Friday, August 24, 2012

13 months

had he lived, i'd say that he is 13 months old. 13 months tomorrow.

his one year angelversary was as peaceful as it could have been. he was born at 12:55am on july 25th, 2011, and he died about a half an hour later. this year, we went and sat on the beach during that time. i needed to be by the water in order to breathe through it and try to feel close to nathaniel. my living son sat on my left side, my husband on my right. the moon reflected off of the ocean, and we watched the stars. i breathed in the air and listened to the waves. it was warm outside.

a bit before his time of birth, i started crying, remembering labor, my experience of childbirth, and having him placed into my arms. but then i stopped, and i tried to remember him before he was born.

what came to me was how much he loved chanting. when i taught yoga during my pregnancy, we would chant at the beginning of every class, and i had the distinct impression that nathaniel liked the chanting. i would bring my breath deeply into my lungs, and allow the vibration of my voice to resonate through my whole body, especially through my chest cavity and my abdomen. nathaniel's little body would resonate as well, and my whole body would fill with a sense of pleasure.

during my pregnancy, my chanting took on a deeper quality. more resonant without being louder. another teacher asked me to lead the chants in her class, and i was happy to do it. before i was pregnant, i was always a little nervous when i led chanting. but with nathaniel in my belly, for some reason, i had a sense of confidence and pleasure when chanting.

when i have thought about certain chants or tried to chant since nathaniel died, i have immediately started to cry because of the pain of missing him. but in that window of time - around 12:55am - 1:30am pst this year - i chanted in my mind and i remembered how much it pleased nathaniel, and how his little body resonated with my voice.

when we left the beach, i went almost directly to bed. and then the day of the 25th was very low key. we spent most of it on the beach, just sitting there.

i made it through. my only intention was to just breathe through the day, and i did.

For sunset, we went to Polihale Beach, which is where the ancient Hawaiians would send off the souls of those who died.

My big boy. But he's still my little boy.


but a month has passed since then already, and there have been good days and there have been bad days. i've been on a stretch of bad days.

yesterday i was bawling for a couple of hours. i just miss him so much.

i am having a really hard time imagining what my life is going to be like now. i left my career teaching high school 3 years ago and i don't really want to go back. we bought this farm in january, and i thought at the time that i would love it. i drive out there now and think about how beautiful it is - the light, the agricultural space - but my heart is just not into it and i don't know why.

i can't plan for the future. i can't decide if we should try to have another baby or not. some days i think we should and then other days i'm not sure. both my living son and my stepdaughter are going to be seniors in high school this year, so it's not like we're starting our reproductive lives together. if we have another baby we would really be starting over. if we don't have another baby, i don't want to be a farmer, and i wonder if i could ever heal in certain ways. i know women lose a baby and they don't have another and their lives move forward anyway. but i'm stuck and i don't know if having another baby is the answer. i don't think i could survive losing another baby, and isn't that the risk you carry by getting pregnant?

i'm trying to see my life both ways and i'm having a really hard time with it.

i'm still just lost. 

on the bright side. . .hmmm. i've been making a lot of jams from the fruit on our farm: plum, peach, and wild blackberry. i also made a plum gewurztraminer vanilla confiture that is pure bliss - it's one of those things that you put in your mouth and your toes curl. we've harvested figs and eaten every single one. i pick figs by putting two in the bowl and then one in my mouth, and that is heaven.

my dogs are sweet and need baths. my living boy is hilarious. my chickens lay beautiful eggs.


  1. I am thinking of you and Nathaniel and wishing you peace and love.xoxoxoxo

  2. I'm sorry. I know what you mean about still feeling lost. I feel that way, too, and am having a difficult time planning too far into the future and conjuring an image of what I want my life to be--because it's never going to be the way I want it to be. Not without Molly.

    You painted a sweet picture of the honeyed things in your life--that plum gewurztraminer vanilla confiture sounds delicious. I wish Nathaniel was here to enjoy the jams and figs, too.

    Speaking of sweet pictures....your photos are great, and you are beautiful.

    Beautiful mama. xo

  3. It's been a while since I've heard from you. You've been on my mind. And hmmm...figs...sounds delicious. Too bad all the figs in the world can't erase the pain...and wondering about losing another baby, oh, I can relate.
    Much love to you dear one, Em

  4. Ah sweet Nathaniel. I loved reading your description of how your boy loved to listening to the chants, I could imagine him bobbing about, full of joy and contentment and his mother's voice.

    The beach looks beautiful, I think the sea is the right place to be at these times. If there could be a right place for such a difficult time.

    I still feel a bit lost, like I don't really know where I'm going or what I'm doing. I would like another child but that seems like such a huge risk.

    But life has sweet dogs and confiture and figs and beautiful eggs in it. Sometimes we just have to grab these passing slices of happiness, simple pleasures. Sending love to you x

  5. I'm also trying to see my life both ways, and also having a hard time. I want to see how not having another baby will mean some freedom - from my body, from the routine of babies, which I've realized lately I am completely out of - freedom to pursue the career that I've worked so hard for the last 6 years. Except that now I don't really want that career and another baby will also mean snuggles and sweetness, hope, a sibling for E and an increase in love for us all.

    Sitting on the beach with your family remembering Nathaniel's life inside you seems a lovely way to mark the day. Hard, too, and exhausting. I'm glad you have berries and figs, and dogs and a hilarious living boy to cheer you; I wish you didn't need cheering; I wish Nathaniel was with you on the farm, putting everything in his mouth, being carried around by his big brother. Love to you Suzanne. So much.

  6. Oh Suzanne, you are beautiful inside and out. I love how you remembered your sweet Nathaniel with a silent chant, and watching sunset on Polihale Beach. I think breathing through the days and moments is all we can really do.

    Homemade jams are the best, and your plum gewurztraminer vanilla confiture sounds gorgeous.

    Love and peace to you beautiful mama x

  7. Simple pleasures - I'm glad you have those. It's funny, but in my previous life, I was a relentless planner - a one year plan, and five year plan, a life long plan... Then Seamus died and all that went out the window. I have been taught (in the cruellest possible way) to live in the present. Whether that's enjoying a delicious piece of fruit, or a hot shower, just appreciating what is in front of me, right now.

    The flip side is that it makes me very reluctant to make ANY plans anymore... Especially big plans. So I understand that deciding upon another pregnancy must be a little overwhelming for you.

    It looks like you live in a beautiful place. And it's lovely to see pictures of you.

    I'm glad that in amongst the pain of Nathaniel's one year mark, you found your inner chant and it brought you a little peace.