I don’t know exactly where my thoughts will lead me. I have a sense that they will cause me to contort into a pretzel, because when beliefs meet reality, hell, principles are the first casualties.
My friend. No, my little sister. No, not my little sister, really, but someone with whom I have that negative affection thing. Who needed to be at my wedding. Who called me to see if I could come a night early for her wedding that was being canceled by the 2011 hurricane. Who called to say she was pregnant.
The person I watch out for. The person whom, if you cross, you also cross me. The person whose now-husband I had to meet twice. Once to scare (I do that pretty well); the second time, to welcome. There are people in the world that come before everyone except your spouse, your child and your siblings. She is one of them.
She was pregnant. 20 weeks. The baby was lost. Yes, I said, “baby”. I am pro-choice and pro-life (because isn’t everyone?) but I am not anti-abortion. It is a choice. But when the choice is made to carry the fetus, then it is a life. Logical? No. Emotional? Yes. And in my gut, I know I am right.
They named the baby. G-d needs to know that soul’s name. That baby cannot be unaccounted for, unremembered, or part of the masses of souls who enter and leave this world without those to remember them.
That little precious bundle had lineage and a future. That little precious bundle has a different future — with G-d. That baby is not alone, now and forever. He has a past and future and parents who remember him. Always.
Here is where everything collides for me. I don’t believe in G-d, except that I believe that babies who are wanted have souls. I don’t believe in G-d, except when souls leave this world too soon. I don’t believe in G-d who lets young babies, who are desperately wanted by their parents, die. But I pray that G-d forgives my anger and lets this baby’s soul come back as the second child of grieving parents.
I am glad the baby was given a name. Because his name makes him known in this world and the next. May his blessing be for a memory. And may his parents experience joy from the second child who, G-d willing, will out-live his/her parents.
Please, G-d, you have given them the untold joy of a child in the womb and the heart-breaking pain of a child who did not survive. Be kind that the next child shall excite the joy but never cause the depths of pain. May that child outlive his/her parents. So that they never know such pain again.
To my sister-ish friend, you may never read this. (You never read my blogs when I asked for your feedback.) But know that in our house, on this day, each year, we will light a candle for the soul that was and will be again.
Baruch dayan emet.