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DP Weekly Challenge:  The Power of Names

Warning for triggers about child loss and infertility.

There is an empty space in my life.  It is a vacuum, a hole that I don’t know how to fill, or whether I should.  It is, unfortunately, a common void in many lives.  Many of you will know the pain of this.  I’m sorry. 

Our family is complete.  We have three beautiful, fantastic boys that i would not trade for anyone, or anything.  Each of their names has a power over me, and over anyone who knows them.  That power is associative; the memories we have of their actions, the way they’ve shaped us, the way they’ve made us laugh or cry or excelled in such a way that made us absolutely burst with pride.  The power of their names brings every memory to life with the mere mention of it, which is why I named that part that of mine that is missing.  And that name will always bring associative memories as well, but the memories are not of grueling days changing diapers or nights spent nursing a colicky baby.  The associative memories are all fantasies, suppositions, and what ifs. 

When my second son was nearly two years old, I lost a child I didn’t even yet know was growing inside me.  I began to miscarry and that was the first that I knew of my pregnancy.  I know nothing of what could have been; who the child would have grown into, whether the child was a boy or a girl, what they would have enjoyed learning most or what their favourite meal would be.  And I began to dwell on the what ifs – by not knowing, I think I was deprived of the opportunity to mourn for a specific person, I had no tangible, or even real, memories to hold on to or to treasure in my grief.  To some people, mourning a pregnancy that was so early and so unexpected seemed a bit like an act of hubris; those people we can make our own judgments about, hm?  But I needed something to grasp.  In my mind, I’ve named that child, and I’ve imagined that child growing through each developmental stage, I’ve imbued that memory with a personality and a curious nature and a stubborn streak. It comforts me to know that child is not a non-event, that child is not an empty space, that child was, for the blink of an eye, my child. 

Claire Elise.  That is the power of a name. 

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