Before I was a mother there was nary a subject I was afraid to tackle in my fiction. Fiction is, after all, a safer realm to explore those dark realities and questions that we often can’t in our daily lives. I wrote with almost cavalier freedom about a child who’d lost her arm, a teen mother who cracked under the burden of sudden motherhood, about drug addicted parents and their adult children and the vast gray areas in the human experience that have always fascinated me.
And then my son was born two years ago. And it physically hurt to see tv shows in which children were going hungry, much less a movie or book featuring abuse or worse.
Today, my friend Alegra Clarke and family have to do one of the worst things I can imagine: attend a service for the death of a baby. A baby who was abused (not her own). A family member. She has blogged about it so eloquently already, as has our friend Nina. And I am not even capable of coming up with the beauty these two have put into words about this subject. I’m merely trying to add to the support around her and her family, to help build a web of light, so to speak, around something so unbearably dark, to prop them up, help them know they aren’t alone, and though I honestly don’t know have the strategy, to tell them that they will get through this.
I think some of you out there have already been through this kind of thing, and worse. And it is my hope that some of you might have a story or word to share that softens the terrible blow of this all–because it can’t take away the sharp agony, the stink of what-if and regret–but like Alegra says in her own post, sometimes we can only do what we know. Write. Tell Stories. Love the people in our lives. And like Nina says, be good to him. To all of them. To each other.