Saturday, April 7, 2007

Welcome to the Dark Side

Yesterday we brought home the cremains of our son, stillborn at 30 weeks. I had thought about writing about this whole experience, to somehow recognize the vividness of sense during anguish, but lost the train of thought in the mundane exquisite pain of talking to doctors, funeral directors, and well-meaning innocent bystanders.
But then my therapist brought it up, so here I am.
There's a building on a road near my house called the "Phoenix Club." I would have thought it some sort of house of ill repute, given there's no windows, but one morning I saw a heterogenous middle aged group of folks standing outside, so I was convinced it was perhaps otherwise. So what is it? What need could those people have to rise from the ashes?
And what would rise from the ashes of my son, Lincoln? So tiny his 3 pounds, 5 ounces made only a couple of tablespoons of cremains? I have heard more than once about how "something good must come of this." But that strikes me as patently ludicrous. What possible good could come of my son's tiny heart, for some unknown reason (according to the autopsy), simply stopping in utero? For what possible purpose did we have to undergo a two day hospital stay to deliver a lifeless baby, perfectly formed and beautiful, though limp and blue?
At different mileposts in my life, I have felt aware of being a statistic. When I was divorced, for example. Okay, I'm part of that 45% or 50% or whatever that has been divorced.
But now what kind of group am I part of? What is my Phoenix Club? Those who have experienced loss? That sort of gets it. But my membership is a little more exclusive. Not many people, certainly in this country, have held a dead baby in their arms, felt the cold little toes, and somehow almost without any physicality, cried and moaned from some primal brain stem kind of place. That's my Phoenix Club. And I don't know what's going to rise, but don't tell me it's something good.

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