From the December 2007 magazine.

Hello And Good-bye

How do you accept the unacceptable?

On february 18, 2006, my new-born grandson was stillborn, weighing in at a tiny three pounds and thirteen inches long. He was just like a miniature doll, and his precious little face was so familiar. He looked just like his father, my now grown son who was dealing with the tremendous loss of his firstborn. I sat silently in a large chair in the delivery room. My son held his baby boy, with tears running down his face--saying hello and good-bye in the same breath.

His mother, grandmothers, aunt, and father gathered round to welcome him into this world and to let him go. This was a different delivery room than the one I had experienced with my two daughters when their children were born. The noise was absent, the celebration was muted, and our tears were ones of sorrow and loss, rather than joy. And the most significant thing of all--the sound of a baby crying--was missing. No wonder they call it "stillborn." The silence is deafening.

-- Marsha C.

Edmond, Oklahoma

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