Wasting the Irreplaceable

July 26, 2012
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I stared down at the empty spot. Well, nearly empty. Plain grass, a little bleached from too much sun and too little water, shriveled and crumpled against the ground. They reminded me of people in that way: under too much stress and not enough love people shrivel and crumple too… unless they never had the chance. I sighed and sank to my knees, probably sitting on some poor soul, now that I think about it. What was the point of giving life a chance only to let it slip through one’s fingers like sand, tumbling down to once again be lost in the ocean of lost souls and uncreated people. Maybe it is wrong to think of people like some sort of product that can be created with the right amount of chemicals, earth and intuition. Although, is that not how it is done anyways? I stopped before I dug myself a deeper hole.

It was summer when I finally figured out what was wrong. Something strange was in the air, like everything was holding its breath. I don’t claim to be a psychic, but it was one of those things that no matter how logical one may be, you know it in your heart. Something was wrong. There was too much whispering, too many silent looks. Children, in some manner of thought, are the most intelligent of people in the world. No matter how hard you try, you can’t lie to them. Unfortunately, adults sometimes forget that. At that time I had not even known of the pregnancy. I had had a dream, 3 years earlier about a child, but had never thought anything of it. After all, a dream is a dream; nothing more, nothing less. I was wrong.

Would there be a stone? Some sort of marker? Or would it just be another hole in the ground to be forgotten and covered up like a child’s sandcastle at the end of the day when a wave decided to come and erase the evidence. What would it be marked with? Unborn? Nameless? There certainly could be no date of death, let alone day of birth. So what was the point then? Why have just a blank stone? It wasn’t as if he or she ever actually set foot on this earth, so why bother making it appear like they did? If there was a stone, would anyone come to visit it? Would I? Or would it just become another one of those graves left to crumble and rot on its own, the person and their lives forgotten too long ago for anyone to care. Why even bother with this whole stupid ceremony? What the hell is the point here? Why did this have to happen! I don’t understand! I don’t understand! I don’t understand…

I understand why it was hidden from me. I understand that maybe I’m too young to comprehend that sort of thing, but what if they were wrong? Was not the fact that I figured it out on my own and was therefore forced to live with the awful realization on my own worse? Were not the physical changes explanation enough? I hated my mother for keeping it from me. So what if she wasn’t married! Did she think we would love her any less? I was hurt by what I assumed to be her distrust.

I tried to calm myself. To breathe deeply and calm my mind like those stupid yoga videos told me to. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. But then a breeze brushed its gentle fingers across my cheek, as if it meant to mollify me. I looked up. Blue skies. Frosty cumulous clouds. My little sibling would never be able to see this. They’d never be able to walk or yell or kiss or feel. They’d never be able to feel the excitement of losing their first tooth or the accomplishment of riding their bike for the first time. They were dead. Dead and gone, though never having come in the first place. And I cried. Cried for their sake, but also for mine. For all the times, both happy and sad, that I had been cheated of. I realize I am selfish.

Coming back from my reverie I saw another family trudging toward me, toward the spot where all the unborn were laid to some sort of rest. They held their somber faces low, proceeding with a sort of respectful march. Their faces looked like what I assumed mine did: drawn and expressionless, completed with the dramatic effect of two swollen circles beneath their eyes. If this was a movie I would give them all five stars for acting. Unfortunately, this was not movie. I cursed myself for thinking such frivolous, ridiculous thoughts. I cursed the sky for looking so beautiful on a day when so many people were so sad. I cursed reality.

I wiped my nose on my black sleeve and tried to convince myself of the horrific reality in which I had stumbled into. My mother had just had a miscarriage, I had lost a sibling and somehow, I had to find a way to cope. Or else what good was I? I would be no different from the people I stood on or the still child of my mother. Regardless of whether you have air in your lungs or are lucky or blessed enough to survive this very day, without joy you are nothing but an empty shell. And honestly, why waste something irreplaceable?

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