snail travels

Last week, P. and I went to Detroit to visit my brother, sister-in-law and brand-new-adorable niece, S..
An intense journey, both physically — a very long drive for my very pregnant self — and emotionally. A travel through space, through time, in a way, as i was reliving vicariously the vertiginous first few days with a baby, but also a travel into an unknown, unexplored reality.

A reality in which my little brother is now a dad, in which he is learning to parent as i struggle not to be able to have more perspective on this role i should be well acquainted with by now. The jealousy and envy i have felt at some points since knowing Paul would have a cousin before i could give him a brother or a sister has receded, but as the days pass, i wonder how i will feel once S. reaches and sails past 28 days of life. I don’t know what to make of this reality but accept it exists, and go along with it.

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radio-induced thoughts

We’ve been travelling. I’ve been listening to a lot of radio and podcasts. Often, the stories i hear bring me to think about different aspects of grief. Sometimes, they allow me to explore new facets of grief, to better understand the processes i am going through. So here are a few recent radio-induced thoughts.

Radiolab, a show i enjoy despite some of its problematic aspects (i.e. it’s is very white/western- and male-centered) tackled a complicated topic this week. Its team attempted to “put a price on the priceless”, including human life. In a conversation about what we collectively should spend on keeping people alive with the help of high-end drugs, they ask what is a month of human life is worth. How much is it ok to spend to extend someone’s life for a year? They discuss these questions with different specialists but also ask people on the street “what is a year of life worth?” Most people took a lot of time to answer and asked many questions to better understand the context of this question, and the quality of life they would benefit from. 5 000$, 10 000$, 10M$… 7$. As the reporter said, the answers were « all over the place ».

I stuck me as odd that the reporter asked people to put a value on a year of their own life, and even more so that some people asked whether they would have to reimburse what they would need to borrow. I would have been curious to hear how much people would estimate a year of their loved ones’ life is worth. What answer would you get if you asked parents to answer what their child life is worth? What if you asked parents who have lost a child?

Or would it be an entirely pointless and painful question?

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Paul and the knitting tree

At some point during the spring, as i was discovering the beautiful people and resources at Glow in the woods, i came across a call to participate to a mother’s project to honor her daughter Marlo. She was collecting squares of fabric to be included in a knitting graffiti for her daughter’s third birthday.

IMG_5062I knew right away i wanted to be a part of this creative tribute to the life of Marlo and many other lost babies. I knew because the video of the 2013 edition of the knitting tree was set to one of my favorite songs, The Be Good Tanyas’ Littlest Birds. I knew because even though i can’t knit, i feel a strong connection to knitting since i am lucky to have a expert-knitter as a grandmother.I knew because for the brief winter weeks Paul was with us, he spent a lot of time in beautiful outfits knitted with so much love by his great-grandmother and great-great-aunt, and wrapped in a blanket made by his paternal grandmother. I knew because when i was pregnant with Paul, i felt so thankful to rediscover the wool outfits that my brother and i had worn as children that were carefully preserved for our own children. I felt that somehow, all this intertwined wool was a line connecting us through time and generations… Lire la suite