Posted by: Louise | March 8, 2010

There are no words

“There are no words.”

The first words the chaplain said as she walked into the middle of our broken life, our beautiful broken baby in my arms.

There are no words.

There are no words.

There are no words.

We have heard it over and over again. They meant there are no words that will comfort you at this time (and this is mostly true, but please don’t stop trying). I am discovering, however, that there really are NO words. We physically do not have the words in english to describe the pain of losing a child – of losing a child at birth.

And yet to contradict myself, in the days and weeks and months since Laura died, I have felt the meaning of  words in a way I have never experienced them before. Their meaning has taken on a physical reality. I physically know what it is to be heartbroken. My heart aches with a pain I have never before felt. A ‘dead’ weight. And what could it be, only a dead weight?

Only months before Laura died I described a friend who had miscarried as being ‘hollow with grief’. At the time the words fell out of my mouth. She was devastated, distraught. But now I know she, and subsequently I, actually were/are physically and emotionally empty and  hollow with grief.

Is it a void in our language? Here is a scenario too awful to comprehend, too overwhelming in its sadness to willingly engage with, so we will protect ourselves by denying ourselves the words to acknowledge it. ‘We never saw your child. Now she is gone and we still don’t see her. We do not see your loss therefore it is not. And if your daughter’s tiny gone-ness is an overwhelming, all encompassing presence in your life, it is not visible to us. There are no words to describe it, therefore it is not.’

And yet our hearts are broken and it hurts with a life-sapping pain we never thought possible. it is everywhere we turn, seeping into everything, but there are no words.

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Responses

  1. it is the word, stillbirth that gets to me at times. But is was still a birth and at it was real.

    I’m new to your blog, reading it page by page right here, right now this Friday morning.

    I’m very touched by your words. Thank you.

    Ines

  2. I agree…sometimes there really are no words. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Laura.


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