Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Conversation with my Son

I sit in Yom Kippur services, and the Rabbi shares these words of Martin Luther King Jr., "He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love."

Unlike last year at this time, when the pain of Ezra's death was too raw and new, I approached the Days of Awe this year with a certain peace, a renewed sense of possibility. Yet leading up to Yom Kippur, I have struggled with the notion of asking forgiveness. I am able to accept that I am imperfect, yet not quite able to muster the humility necessary to ask forgiveness of others. Shouldn't the Universe be asking forgiveness of me? Afterall, it was my son she wrenched away.


Sitting in the Yizkor (memorial) service in the waning hours of the day, we are asked to close our eyes and envision our loved one sitting with us. What does he say to us? What do we say to him?

I summon the vision of my perfect son, my Ezra Malik, his tiny hands and feet, his serene yet wry smile, his slight weight in my arms the only occasion I held him, the peaceful look on his face as we spent time with him before returning him to the earth. And these words flash through my mind:

I'm sorry.

And the tears begin to fall.

I'm sorry, my sweet son, that I did not realize what was happening as you slipped away.
I'm sorry that my womb, the one place that should have been safe, became your deathbed.
I'm sorry that your birthday, so very anticipated, was somber, and so very very silent.

But mostly, my sweet Ezra, I am sorry for the walks we never took, and the songs we never sang;
For the first steps you never stepped, and the first teeth you never grew;
For the subjects you never studied, and the books you never read;
For the passions that never stirred your heart, and the adventures you never had;
For the loves you never loved, and even the hurt you never felt.
For all this and so much more,
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.

But Mama, Ezra replies,
It's ok. All I ever knew was love.

Yes my sweet Ezra, and it will never feel like enough.


aliza said...

oh sarah what a beautiful conversation you had with ezra.
'all i ever knew was love' -this brought me to tears.

Hope's Mama said...

Oh Sarah, I'm with you on saying sorry to our babies. I do not share your faith nor do I mark these days of significance on your calendar, but this all rang so true to me. It is true, our babies did only ever know love. And even though they are gone, it is all they will continue to know.
So much love to you.

after iris said...

This is a wonderful post Sarah. The love we have for our lost children is so enormous, but it will never be enough.

Michele said...

Ezra is right. All he ever felt and continues to feel is love. There is nothing so pure or beautiful.

It doesnt take the pain away, I know. But you have nothing to apologize for. You loved- and continue to love- Ezra with a love more powerful than anything else... Even death.

Sending hugs and warm thoughts, especially on this special day.

Barbara said...

I never really knew that love was more powerful than death until George died.

Ezra was right.


angie said...

Sarah, I've been crying with this gorgeous post too. All I ever knew was love...so true. I think that is the thought that is most comforting to me, to imagine Lucia's life as one filled with love, warmth and protection. With love.

Lindsay said...

Tears here as well and I don't cry easily.
Such a beautifully heartbreaking talk you had with Ezra.
I'm sure he was trying to tell you that you need not apologize.
with love,

Gal aka SuperMommy said...

so beautiful, Sarah. and so true - Ezra's reply - exactly. i know those words well, i say them to Tikva a lot. her reply is always the same as Ezra's...

AnnaMarie said...

This is so beautiful. Every single moment of Ezra's life was spent being deeply loved and cared for. You are a wonderful mother!


Akul's mama said...

I am sorry you were unable to do all those things with your Ezra. Hugssss.

Emily said...

This is just beautiful.

Paige said...

Sarah, this is a gorgeous post. I'm a puddle of tears as I reflect on all of the things that our babies will miss, but am comforted that love, most definitely, is what they knew. But of course, it is so far from enough. Sending love.

erica said...

Thank you for sharing this, Sarah. It filled my heart right up to overflowing.

Fireflyforever said...

So much love. Each one of our babies is so adored. Thank you Ezra for reminding us of that.

Catherine W said...

Beautiful. It never feels like enough to me either. I can never apologise to her enough. I can never love her enough.

Your sweet son is right. All he ever knew was love. The strong, sustaining love of his parents was with him for his entire life and is still with him now. xo

c. said...

This is beautiful, Sarah. Just beautiful.

Sophie said...

Now words, just hugs.


Karen said...

Oh, Sarah. That is so lovely and so sad and so true. Thinking of you and your beautiful Ezra, and him surrounded by your love then and now and always. (((hugs)))

Funsize said...

Oh Sarah, this brought tears to my eyes. I've had this conversation with my son in my head and in my dreams. And even though all he knew is my love for him, it does not seem like enough.

Lani said...

i'm so sorry too sarah.
i feel this so deeply for my little baby who didn't make it out safely.

beautiful post as usual.

CLC said...

Beautiful thoughts. I am sorry too.

Beth said...

that is the FIRST thing i said to my daughter when they handed her to me in the operating room.. i said "im sorry my baby." and the nurse so sweetly said "you dont have anything to be sorry for".. but I wasnt saying "im sorry" as if her death was my fault. i was saying sorry to her, sorry that she didnt get a chance to live, a chance to be loved by me outside the womb. the womb.. a place that i used to think was safe, now i feel is so very dangerous. and recently, a friend asked me, what do you think kathlyn would say to you, if she was here.. and my thoughts were.. she would said "im sorry mommy". sorry that she didnt get to stay. sorry that im so hurt without her.

im sorry you didnt get to love ezra on this side either..