October 18, 2011


It’s quiet around here. Unbearably quiet. The silence is getting louder as the months trudge on.

I can practically hear Margot, her hands clapping together in wildly uncoordinated fashion, throwing small objects, yelling here and there. I can almost see her too. She is crawling around the dining table, under and through the chairs, she is pulling her big sister’s hair. She is sitting at her high chair, scooping mashed bananas and scattering cheerios to the four corners without even trying. She is outside, the last of the non-walkers left in the yard, eating grass and dodging kids.

Her car seat faces backwards. Stella pulls at her hand from across the seats and updates us on all her silly faces and unseen gestures. She is there at the beach, in the park, down the street, up the stairs.

She is in my arms, in the middle of every night, gulping down milk and making little faces, just like her sister did. I sing to her, yawning between each little rhyme.

I love you Margot, yes I do,
I love you through and through,
every part of you.
I love you Margot, yes it’s true.
I love you Margot, oh I do.

I can feel the emptiness on little vacations and around meal time and on little jaunts around the neighborhood. I feel it in the happiness of others. I feel it in my own happiness. And I feel it at nighttime, when there is nothing to do but wait for the morning.

Stella is here. Kari is here. I am here. We are here. But our noise isn't enough to overcome the silence of her absence.

She is everywhere and no where to be found.


Hope's Mama said...

"She is everywhere and no where to be found."

Aint that the painful truth.

Love to you guys.


Nika M. said...

Sending you hugs and prayers.

Mary Beth said...

You've nailed it, Josh. So much is here, and that only underscores what, and who, is missing even more. Some days the happy parts are the hardest because she's not here to share them.

So much love to you and Kari and Stella, and of course Margot. I wish she was squishing bananas with you all.

Molly said...

The silence is deafening, isn't it? Its so hard bc since we are lucky enough to have a little one already, we know exactly what they would be doing as each month passes. It hurts to picture that and then jolt back to reality and its only our imagination.

Brooke said...

I'm so sorry. I know just how that feels. It's too quiet here, too. We have too much freedom to go where we want, whenever we want.

Kate said...

And just when I said I don't cry much these days.
Is it possible to miss Margot as much as I miss Joseph? Yes it is, with such salient words.
I see and hear Joseph everywhere too, especially in the voices of his big brothers. xo

Anonymous said...

The silence speaks volumes. In a fervent pitch that only some can hear. Praying for you all everyday.

Dana said...

Wow. This 2 sentences:

But our noise isn't enough to overcome the silence of her absence.

She is everywhere and no where to be found.

So poignant, so true and so heartbreaking. I also see Jacob's absence everywhere we go and in everything we do.

michelle said...

The silence can be horrible and welcoming at the same time, I know its weird. I often see Jack doing things with us. I have written about that not to long ago in my own blog. They are always here with us in our heart and mind but yet not really here. Picturing them growing with us makes us happy yet also hurts. We now have a new set of complicated and conflicting emotions.

Jeanette said...

I see my little one too, she's with us often, just out of sight, but there doing everything you'd expect a 2 year old to do, and then she's not.
I'm so sorry Margot is not safe in your arms being sung to, I'm so sorry. x

brianna said...

Oh, ours was all knowing then, all generous displaying.
Such wisdom we had to show.
And now there is merely silence, silence, silence saying
All we did not know.

William Rose Benet, Starry Harness

...Beautifully written as always Josh. Thank You.

Josh Jackson said...

Thank-you for participating in this post. Your comments are always this sweet reminder of a mysterious oneness, this strange human to human connection that occurs between us babyloss grievers.

Peace to all of you, in the midst of the deafening quiet.


JoyAndSorrow said...

Gorgeous and heartbreaking.

Renel said...

Shouldn't there be sleepless nights with a screaming baby. Why is it that nights are still sleepless but because our children are dead not alive. The screaming keeping us up is the sounds of our souls. The silence is deafening. I love my family. I know you love your family. How can it feel so full of love and empty simultaneously? We play, we laugh, we walk...and all the while we are missing...constantly missing. I wish you could sing to Margot. Sometimes when I am singing to Kai, I imagine I am also singing to Camille. I imagine her little hand wrapped around my finger and that warm soft baby smell. It makes my heart ache...all the missing.
Margot, Where are you? Camille, Where are you? I wish I knew. I wish I had a hope or belief that she was somewhere other than just dead. For me, butterflies and flying creatures do not represent my child. If anything I may find her in the sky, the wind, lightning, rain. Energy doesn't go away, it just changes shape...maybe, maybe.
But those things do not equal my daughter and so I have to sit and wish with you that this was all very different. Light and love to you Josh.

Fireflyforever said...

Amazing words - the silence is deafening. A misguided friend commented, when we were expecting our subsequent child, that we would struggle with the noisy, sleepless nights due to the big age gap between Toby and our older two living children. I wanted to scream that after the nights of sleepless silence we had endured, he could be as noisy as he liked.

Catherine W said...

Oh. That emptiness. That void and quiet where there might have been another.

I love your description of feeling it in your own happiness. I feel it in my own. Sometimes it seems to throw the remainder of my happiness into sharper relief and, at others, it's just a horrible, aching hole.

I wish that Margot were here to clap and throw and yell and be sung to. I think she would have had such a lovely life with you, Kari and Stella. I'm so very sorry that isn't here, making as much noise as she wanted to.

Jamie said...

Oh I miss Margot and wish I was seeing her life unfold. I wish I could spend her first Christmas together and I think about this so often ...that she would be with us, but she isn't. And I wish she was. I must think of this since it's the next time we'll all be together. I would see her in pictures now, but would hold her and kiss her and play with her in a couple of months.

Love you Josh. And I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog via a link on Stirrup Queens...and am glad I did. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about a baby my partner and I lost through a failed infant adoption (four years ago).

I don't think it's exactly the same thing, but there do seem to be some commonalities. It's nice to feel connected.

I have to say, it's also refreshing to read emotional reflections, particular about loss from another male parent. Thanks for sharing.

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