Friends on the mantlepiece

For nearly eight weeks, two of my dearest friends have sat on the mantlepiece watching over a seemingly nondescript box. Day and night they have been there, without rest and without complaint.

Now in their thirties, Pooh bear and Sooty seemed like the only ones to turn to for such a duty. Tonight is their last vigil, and tomorrow they can return to their normal lives of eating honey and performing magic tricks. It is odd the things one can take comfort in. I am thankful to them for just being there.

In the morning, my dear husband and I will embark on one of the saddest journeys of our life. We will return to a place where it all began with an engagement; a place of happiness, a place that feels like it is ours. We will say goodbye to our very little boy. It will be the hardest thing we have ever done, but perhaps we can start to return to whatever our version of a normal life is.

"I'm so sorry, I can't find a heartbeat," said the ultrasound technician.

'Missed miscarriage' is an inadequate term. Being induced into labor at 15 weeks is a nightmare upon which I would wish no enemy. Meeting our child, the size of my hand, with delicate fingers, all curled up in the foetal position, is a moment that is impressed on my soul. My heart aches and a relentless pain courses through my veins.

One day I will think about him less, and the pain will subside. That is what everybody says, at least.

He was perfect, his legs just got tangled in the cord that sustained him.

We named him Henry.


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