Wednesday, March 13, 2019

miscarried heart

To be heartbroken, truly heartbroken, is to carry a dead child within you. You can no more tell the heartbroken man or woman to “get over it” than you can command the no-longer nurturing uterus: “empty thyself.”

The heart cannot expectorate its inhabitant and neither can the uterus surrender her contents. They cannot. The un-quickened child lingers, the life-that-might-have-been has not yet been expelled.

I am not making light of miscarriage.

And I would expect all women who have lost a child in utero or stillborn to rightfully take me to task, and excoriate me with righteous anger. And tell me, to wit, that I have no idea what I am talking about. It’s true. I do not. Pain is sacred; life even more so. Loss and pains that we experience ought to be guarded. There can be no comparisons.

Just like the woman who mourns what is inside of her, which once was living and is dead, so I mourn the ending of a relationship—a life forged of two people. A life that had a life outside of just-me and just-him. An entity that contained in it all the possibilities of a future—new potentials, roadmaps of contingencies that, with our rupture, with his passing from my life—are null and void. That die, like the infant, before seeing them come to fruition.

Children are the fruit of what they are like. And they are our future—they are our relating, our loving, taking shape into something new, full of difference. Vive le difference, a bas le mort. And yet le mort wins today.

Just like the woman who cannot yet let go of the death of the future, whose child, no longer a living child, but the corpse of one, lingers in her womb, so you linger on my body. I mourn you, who infects my flesh with your dead, absent presence. Who lingers within me, whose memories press around and in and on and above me. You fill the space left for a stranger. You are still floating there, lifeless, impotent. A dead end womb. I can no more invite someone in than I can impregnate a miscarried womb. The space is, its true, empty of all living souls. But the dead still linger there. And life cannot win again until I labor you away.

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