Too soon and too brief

The future changed when my wife told me she was pregnant back in February. Slowly at first, but more quickly as the weeks and months went on, pieces of our lives shifted and rearranged. When we found out we were having a girl, more things latched into place — clothes, furniture, toys, her name. Major milestones moved forward — when would both of the kids be in school? When would they graduate from high school, college? When could I retire? All of these changes felt inevitable as sunrise, and as solid as earth. The shape of our life had changed in big and small ways to accept, accommodate, support, and nourish our little girl.

When Poem died, the future changed again. A sink hole opened the ground under us. Everything that had changed in our lives to form a home for Poem was suddenly attached to and formed around emptiness. Like a city fallen into such a hole, the initial collapse was catastrophic, but the crumbling continues day by day. There are little pockets of Poem-shaped space remaining that we discover with surprise and mourn as they too must be reshaped by her permanent absence.

While I know that words carry weight, a voice in me says that there is no weight like the weight of a human being. Merry birthed Poem, and we held her with our hands and saw her with our own eyes. I need the world that wasn’t in that room to know she was a real child. But she cannot be seen or held anymore, so the best way to know she was real is photos.

Here is Poem Grace.