The Heart's Undertaker
Today, my four year old son said “I miss our two babies, Mommy.” He looked at me with the most sincerity in his big, brown eyes.
Then he said “Can we only have two babies?” I know what he was asking. He wanted to know if we would have another chance at a baby, or if we were done with our chances. I told him that I didn’t know.
I am my heart’s undertaker. A piece was buried with my daughters, scattered as with the light mist of their ashes. That piece stays out of my mind, out of my sight, until… Until one of my sons brings it to light. Pulls the scattered remnants into a collective whole of the tiny lives that were lost. I have to take a deep breath, and let the air out of my lungs, scattering the ashes again. And again. And again. My sons pull my daughters to the forefront of my consciousness, then I exhale and send them back. And again. And again. Two children. Not four.
He finished with “I heard the babies, Mommy.” I inquired what he meant. We never got to the point where he could see/hear the babies growing in my womb at home. He gave me a knowing smile and walked away. In my heart, I would like to say that my girls are talking to their brother and guiding him every day. Maybe so.
“I am my heart’s undertaker. Daily I go and retrieve its tattered remains, place them delicately into its little coffin, and bury it in the depths of my memory, only to have to do it all again tomorrow.”
― Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls