Saturday, January 9, 2016


I wanted to cry last night. Given the circumstances I thought maybe I would, or should. But I couldn't. I don't know. I was tired but a little amped up, as I usually am the night before my long run. And I started thinking, remembering, and still no tears came.

I used to wonder about that, in the early days after Calla died. Women of all ages would console me, remember with me, listen to and speak her name in a way only a woman who'd walked this road can do. They would unselfishly share their stories with me, tell me how they'd emerged from the burning rubble leftover from the death of their babies. And I'd always wonder why they weren't still, all day long, crying.

Yet eventually I stopped crying every day, too. I can't even remember the first night I didn't cry myself to sleep, but I do remember waking up the next day feeling as though I'd forgotten something very important. Soon after I could go to the grocery store, or the library, and come out dry-eyed. Movies and dance recitals, anywhere a large crowd sits together in the dark and watches art, took a bit longer.

That's not say I wasn't, and am not still, sad every day. It's a strange way to exist in the world, with a child you never knew dancing through your heart to the rhythm of your breath. It's just that I can go for a very long time without weeping, which, if you'd told me six years ago would be possible I wouldn't have believed you.

So last night I thought it might be time for a good, soul-cleansing cry. I mean, Calla's birthday and day she died fall on the same days of the week this time around. I remember, vividly, driving to the hospital that freezing, snowing, Friday January 8th night. I remember lying in the hospital bed all day and night, counting and recounting the ceiling tiles and waiting to give birth to my dead baby. I try not to, but I feel more than remember the moment the doctor gave up searching the sonogram for a heartbeat, for any sign of life. I wish I couldn't hear the sounds that came out of my body, the primal wail that sirened out of my mouth, seemingly without end.

But I couldn't cry.

My life right now is very, very good. My boys keep me busy and running all day long. I am so lucky, I have two living, healthy children. As crazy as they make me I understand the supreme gift I've been granted by their simple, ordinary existence. And with their life I've had to make a neat little package of my grief. I can't, couldn't, wrap myself in it, smother myself under it. The two living boys here need me to walk, talk, drive, hug, snuggle, yell . . . I had to pack it in a secret pocket, and pull it out when I need it.

I thought about the women, those who know this pain and bear it without constant tears. I know they cry when the tears inevitably come. I know they have scars that still hurt, a lot, when poked.I am one of them, I am six years away from the death of our daughter. It rips me apart. I miss her no less. I wish she was here and wonder what our life would look like. E, just today, asked where her car seat would be, between him and his brother maybe?

Calla Valentina. Today you have been gone six years. And we miss and love you so very much.


  1. Remembering Calla Valentina on her birthday. Thinking of you and your family xx

  2. Oh, six. May the tears come if you need them to, Mary Beth. Big hug to you on Calla's day

  3. I have tears for her right now... Sitting here in my car. Rain coming down. A long day of work behind me and two living children inside. I remember her. I miss her too. I know your pain and the path you walk and I wish you had Calla in your arms instead of just your heart. We both know that not crying everyday does not equal missing less. It doesn't, cannot, will not be any less sad that she is not here. I will always be thankful for your words and your love for your second child and first daughter. Sending you my love and comfort.

  4. Remembering her with you. It is so strange...i cry so rarely now, but i am still sad. The crying when it comes feels so good, i can hardly believe i fight it. Six. Beautiful Calla. Sending you love

  5. Remembering her with you. It is so strange...i cry so rarely now, but i am still sad. The crying when it comes feels so good, i can hardly believe i fight it. Six. Beautiful Calla. Sending you love

  6. I too, cry so little these days, almost five years onto this treacherous path that none of us would choose. Sometimes my whole body aches for my missing boy, my body sobs but no tears come. Sending love to your Calla. Her name sings beauty to me. xoxo

  7. A flower shop in town
    their sign says
    Calla Lilies

    every time I pass
    your girl is right there
    first in line in my mind

    you are there with her
    the years might pass but
    still she's there and the

    regret stays bitter
    here is where she should be
    not a sign but a girl

    it isn't fair
    it never will be fair
    i will always hate her death

    i will always miss her life
    yet no passage of years
    will cause it to grow again

    i'm so sorry, Mary Beth.

    Calla Valentina
    Calla Valentina
    Calla Valentina

    i will say your name

    xo CiM