The Invisible Mother

“I found a book on how to be invisible
Take a pinch of keyhole
And fold yourself up
You cut along a dotted line
You think inside out
And you’re invisible.”
–Kate Bush

 A couple of weeks after India died, I was driving downtown and saw a billboard for the Scotia Bank which featured the image of a mother holding her new baby in a pink blanket. The caption read The moment everything changes. Instantly I was drawn back into the room at Roger’s House where I watched my child die.
Ever since that moment I’ve had to accept that I’m no longer who I used to be. My future is no longer tied to India’s. Not that I ever believed for an instant that she’d feel compelled to look after me or live close by when she grew-up—I understood she had dreams in which I didn’t play a role. Instead I envisioned myself fixed to her as if she were a brightly coloured kite and I, the ribbon tied to her tail.

The Unimaginable

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.
-C.S. Lewis
To describe how it feels to learn your child’s death is imminent is far beyond my abilities. To say that it completely alters the fabric of your being and your perceptions is a clumsy understatement. To live with the knowledge that there’s an immense possibility that you will exist without your child is inconceivable. But it’s important that I try to describe it. Not just for myself, but for the many parents who live with this burden.

An Invincible Heart

India, My Daughter
In front of the purple dinosaur
you kiss me, smack on the lips,
then gallop away. Abandoned
to dust bunnies, I follow scattered
crackers, wanting another kiss.
I find you in a place that has
seen cleaner days. We drink tea from
tiny clay cups. Then you find him,
soft fellow with the sea in his eyes.
You drag him with love, by the fin.
Lesley Buxton, 1999

Spells and Potions

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars. Og Mandino Today I watched some of Disney’s Little Mermaid with India. She was feeling sad so I lay in bed with her, counting to myself every time her head dropped and…

One in Seven Billion

One in Seven Billion “It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and…

The Girl In The Tower

“Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.”
–John Lennon
Rapunzel is my favourite fairy tale. I used to spend hours when I was four years old pretending to be her. I’d dress up in my mother’s prettiest nightgown, stick a pair of my tights on my head and stand on the sofa waiting for the prince to rescue me. Much of the story’s allure was its imagery: the tall grey tower without a door, the full moon illuminating the witch’s walled garden filled with rampion, the dense verdant forest where the prince hunted. Then, of course, there was Rapunzel, lonely and bored, passing her days singing and combing her endless golden curls.

These Little Earthquakes

“Oh these little earthquakes. Here we go again. These little earthquakes. Doesn’t take much to rip us into pieces.”  Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos Usually I don’t allow myself to speculate whether India will grow out of her epilepsy or be cured. Nobody knows for certain. We don’t even have a real diagnosis. I figure astronomers know more…