Fear and love seldom
stand, shoulder to shoulder;
It’s rare to laugh and lie in the same breath.
But strength and weakness, failure and success,
faith and desolation – they are different ends of a
To pick one up is to receive both poles – stark contrasts
contribute to a knowledge of the whole.
What is life but growing wide and deep, so
open from weeping that opposites, ambiguity, and a thousand
shades of gray can co-exist with out despair.
This post is written by Jason Magness.
I am listening to the beautiful sounds of a crying newborn, less than 12 hours old. I am watching him climb to his mother’s breast and fumble for her milk in spectacular fashion, failing again and again until he is either too worn out, or succeeds long enough for a single drop or two.
I am also listening to the deafening silence from another newborn swaddled an lying in my lap. A child that was carried inside of my wife for over 39 weeks, but had no heartbeat when we showed up at the hospital to start the induction process.
It is not necessary to go into details, and it is still so raw and painful beyond words. Today we had twins, and lost one of them. Baby A lost his brother.
Blaming ourselves is easy. And real. It has led to an impossible place, with no going forward, and no going back – stuck in a limbo of self hate and despair. But our twins will not accept that choice and force us to reconsider.
I re-read the poem above and it may be the only thread keeping me sane. That belief in the co-existence of vibrant love and absolute loss. I am not sure how three of the four of us survived the last 72 hours – laboring to deliver twin brothers that would never play together in this world.
We have so many stories that we want to share. Possibilities that we are working to turn into our truths so that we can celebrate the future, and the path that led us to this impossible place. And we have so many doubts and failures. We’ve held them together and wept for the future we will never have.
Through it all, I discovered such love for Chelsey that I never imagined possible. Love that only travels hand in hand with pain so deep it drowns all breath. I’ve cried more tears in these last three days than in my first 41 years of life. Chelsey even more.
But here we are, with a 12 hour old boy and the resolve to take things one tiny step at a time. I have been staring at the slowly degrading face of our passed son, and find it even more beautiful and his brothers rich pink cheeks and big curious eyes.
We do not know what death brings. But we know that for baby B, it simply freed his spirit. So that it could do some amazing and powerful things. I’ll tell his brother and mother (and maybe this blog) these stories in the years to come – all of the ways in which our spirit baby is still around us helping us through this life.
Rest in Peace – Spirit B. Magness.
We miss you and know you are watching.