My partner likes blackberries while I like blueberries so we would often joke that our reproductive by-product would be a boysenberry.
Finally, after years of trying to be biological parents, we were blessed with a chance. I was pregnant.
Our first reaction was extreme shock but slowly we started believing it to be real. There were tests, symptoms, and just tons of joy. Food cravings were an excuse to go berserk with the internal joy we were momentarily feeling.
Then, I was in the ER with my partner, and I smelt blood for the first time.
It was on my hands, on my legs, on my body.
Pungent, metallic and watery.
I was in shock. It didn’t scare me, but I could never get that smell out of my nostrils now.
I had a miscarriage hemorrhage, and I was bleeding buckets to pass my boysenberry.
Bit by bit, it was coming out of my body like it was just waste material. When the doctor in the emergency unit, came to check on me, he said there was a lot of “material” stuck in my uterus that they would need to pull out.
At that moment, I felt like I was in a fetal position, begging for mercy from life while my fetus was being sucked out of me like it meant nothing. The physical trauma lasted several hours, and my vagina was bleeding like an open tap of water.
In South Asia, the place I call home was taken aback by the sad news. The reactions differed from empathy (from older women) to total disregard by others. It was as if it wasn’t “normal” to speak of this kind of experience openly and that birthing should be a private affair.
Devastated, we returned home in the wee hours from the ER. We had lost our boysenberry.
My partner said that the energy will always stay with us. While I gathered my physical strength in the next few weeks, my partner offered to take me out for a walk to a lake nearby. We had never visited that lake before.
It was a cloudy chilly day. While he was parking the car, I saw myself drifting towards the path that led to a newly installed black metal bench in the park.
Since my strength wasn’t great, I decided to rest a few minutes before walking the path. I sat there, overlooking the deep waters of the lake.
I turned around to touch the plaque on the bench.
Usually in North America, when someone’s loved one dies, they install a bench in their memory in a park or lakeside.
When I turned around to see the writing scribbled on the bench. It said
February 12, 2020- February 13, 2020
"BE BRAVE TODAY"
At first, I couldn’t comprehend what I just read but then it clicked me.
Benjamin was someone’s baby who arrived on this earth and lived for one single day. Just one day and he was gone.
At that moment I couldn’t comprehend the pain of Benjamin’s parents, especially during COVID and circumstances that led them to lose him so quickly, forever.
I showed it to my partner, and we were both amused by how the universe works to give you signs to heal, comprehend, and make peace with the “whys” that will never be answered.
We learned that it was time, time to be brave today.
Copyright @Gulabi Stories
Our storyteller Hope-Hopen has chosen to remain anonymous and not share their bio, and we respect their decision.