I lost a daughter today.

Her eyes would never blink, her fingers would never grasp onto mine, and her peaceful smile would never grow into a heart-warming laugh.

She was stillborn, as I’d known she would be, and my heart was wrenched nonetheless.

“It’s a fluke,” the doctor had said a few days earlier, and I could not process the meaning of that. Surely there must be an explanation. “A fluke” was just saying “we have no fucking clue.”

At a time like this, I am consoled by my faith, irrational as it may sound to hardened atheists who are set out to ridicule and demean the only defence I have against nihilism and hopelessness. Thank you for your sober, cerebral and “scientific” punditry, but now I’d like to get back to the comfort that I might still be able to hold my sweet little girl in a distant future, and that we may eventually be able to smile at one another.

Faith, though, is no panacea for grief, and I wish “friends” would understand that. I am aware of the trite theophysing and platitudes that accompany these occasions. And I understand that some will recite them because they are an easy way to overcome an awkward moment (what else would you tell an estranged employee who asks for time off because his child died). I do not however understand why some think that their pre-canned condolences are sure hexes against grief and anguish. I am entitled to my sobbing and my mood swings- thank you very much- and this has naught to do with a dearth in faith or strength. If you’ll sod off please, I’d like to take a moment to cry my eyes out before I move on.

My girl was a promise that wasn’t, a potential left unfulfilled. But she lives. She lives in the blessing of having held a glimpse of that promise. She lives in the choke scarring my voice every time I’ll remember her; in memories of the gasp I let out when I heard her heart beat for the first time; in the excitement I was bestowed with while her heart beat; and in the interminable void she left when her heart gave out.

She lived, though shortly, and I am forever grateful that she did. I am more formidable, more content, more at peace with the world for having endured that loss, and I have my little girl to thank for that.

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