Birth and Death


This is not going to be a very deep or philosophical post.  I put the picture of seashells in there just because they’re pretty, and if I don’t put a picture in my posts, it looks funny on Facebook.

I am very groggy.  Not quite “new mom” groggy, but definitely “new grandmother” groggy.  I can’t seem to concentrate on anything.  I try to do things like pay my bills, but my brain won’t function normally.

All I can think about is our little Ellie.  Her fingers. Her eyelashes. Her lips.  Her sweet little round belly, that fits perfectly in my cupped palm.

I tried to do some errands yesterday, walking through the grocery store with my shopping list in hand. I walked out without half of what I needed. I forgot to buy the orange juice that I get every single week.

I looked at the people moving around me in the store, putting things in their cars in the lot, driving on the highway.

How could they be acting as if nothing had happened?  It literally seemed unfathomable to me that the world could just be moving along in its normal path when for me, everything had changed.

And I was suddenly and sharply reminded of the weeks after my father’s death.  I was in a daze, foggy and numb.  I remember being in the same grocery store and feeling a spurt of anger at the people who were acting as if everything was just fine.

“Everything has changed!”, I wanted to scream at them. “Dad is gone! The universe will never be the same.”

I feel the same way now, almost.

Everything has changed.  Ellie is here! The universe will never be the same.

6 thoughts on “Birth and Death

  1. Hi Karen,

    Totally understand where you are coming from.

    When Jack was 8 days old, I wrote a column for the Lowell Sun that started — “I have a new man in my life. His name is John Hunter Matthews, Jr., but we all call him Jack. And although he’s only eight days old, he’s totally won my heart and taken over my thoughts and dreams. Jack is my first grandchild, born to my daughter Heather and son-in-law John. He arrived on Sunday, April 4, at 11:02 a.m., coming into the world a handsome, mellow lad, weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces and measuring 20 1/2 inches long. He has fingers and legs, good-sized feet, a healthy cry, beautiful, smooth skin and the marvelous ability, it seemed to his doting Grammy, to soothe and quiet himself by sticking his ample little fist into his mouth, a built in pacifier of sorts. What a baby!”

    I went on to share our hopes and dreams for Jack and all the love that his family felt for him.

    I got dozens of positive responses to that column and still treasure them today.

    There’s nothing like a new grandchild to rock your world and totally change it for ever.

    Your ride has just begun and I look forward to following it as Ellie grows and flourishes with her family and friends’ love and devotion.

    Jack, Molly and Claire’s doting Grammy


  2. The cycle of birth and death really is something. The same day you posted about Ellie’s birth, I found out that a friend’s son died in a motorcycle accident. I was simultaneously thrilled for you and devastated for her.


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