Here on our part of the earth’s crust, little K has been putting us through her paces. Melka has, of course, borne the brunt of it:

  • screaming for hours while I’m at work
  • constant demand for meals
  • b. infection (and a temp of 39.4C – 103F), excruciating pain, shakes and sweats
  • followed by antibiotics, which kill all the good bacteria,
  • which leads to the opposite, th. rush, the “base” to a b. infection’s “acid”
  • feat. it’s own version of excruciating b. pain, and constant “regular” pain
  • then medicinal purple stuff that will stain anything, even your soul
  • exhaustion
  • and, through it all, perpetual meals (every two-three hours, often more often)

This, however, is what we signed up for.

Nearby on this earth’s crust, somewhere in the thick city we call our temp home in the lowlands, of course, it’s a very different world. We anxiously awaited the news from Mirne and Craig… we even exchanged a text or two. We had imagined to meet each other in non-computer land, babies in tow, identifying for once with parents with whom we shared something awful. The news of the death of Jet hit us.

I’m reminded of a line I can misquote from Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year: “All that can be said was that it was truly awful, the likes of which no man can imagine.”

I sent a text to Mirne, offering help and asking if we can attend whatever ceremony they have for little Jet. I have learned that silence can be far worse than an unwelcome message. I got no reply, understandably.

Would she want anyone around? Anyone from this blog world? Especially Melka or me – we who went through this journey alongside her… yet came out with a live child at the end?

And then, suddenly, and for the first time… I’m on the outside. I’m the one who’s lucky, the one who can’t understand but still wants to be involved to pretend he can. I think, why would they want to hear from us? We, who have a live daughter… aren’t we pain personified? We have friends who hid their pregnancies and their children, even, because we were in such pain. They thought we wouldn’t want to know… and that was kinda true. So I have no business forcing me with my “happier” ending into their world.

Or is this an excuse so I don’t have to call? I’m ashamed to say, there’s something so terrifying about what’s happened that I just want to look away. Comprehending it is impossible but trying scares the hell out of me. So in one way, I think I shouldn’t get involved. And that’s how people treated Melka and me when we lost our first daughter. And that does not feel good.

I understand how this has ripped so many people in this blog realm… and I’ve read some of the posts people have written. They reach a point where sorrow and shock and disbelief for Mirne turns to reflection on what it means for me. And why not?

And, I don’t know if anyone’s asked this yet… but what the hell happened? I have a five week old laying on my chest right now. I’d like very much for her not to die anytime soon. My brain, selfishly, wants to know what killed little Jet so I can avoid it, or rationalize it, or pretend it won’t happen, or – for just a second – pretend I understand.

But Mirne hasn’t been giving details. I remember that, too, when Malina died. What happened? people wanted to know. “Eff you,” I thought, “we don’t know, we won’t know, and the story is not as important as the punchline… she’s dead.” Asking Mirne for an explanation, I think, is selfish. It doesn’t change the tragedy, or how awful I feel for her and Craig.

I let my daughter scream in my ear today. It didn’t hurt at all, it can’t. I’m so sorry for little Jet.