Monday, July 4, 2011

Honoring our Baby

We lost our little boy.  He never took his first breath.  One minute I was having a beautiful delivery and the next minute our Julien was gone.  

He would have been one month old this week.  After loving him every day for nine months, my whole body aches for him.  My belly is a hollow cave.  Still, at the same time, I feel him... I feel him like he never left me. 

We had a private funeral service and buried our sweet boy next to my grandparents.  An evergreen pear tree marks the space where his little body went back to Mother Earth.  As they lowered his casket, our daughter and I sang:  "We all come from the goddess... and to her we shall return -- like a drop of rain flowing to the ocean."  I truly believe that -- that the earth is a living thing... a goddess... our mother... from whom we are born and to whom we return.

Our daughter is heartbroken, of course.  She's asked a lot of questions and wants us to try to conceive again soon.  It's hard to even think about that but at the same time there is some comfort in the idea.  We still want another little soul to join our family.

My mind is full of questions.  I'm not sure what to do with the nursery or his clothes.  Do I sell everything?  Donate everything?  Do I box it up and put it away in case we are blessed with another pregnancy?  Will I want to see Julien's clothes on a different baby?  Am I strong enough to make these choices?

Time is beginning to feel real again but the first few weeks were a blur.  It felt like sitting in the eye of a hurricane -- the world rushing by while I sat still in the middle just holding on to the feeling of being close to him.  

We've been to the ocean as much as possible -- I feel close to him there too... under the big spacious sky.  Julien's name means, "sky," actually.  His whole name, Julien Honor, was inspired by a quote from the Buddha... it means to remember the pure, open sky of our own true nature.  We are not just these bodies having this experience.  We are so much more than that.  We are infinite and luminous -- vast like the sky.  

I had no idea how important his namesake would end up being.  Now, whenever I sit in meditation, when I sit on the beach, when I let myself dissolve into the sky, I feel him.  Even now, just thinking about it, I feel him... like a part of him never left me.  Our separateness is just an illusion, I think.  By remembering this, I feel like I'm honoring him.

I just finished reading a book exploring the Heart Sutra by Mu Soeng.  In it he says, "In the great ocean the wave and the water can not be separated from each another; the wave is the water and the water is the wave."  This resonates with me so deeply.

I'm writing here now hoping to process some of it -- hoping that writing about it will help me heal.  It's still so raw and both real and unreal.  I lost my dad last year and have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about death, reading about death, meditating on death, talking to our daughter about death, and considering our impermanence.  Maybe some of that is helping now.  It's really hard to know for sure -- but beneath my grief I do feel a sense of calm.

Maybe what gives life beauty is our very capacity for feeling -- for loving and knowing that all we have here on earth is temporary.

Anyways, thanks for listening.  The support of family and friends has helped keep my heart warm through it all.  Deep peace and many blessings to all.
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