Monday, January 9, 2012

Two For Real

Today is her birthday. Somehow this day is easier than yesterday was. Remembering that chilling, eerie feeling of knowing my daughter was dead, but not really knowing for sure, then knowing for sure . . . it was my own little horror film. Delivering Calla, waiting for the labor to be over . . . well, that was really hard. But I had a goal, a focal point, I knew the outcome.

Her delivery, sadly, was not beautiful. It was emotionally and physically the most torturous thing I hope I ever have to live through. I screamed like a mortally wounded animal and wanted with every fiber of my being to die.  I have guilt that her birth was so ugly.

So now I feel compelled to give her beautiful things. But what, I am wondering, do you give a dead baby?

Today we went here with the boys, and then when we got home I ran through the cemetery. I thought it was fitting to spend the day with children and dead people. C took the day off from work and we just put our heads down and got through it.

On my run I stopped at Calla's marker and cleared it off. I sat and had a good little cry. It was a beautiful sunny and relatively warm day. I couldn't help remember two years ago, after she died and was born, driving around the cemetery looking for suitable places for her marker. It was so very surreal. And yet, it still is surreal. Visiting my dead daughter's cemetery marker on her second birthday. That sentence has about fourteen things wrong with it.

I debated writing anything on the eff beez today. I don't want people to think I'm trolling for sympathy. But then several friends wished their living children a happy birthday today, and I thought, "what the hell." So I did.

Here we are, marching onward into our third year without our girl.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for your kind words. It means just about everything to me.


  1. I said it on FB, but I'll say it here too—honoring Calla, sending you love today.

  2. ((Hugs)). Thinking of you. I wish I had some magic words of wisdom, other than I care and I remember. Wishing a peaceful day for you, take care.

  3. I find Lucy's death day so much harder than her birthday. Sending you so much love. Remembering Calla with you.

  4. I read every word. I'm so thankful that you write about your Calla. Much love to you and your family.
    - Kari

  5. Ugh... A run through the cemetery to visit your daughters marker. I wonder how your husband reacted to today. Did you talk about it? Did he? I always wonder about the other halfs because mine is so clammed up. I guess one of the things we do best to honor our dead baby is by loving the ones that are living and it sounds like you had a good day with your boys. Sending love.

  6. I understand spending time in cemeteries - and it isn't morbid, like people unacquainted with death imagine. It can't be explained to those who don't understand, and I don't try any more.

    Reminded of something from Jack@Random:

    "They say that when you lose a parent, you lose part of your past. When you lose a spouse, you lose part of your present. And when you lose a child, you lose part of your future."

    Also your innocence, the assumption of fairy-tale endings, and countless things words fail to cover.

    Thinking of what you went (go) through, finding out Calla was dead, giving birth to her, searching a place for her burial, everything wrapped up in the shock waves:

    The horror, the horror, the horror. If only there were a rewind button.

    I'm so sorry, Calla. I'm so sorry, Mary Beth.

    Cathy in Missouri

  7. Oh Mary Beth, I don't think that this ever gets any easier. It changes but it never gets an easier and it is always, always so surreal to me too. Still. Remembering your Calla with you and as always, wishing she was in your arms.

  8. The death day is worse for me too, which now happens to be my second daughter's birthday. I have no idea how I will make sense of that this year and in the years to come.
    Love to you, dear friend.
    My heart aches that Calla is not here and that you have to be HERE because of that.

  9. I'm so sorry Mary Beth. Thinking about your beautiful Calla.

  10. Mary Beth,

    I'm way late on this comment. Possibly too late. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I've been thinking about you and Calla and wishing she was here with you. I suppose that the beautiful thing you give her is your time and your love.


  11. Oh gosh. Mary Beth, my heart aches to read your words as it serves as a reflection of our future days. My husband and I just lost our little girl, Madeleine, just under a month ago to chromosomal abnormalities (triploidy), and though we are completely engrossed in this thing called shock and this other thing called grief at the moment, we are realizing that the mile stone reminders in the years to come will still be this difficult thing we can never prepare for. I'm glad you still write about your experience so people like us can connect in some way. I'm so sorry about Calla.

    Gentleness to you,