Henrik and Gabriel

Henri 017I tore up the hideous tiles and crumbling grout.  I leveraged all my weight and grief on the crowbar and plied up the sub flooring.  Meanwhile my body was still bleeding and grieving; I had miscarried our baby a week previous.

Sometimes grief needs a job to do.

When I couldn’t change the overwhelming sorrow that was swallowing me, I ripped out our dining room floor; I effected change where able.  I could peel back the ugliness to expose the 100 year-old wood floor, I could cry while I pulled out thousands of nails, I could throw huge sections of plywood out into a heap in the yard and throw my rage along with it.

A few weeks later I was pregnant again.

And terrified.

I gave a name to our dear one who left before I could hold him/her:  Gabriel (or Gabriela, God knows which one suits!).  It means “stands in the Presence”.  From my womb to God’s hands, barely tasting earth, fully wrapped in love, fully mourned.

I cried with a wild combination of joy and fear.  I felt guilty for the joy; how could I be happy when I still mourn for the one gone?

The months went by, my belly and my heart filled.  My soul healed some, though I think I’ll never “get over it”.  I am changed, I’m always missing Gabriel.  I will always miss my baby.

Henrik needed to be delivered early.  My blood pressure was dangerously high and the doctor was worried about progressing into toxemia.  I’d never been induced before, and I have always carried my babies long; two weeks past the due dates.  So, it was saying to a crock pot that it needed to be a microwave.  The crock pot balked.

It was a two-day ordeal with many tense hours; Henrik’s heartbeat would cease during the strongest contractions.  Many interventions later I was on the brink of a c-section.  My tired mind started to panic that maybe there wasn’t a baby at all.

Then, he was born.Henri 087 Henri 088Henri 121

And joy erupted.  And I looked into my son’s face.  Henri 137 Henri 139 Henri 150 Henri 153 Henri 159 Henri 161 Henri 163There is joy after grieving, there is life after death, there is hope from ashes, and promises made good.Henri 184(All photos by the inimitable Ann Rodriquez of Reflections of Life Photography)


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