Six Years Out: The Memorial

Six years ago today, my husband read this excerpt from Letters to a Young Poet, by Rilke. This is from the fourth letter.

“…Here, where I am surrounded by an enormous landscape, which the winds move across as they come from the seas, here I feel that there is no one anywhere who can answer for you those questions and feelings which, in their depths, have a life of their own; for even the most articulate people are unable to help, since what words point to is so very delicate, is almost unsayable. But even so, I think that you will not have to remain without a solution if you trust in Things that are like the ones my eyes are now resting upon. If you trust in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge. You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Perhaps you do carry within you the possibility of creating and forming, as an especially blessed and pure way of living; train yourself for that — but take whatever comes, with great trust, and as long as it comes out of your will, out of some need of your innermost self, then take it upon yourself, and don’t hate anything.”

I don’t know how he did it. I could barely stand up. Actually, I don’t think I did stand up. Someone got me a chair.

I held someone’s hand — or someone held mine. It felt like trying to stay above water. DearDR maybe; maybe my dad. I really don’t remember. My milk came in that day, too, at the restaurant afterward. Talk about insult to injury.

A lot of the accounts I read mention cremation for babylost babies. DearDR and I actually had a burial, with the smallest casket ever — we didn’t make any of the arrangements; my ILs did; and we had a picture of Gabriel framed for people to see him as he was after delivery.

I wish I weren’t thinking of this today. I’m so very tired. Since Saturday at 3 a.m., this week has been the longest month of my life. But the girls are restored to health and daycare, so I have to move forward too. My heart’s having a hard time of it. Grieving has taken a back seat to strep and laundry and work. Well, and Pittsburgh Penguins games. It’s not all a burden.

Miss you, little boy. Watch over us. Let us find peace.