Monday, June 29, 2009

Health, Part II

This past week, good friends of mine had healthy twins. It wasn’t an easy ride to parenthood, but to hear them so overjoyed and excited at their new arrivals warmed my heart. This story, and those like it, is part of the millions of warming stories of pregnancies. But sadly as we know, this isn’t always the case.

Yesterday, while surfing Facebook, I was left shaken by a status update of one of my friends:

Okay - deep breath. I am not exactly sure how to share this; so here goes. On Jan 21/22nd my wife and I delivered our fourth baby in five years of marriage. The baby had died before we reached the hospital. The cause of death and all the other facts are not the point of this - I want people who know me to know - and I have no real way of writing - over and over again. So - we decided after almost 5 months to sponsor a shiur (Hebrew for "class") on the Jewish approach to death before birth. Every religion has it's process for dealing with death of the living - but what about before "life" … For more sharing just write from your hearts - words from the heart enter the heart.

My heart sunk. I wrote a few words ‘from my heart’ but what could I really say to remotely assuage the pain and loss this family has been suffering for the past half year. Pregnancy is a quite amazing process, a beautiful journey in the creation of life. But one glitch, which we are sadly almost never able to prevent, can bring about pain and sorrow that haunts us for a lifetime. After reading my friend’s harrowing story last night, I spent time looking at my first child, just appreciating the presence and light he’s added to my life (as well as my wife’s too obviously). It’s something many of us don’t reflect on enough due to our busy daily routines …

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