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.