Friday, January 15, 2010

Community Poem: February.

After the loss of our children, we hear advice from every corner of our world about how to soothe our broken spirits and calm our grief-stricken selves. They come from our midwives or doctors, our therapists, our parents, our friends, even the little voice in our heads:

Go to counseling.
Join a grief group.
Read this book.

Don't wallow.


It is painful at times. Comforting at others. I remember thinking that if I could take each piece of advice and put it into a huge standing mixer, I would be able to bake a kind of Grief Cake. I thought this month we could each submit ONE command sentence to make a kind of Recipe of Survival. It can be either the best or worst advice you were given, or something that got you through a tough moment, or something you would like to give someone else suffering. I envision this to be actions written like the above in italics, as a command. Sort of like a recipe is written, or a how to manual. I just want to see the litany of advice we can come up with, perhaps it will be grotesque or beautifully compassionate. Please write the sentence as an action or command, even if it is Sit there.

You can either submit the line via the comment section of this post (and this post only.) Or send the sentence to stilllife365days (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject Community Poem. I am asking that each person only submit one sentence by January 30th. I hope this turns out as cool as I imagine it to be in my head. March, I am hoping to do something more visual for a community art piece. Stay tuned.

31 comments:

  1. Life will seem a bit hazy for a while. Just cry when you need to and do your best to take care of your body.

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  3. You shouldn't get too excited about your pregnancies this early on..

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  4. You shouldn't be so desperate for another baby.

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  5. They may be gone but you are not. Live.

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  6. "It could have been worse."
    "I'm sorry for your loss."

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  7. Perhaps I made this too complicated? Alright, y'all, ONE sentence per person. And it is supposed to be a command sentence. Written without a subject. Examples are in italics in the post. But for Jill, I would rewrite yours as:
    Cry when you need to cry.
    Kristin: Don't be so desperate for another baby.
    Krissy: Live

    And I am not totally sure how I would rewrite Another Dreamer's to follow the "rules" of this community poem. Sorry if this is to complicated. I sort of saw these as action statements. Go do this. Go do that. Not words of platitude, per se. Think Recipe Directions. Mix. Stir. Repeat.

    Hope that clarifies the intention a bit. Verbs. Actions. One sentence per. Go for it.

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  8. Just breath and take it one minute, one hour, one day at a time.

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  9. Hold your ground and take it as it comes, there's no other way.

    (stolen from Philip Roth's Everyman)

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  10. Lean on your friends and family.

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  11. Spend time with your baby

    And I mean this as hug their body while you can and sit quietly with their spirit later.

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  12. Don't feel guilty for smiling sometimes.

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  13. Plan your "cry time" every day. xo

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  14. Step outside in the fresh air and breathe in deeply.

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  15. "If you need to cry, just do it."

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  16. Read the Psalms.

    (from my ever-helpful mother... sorry couldn't resist)

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  17. Be grateful for your living child.

    (I've heard variants on this theme over and over, and it's such a tough one for me. I am incredibly grateful for him, incredibly grateful that I didn't lose my first or only child, but the child I lost was unique and I mourn that loss. My living child's presence does comfort me very much, but when people say this to me, I feel guilty for grieving and greedy for wanting another child.)

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  18. "You can have another."

    [and hello! as it turns out, i can't, so screw you, and besides, even if i could, that would be *ANOTHER* child -- s/he would not be the child who died or replace in any way! DUH.]

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  19. Be strong.
    Let yourself cry. (Thanks, Jerky McDickhead, like I can control it....)

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  20. Chin up

    This comment really annoyed me, and I have heard it several times. Along with so many of the others you each have written about.

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