for the last few days, my friend kristie has been on my mind and in my heart more than usual. she has just celebrated the birthday of her son avery, still born one year ago.
i don't have any words for kristie. to pretend that i have the first idea of what it is like to lose a baby would simply be insulting, and to offer platitudes is worse than useless. kristie's experience is her own to share, and she expresses herself with heartbreaking honesty and courage on her blog.
all i can do is reflect on the ways that little avery has touched my own life.
he was born and died while i was pregnant with arty. his mama's grief existed in parallel with my hope and my joy. they taught me to be grateful. to take absolutely nothing for granted.
when arty cries in the middle of the night and i just want to sleep, i think "i am lucky that my baby has breath to cry."
when he is unsettled and my arms ache from carrying him, i think "i am lucky that my arms are full, and not empty."
avery did not die because his family wanted him any less than arty's.
or because he had fewer people anticipating his arrival with loving expectation.
or because his parents were less worthy or qualified to care for him.
or because some cruel god or goddess deemed his time up.
or because he had less potential to be a unique and valuable person.
arty lived, and avery died, and there is nothing to put that down to but luck.
sweet little avery has given me the gift of an acute awareness of how incredibly lucky i am.
vale, little one. all love and strength to those you left behind.