I still visit a lot of the online preemie communities that I was a part of back when you were in the hospital. Many people helped me back then, and I was hoping I could return the favor as new parents passed through in need of support. At any one time, there is always 10 stories unfolding. Some of which end happily, some ambiguously, some sadly. Each time that I see one that ends sadly, I think back to when we thought you would be born before viability. I remember preparing my mind for each stage of grief, and at the very end of that maturing grief, there was a sort of beauty glowing behind that loss.
There is one baby that I've been following. He's lingered so long on "the edge" that I doubt he will make it. It's bothered me, to see him fight so hard for nothing. But is it for nothing, even if he perishes? I wonder whether a life, however short, can still have meaning. Can still be seen brightly in that short moment of time it exists, like an ember that rises above the messy flame of life that inhabits the Earth.
Below is a poem I started to write months ago after talking to a friend about a baby she had lost. I didn't know quite how to finish it until today.
A fire flickers, burning bright,
Gasping air and coughing life,
Amid that flame, an ember is born,
It flickers dimly, then takes form.
It's cast above by drafts of heat,
Buoyed by love, and tears, and grief,
To grace the sky it travels far,
To dwell so brief among the stars.
For seconds short, constellations change,
One star added, to an ageless range,
An immortal moment, moving fast,
Soon to live, forever, amid the past.
Its glory spent, its fire gone,
It pops just once in forlorn song,
Accepting death, its time is yet,
It circles down in pirouettes,
To rejoin, forever, the flame.