Yesterday I watched the movie Meet Joe Black on tv. For those of you who’ve never seen it before, it’s a movie about death and love. Death takes the human form of Brad Pitt as he comes to guide Anthony Hopkins to the grave. Death gives Hopkins more time on Earth in exchange for staying with him, and learning to know Earth better. He meets Hopkins’ daughter and falls completely in love with her. She falls in love with the idea of the man that was in Death’s physical body before he died.
I had already seen this movie, but this time, it held a special message for me. At the end of the movie, Death warns Hopkins that his life has come to an end. Hopkins takes the opportunity he’s granted to properly say goodbye to his children. He talks to every one of them, and lets them know that whatever happens, it will be okay. He tells them that life will be good always, that they are important, that they were the greatest joy of his life and that they will always be loved. He makes sure that his children will be okay once he’s gone.
That’s where I realized how incredibly blessed we’ve been with how the most difficult events in our lives unfolded. The doctor’s prepared me for a hard and emotional labour followed by the birth of my lifeless child. The chances of Sahar being born alive, were incredibly small, almost inexistent. Like winning the lottery. Still, it happened. After the strong medication I was given on Saturday, labour being induced on Monday morning, up until the final delivery on Tuesday evening, Sahar was born, alive.
Even though I knew that I was going to have to let her go, that I wouldn’t be able to keep her, the moment she was born all I could feel was this incredibly enlightening, blissful, raw and unconditional love. I felt my chest expanding completely as I took her in my arms. She was alive for about an hour. I never heard her cry, I never looked into her eyes, but she was there, alive. Against all possible odds. Our little fighter was born alive. And everyday I grow more and more convinced that she fought so hard to be born alive… Just to give us the opportunity to say goodbye.
We knew we were losing her, but we used that very little time we had, to give her all the love we possibly could in that amount of time. We held her, we kissed her, we touched her, we loved her. We told her we were sorry, that everything would be okay, and that we loved her more than life itself. We told her how much she was wanted here on Earth alive, and how we we wished she would stay. We told her we were grateful to meet her and have her in our lives. We held her close to our hearts so she could feel our love. I’m sure she could recognise my heartbeat as I held her on my chest. I know she felt all that incredible love. I’m sure she knew, I was her mama.
We weren’t the only ones saying goodbye. She was saying goodbye too. Without words, without movements, without sounds, but with lots and lots and love. She was saying goodbye, by being alive, as long as she possibly could. She made it clear that she loved us too. That she knew our suffering. She made us see that she wants us to continue. That she wants us to live this life, even if it means living it without her. She made us see, that she felt all our love. She told us that she’s grateful too, that she was happy to meet us too. She made us feel her love so much, she loved us too. She said it all, just by being born alive. Just by giving us the opportunity to meet her in life, even if only for a moment.
And for that, we are so incredibly blessed. The precious little time I’ve had with her, has helped me so much in my grieving process. Those brief moments bring me so much comfort… When I vist the darkest places of grief and depression, this helps me find my way back into the light. Our goodbyes help me heal. I can only be grateful.