My grandmother died yesterday. In the end, she will take to the grave with her the secret of that baby who never came home from the hospital. I told my mom last night that I wish I knew what happened, but then I realized it is not so much that as it is that I wish I’d given her the opportunity to unburden herself, to share her baby’s story. My mom thought that Grandma had probably suppressed the story – the memories – for so many years that she no longer needed to talk about it. I said I didn’t see how that could happen and she countered that it was a different time. But how different could it have been? How much more resilient – and resigned – could a mother’s heart really have been? How could it ever have been easier to live through the death of your baby or to ‘forget’ it? If my grandmother truly wished to keep that baby a secret, I can respect that, but I myself wish that I had – even just one time – found a way to let her know that she could tell me, that she could share her baby with me, that I would have loved him, too.

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