When I say, “I miss my babies”
it isn’t in a way I’ve missed before.
It’s as though the corners of my soul were cut off.
It’s as though the most intimate, truest particles of my heart
It’s as though my brain lost the magic in its waves
but instead of flat lining –
it kept going.
I miss them in a way that makes me feel
altered, incomplete, unwhole and irrevocably changed.
And in the depth of the missing,
in the longing,
I realize that my soul grew larger when I carried them.
I realize that my heart had more particles
and that my brain had entertained in new ways.
I realize that they have expanded my capacity for love.
Their absence is an echoing reminder of the new largeness within my heart.
I love them in ways I could never have explained.
Now when I hear the words of other mothers saying
how much they love their children,
I understand why ‘love’ feels like a nearly insignificant descriptor.
I understand that words could never really encompass
the depth, breadth, or width of connection to my children.
So, with simultaneous strokes,
I am missing and loving in opposite directions.
I am expanding.
I am bigger in this weakness.
I am unendingly tied to them.
The shortness of their lives,
the brevity with which they existed on earth,
the length of time we were given,
is not comparable to the intensity with which I know, feel, and experience love
and missing them.
They were more than a flicker,
more than a flame,
and I wish the world had gotten the chance to know them like I did.
I wish that you had all seen their faces too –
not the photoed version, because it lacks truth –
but the one burned in my brain.
I wish this because when all I have are the simple words: “I miss my babies,”
you wouldn’t want to cock your head to the side,
pat my shoulder,
and with a small frown say, “I know.”
Instead, you would be awe-struck,
as though the words could express justly what it means to miss them.
You would feel breathless, encountered by searing truth.
You would feel emblazoned with understanding.
And then …
in the sun rising,
in the rain falling,
in the mundaneness of hours passing …
I would still miss them.
you could put your hand on my heart
and feel the edges of my torn soul
and they would be missed the world over.
Then the love for them would bounce through the skies,
and land like a kiss on their cheeks
blown from an impossible distance
unfazed by the separation of time or space
By Tiffany Kann
Hi, I'm Tiffany. I believe in the power of stories to connect us to each other. I write about life after loss and all the love, longing, and learning that comes from it. Grief is big, love is bigger. My newest stories are about motherhood (after both infertility and loss). In my experience, love doesn't get bigger than motherhood.
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