Lately, I have had a hard time saying your name aloud to other people. I say things like, ‘When I was pregnant the last time,’ or ‘When the baby died…,’ or ‘When…everything happened….’ I trail off, confusedly, and your lovely name, unspoken, flares briefly through the air between me and whomever I am talking to – Anja Anja Anja – like the shooting star we saw the night we learned you’d died inside me, were already gone.
I don’t usually believe in signs and omens but even I have to wonder about the sight of a shooting star out a city window, the only shooting star ever sighted out that city window, on the worst night of our lives…
E asks me endless questions about death and dying and when do we die and what happens to us when we die. I tell her we are all made of energy and when we die that energy becomes part of all the other living things – trees, flowers, grass – and of the ocean, the mountains, the sky, the stars. She says she can see Baby Sister in the sky, through the clouds, and I wish I could, too. I wish I could feel you near me, but I don’t. You feel disappeared, vanished, extinguished like that shooting star. You were a moment of brilliance and beauty in our lives, but you slipped away, and in your wake a vast and aching silence settles.
(Title from Bob Dylan “Shooting Star”)