Beautiful and Terrible

Somewhere out in the darkness, a phoenix was singing in a way Harry had never heard before: a stricken lament of terrible beauty. And Harry felt, as he had felt about phoenix song before, that the music was inside him, not without: It was his own grief turned magically to song…” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

It seems to be an infinite juxtaposition, this pregnancy: beautiful and terrible.  Writing has been my transcription of the clash between the two.  The experience has been something like the Russian sage that grows around my mailbox: lovely and sweet smelling, while also wild and uncontrollable.  The beautiful enmeshed with the terrible somehow makes it bearable?

There are no words to describe the loss of a baby.  Terrible is a mere fraction of the tsunami that crashes over the spirit, leaving destruction and brokenness.  Terrible, in the mightiest sense of the word – an untamed and overwhelming force.  Yet from the darkest corners of my grief emerged… a tribe of support.  Some of the tenderest gestures.  The drive, a buried innate will,  to write, to make meaningful lives that I felt would otherwise be forgotten.  Scraps of beautiful, pressed up against the strength of the terrible. Bearable.

Pregnancy after loss. The intermingling of trauma and hope.  Terrible and beautiful.  On some days hardly bearable.

These last few days have been terrible. Pounding head, non-sleep, debilitating anxiety, shaky hands.  Deep breaths meant to calm instead inhale nausea.  Every hour substantially closer to delivery of this baby, closer to the end, yet tick by in the most unforgiving pace.  And yet… the tribe is steady, with gentle messages of encouragement or quiet whispers of support.  I can hear them breathing behind me, with me.  Beautiful.  Making these last moments bearable.

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