said a prayer for my classmate and his baby daughter. My hand went to my belly, unconsciously, wanting to protect, all over again. I don’t know the circumstances.
In 2001, my then-husband was at risk of losing me, our first daughter, or both of us to severe preeclampsia. Induced early, our daughter was born at only four pounds. The only details that matter now: she made it; I recovered.
I don’t understand why this could not also have been their story. It should have been their story.
I study the mother’s face in a memorial article. I don’t understand what I am seeing. I blink back tears. This woman is alive, somewhere, surely. There is a newborn, so there must be a mother. There is a daughter, so there must be a mother, a mother must be. This is the only acceptable logic.
Passed away unexpectedly. This cannot be right. She is beautiful and bold and strong and grinning in the photo, clearly up for the challenge and joys of new motherhood. They have lost sight of her, that’s all. It’s a mistake. She’s stuck in the hospital elevator, or down in the gift shop, craving a chocolate bar, a coffee, a pink balloon. She’ll turn up. She must turn up.
I don’t know her. I did not know her, though we went to the same college. But I know what she will be missing, and I cannot bear it—not for her, not for daughter, and not for her husband. I want to tear my hair out with the frustration and grief of not understanding how this can be. So I cannot begin to imagine the sorrow of those who loved her dearly, who were looking forward to sharing her new life as a mother.
I want to reach into the photograph and take her by the hand and lead her to a safe place a decade from now, a safe place where she and her husband and their 10-year-old daughter celebrate a birthday that is not also a death day.
I’m so sorry, T, J and baby E.
Subscribe to blog via RSS