Tomorrow, November 20th, 2018, will mark fifteen years since I was in the hospital giving birth to my dead daughter.
Genesis Athena was born into this world as a term stillborn. With half of her head covered in a filmy white layer of what looked like dried up super glue, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had done something during my pregnancy that became the cause of little Genesis’ heart failure. The doctors said, “These things just happen, there is no explanation.” But that wasn’t good enough for me. So for nearly fifteen years I kept finding someone to blame, including myself.
I blamed my mom – for not showing me the support I would’ve loved to have during those vital months. I blamed my boyfriend – for being an alcoholic and a drug dealer. I even wondered if my so-called friends had put some kind of spell on me so my baby wouldn’t survive. I came up with an elaborate story about how Chicago harbored an evil villain deep deep down under the city streets that stole the souls of unborn children. I sought to find him, and kill him.
Losing a child is a lot like losing your mind. Your imagination starts to spin in circles, like you just flipped a coin in the air, and instead of landing on heads or tails the coin lands on its side and continues spinning. The two sides become interchangeable – life and death become one. There is no rational way to explain death before birth. It is a bizarre fact of life that happens to 1% of all pregnant women.
Many seek counseling, therapy, and the support of family members. I sought to reconcile what my heart knew but my brain didn’t. That perhaps, I was not meant to have a child at such a young age. That maybe, Genesis came to me temporarily to teach me something. Using my body as her vessel, and then flying back home. I imagined her home to be a nebula, a sort of cosmic cradle inside the womb of the universe.
Sometimes I’d fly there with her and she would show me all the things the human race is capable of – all the potential. Taking me into the deepest darkest reaches of time and space. I’d come out the other side with stories, ideas, and sometimes even spiritual information. I started to enjoy these travels. These journeys into other realms of existence, where life beyond death becomes a mystical rendering of something long lost, and forgotten.
Perhaps my little girl did not make it into this world alive, but she grows in me every day – the child in me; the child in you. The one that speaks to you in your dreams and tells you that monsters are real. That unicorns can fly. And that if you sit in the middle of an open field long enough, you just might witness a miracle.