Thursday, April 9

Namaste Lily Raine

My grand daughter would have been 6 weeks old today.

Her name is Lily Raine.

I never got a chance to meet her. She died in utero from umbilical cord strangulation. She was delivered by induced labor about 36 hours after her parents learned that she had no heartbeat, on the day that had been chosen to be her birthday. I only hope her journey through the Bardo will be short and will allow that tiny portion encompassing Brahman to choose what lesson she will learn, or teach, next to happen soon. I know that which ever path that spark chooses next will be one of profound compassion and clarity. It is very difficult to bring that hope to the surface through the tears shrouding all I see. I am a coward and weak and unable to realize how insignificant my own pain and utterly immobilizing anguish is compared to what her parents are experiencing. I am shamed by my weakness. I want to blame someone, something, some god. There is nothing at which to direct my anger and I am ashamed by that fear and anger. But it isn't about me.

My son, C___ and his lovely partner H______ were so happy and proud when we saw them last September. They looked so joyous and in love and strong. C____ is 28. H______ is 24. C____ stands six foot five and H______ comes nearly to his chin. I was so pleased and proud of them both and the life that they had put together. They shared some of their plans and hopes and concerns with us, both together and separately.

C____ and I talked about how a child changes things. About how that tiny intrusion of perfection into our mundane lives brings wonder and awe and uncertainty and fear but mostly unspeakably indescribable love. How we are remade into better people by such a small wriggly bundle of newness. How we can relearn the mystery of this universe every time we see them sleeping or blinking at us through unfocused eyes bright with that still fully connected to god sparkle, not yet dimmed by all the intrigues of butterflies and puppies, the momentary agonies of bruised knees and broken arms and hearts. Of the guilt felt by us when the complete trust and boundless love given by them freely and totally is fractured when we feel they need to be trained in the rules of this world. At least as far as we understand those semi agreed upon rules. How they will forgive us our ignorance about what really matters when they reach out and wrap their sticky-fingered hands around our neck and kiss us on the cheek. How they will share their most treasured and powerful amulets of bird feathers they find stuck in the bushes, the empty, broken snail shells that fascinate and enthrall them and the delight when they give us a special rock or dried up leaf they've found.

When C____ and I emerged from his mancave, we returned to the civilized world and sat around and talked about practical items like curtains and mortgages and car seats. We chatted about what might be needed for them to feel ready for this incredible journey they were fully embarked upon. How they were starting Lamaze and prenatal yoga classes.

I don't know what my wife and H______ talked about, but I am pretty sure it had to do with mommy type stuff, which as all men, who think they know who they are or not, realize we can never fully comprehend even though they tell us and show us every moment we are together. I used to think I was a reasonably intelligent man and knew quite a bit about this world until I was made aware by the mothers of my own children that my misplaced and ignorant ideas of what was of value paled to insignificance by dirty diapers and healthy choices of foods and toys. Of how sharing is a lesson that, while difficult to impart, is closer to Truth than spelling correctly or tense agreement. By the urgent and paramount requirement that acceptance and encouragement is so much more vitally important than scribbles on a wall or a broken dish or a throw up stained tie and shirt. Of how answering “Why?” needs to be an immediate priority, towering so far above a dusty shelf or a messy room, as to need a telescope of Hubble proportions for such ephemerals to be even seen.


  1. I've been given the teaching, over and over again, that we don't actually create them. These precious little ones.

    Look at just how amazing they are! And we think we, as puny humans could somehow pull off the creation of tiny sweet perfection like that?

    I understand no more why we are in form, than why we are not. Especially lately. The dance of the universe is, to a large extent unknowable. There's no way of understanding why Lily Raine (what a beautiful name) did not fully alight in this incarnation.

    We can create meaning and hold that close to bring comfort. Or we can open and surrender and say, 'No, I don't know'. That's my preference, as the creation of and belief in meanings, can in itself cause suffering.

    Pain is a teacher. Not that we ever think we need the lesson. But teach it does.

    I am so sorry for you and your family's loss.

    I have two nieces, but not children of my own yet. My newest niece is around 6 weeks old and already I love her, although she does not know me and nor do I know her. I've sometimes imagined the loss of those adorable babies and it breaks my heart just thinking about it.

    Not that we have too much of a say in any of it.

    Dear Lily Raine, I wish you well in your travels. May you plead with the Universe to send another in your place, and soon, to your adoring parents.

    May everyone's hearts be soothed and salved quickly.


  2. Beautifully written.
    As difficult as it is to do, we have to trust the universe has a different and better plan for Lily.
    When it comes to kids, we think we are teaching them, but they teach us a lot. You take them by the hand & they take you by the heart.

    Sending a wave of healing to your family.

  3. Ball of Light, I came by to wish you a joyous blog awakening, but am so sorry to hear of your loss, I will instead extend my heartfelt condolences to you and your family and my hopeful wish for the healing that must now follow.

    I must also say you are neither cowardly nor weak, nor can I understand why you should feel any shame. It took extreme courage to write about this tragedy with the honest care and palpable emotions you expressed.

  4. DK - Thank you for both your joyous and your kind wishes. my entry into blogland has been a long time coming, though i'd imagined it quite differently... some imaginings Gang aft agley ,
    An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
    For promis'd joy!

    Thank you deeply, from me and on behalf of my family, for your very kind words. they bring a balm to the jagged, tattered wound that used to be my heart.


    Fran - Thank you so much. i only gave voice to the void... and while my head knows the difficult truth of your words, pain is such a stern teacher of lessons still to be learned.


    svasti - Thank you for reminding me... i spoke something very similar to my son the day i found out.

    it may be that we are here to learn Nataraja's dance fully and without reserve or need to know... those may be only the intermediate steps... and they are of value only in that they help us bring along others to learn to dance

    Thank you for your offering.

    svasti, Fran, DK - Namaste


  5. so so sorry...much light to you and yours....there is no reason for this...may your sadness heal and bring you all closer...and send light to each other and light...there will be another little being on the way....namaste

  6. ( please know I say that because when I baby does not reach earth often the family feels that it is their fault..and they question and they question that any other baby will be brought to them.....there will be ...the love bring an old nurse I have always said those words after such a is what they need to hear.....namaste...and good for you for writing honoring such little ones....and honoring your family..)

  7. Thank you Enigma.
    I've been sending as much light and love to them as iam able as i find more available the deeper i go into my own heart. we are all doing the best we can... all of us.
    i appreciate your thoughts and the additional light... i will pass it along.