My Ruthie would have been 18 last November, and as much as I hate cliches, this one is true — time will dull grief like water that smoothes rocks. But it will never take it fully away. My husband has left his fist-sized dent in the bathroom wall in a hospital room, & just for a second, envied me the oblivion that morphine brought at that hour, the only thing that stopped my chills in spite of many warm blankets piled on top of me. I didn’t scream when we didn’t hear her heartbeat, even though we heard it two days prior — heard it on a Monday, but when I went into labor, Wednesday, it was no longer there. I did’t scream because my mother screamed & because I knew that if I opened my mouth, I would never stop screaming. I have two living children, my daughter, who Is now 20, & a son, now 16. We only wanted two kids — it’s the heavy irony that he owes his life to Ruthie. But we cannot love the dead as much as the living. I am jealous of your faith, since I have none of my own (I have religion, but it’s not the same thing). Love & treasure your children, your sons, & know that that that baby-sized hole in your heart has forever changed your DNA, & has given you compassion beyond measure. I find comfort in that, & in my husband’s love, in my own children’s laughter. May you heal together.

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.