What Nadav Taught Me: Rebirth

13 Mar

The lessons so far…

This will be the final post in the series. From here, it is time to move on. This blog will continue as a space for me to learn how to live again. For me, for Shmerson, for Nadav, and for the children that we will have in the future.

Losing a child before he or she has been born is a different kind of loss. Yes, the child was a person, but mostly in our minds and hearts. We had only a little bit of a past with Nadav. No memories except for little glimpses of him on a screen or the feeling of him moving inside of me. Losing Nadav meant losing a future.

The path we were on was cut off exactly three weeks ago today. We are now on a divergent one. What we mourn is not what was, but rather, what could have been.

I am proud to say that more often than not, we have embraced the new path we have been given. To say that we prefer it to what could have been would be a lie. Three months from now, I was supposed to be holding my Nadav, my beautiful baby boy in my arms.

Now, I will not be. Nadav’s birthday will never be June 22nd, 2012. It will always be February 21st, 2012.

And it will also be a birthday of sorts for us.

Shmerson and I have changed profoundly. So profoundly that to put it into words seems impossible. The way we view the world has changed. The way we live our lives has changed.

It starts with small things.

I now leave the house with a little bit of make up on and wearing my fabulous jewelry which had been gathering dust. I now have the confidence to sit in front of a new client and ask for the wage that I deserve, and no less because I’m no longer afraid they’ll “like me less.”

Shmerson now sticks up for himself more and speaks his mind with more conviction. He enjoys doing little things around the house. He defends me more loudly and fiercely than he ever has before. He speaks with and sees his friends more often.

We now load the dishwasher immediately after finishing a meal, rather than letting the dishes pile up in the sink. We now buy flowers for our home, to fill it with beauty and color. We now hold each other just a little bit tighter.

It goes on to the bigger things.

Our life choice discussions now also involve what will make us happier, and not just what is “practical”. Our relationships with each of our parents has become more openly loving. I tell my parents that I love them every single day.

Those are just a few small drops in a giant ocean.

Every singular change is part of a whole. They all add up to the fact that we have become completely different people. We are still us. But profoundly changed.

Everything has been turned upside-down. But we are working hard to make sure that this turn will be for the better.

When I look back at this moment in time decades into the future, I know I will see it as a moment that changed my life completely, and I believe – in the long run – made it a happier one. And Nadav, my precious son, is who made that happen.

The last few days have been insane, I’ve been overloaded with work and I let myself drown in it. This morning, it took me a few hours to realize what day it was, and again to let it sink in that it’s only been three weeks since we lost our Nadav. It seems like ages ago, and yet no time at all.

Later in the day I realized that during the packed few days I had had, I hadn’t sunk into thoughts of him at all. I felt guilty about it. I am no longer crying every day. Just once every few days. I’m enjoying my work.

Does that mean I’m forgetting him? That I’m not doing his memory justice?

I was drowning in that guilt today. Finally, I talked about it with my mom and my therapist, and they both said the same thing: he will always be here.

A scar, yes.

A small empty space filled with light reserved just for him.

But also a catalyst for healing myself. For healing my family in a lot of ways. For healing my marriage.

He will always be here because of the understanding that he left behind.

Nadav’s death made me begin to truly live again. And live well. For him. For my husband. For the children we will one day have. For myself. For myself.

This will forever be his legacy. And hopefully I have captured it well on this blog as a memorial to him, and perhaps a comfort to anyone who comes across this little space in the blogoverse.

I now give myself permission to return to the snark and the humor this place had before we lost our son. I now give myself permission to write about frivolous things when I feel like it. I now give myself permission to gradually bring this blog back to where it was before. Only better, because its writer has decided to make her life about more than bringing a baby into this world. She has decided to live it.

And that is something that has been a long time coming.

Thank you Nadav, for teaching me to live life for today.

Thank you for making me appreciate a beautiful blue sky.

Thank you for helping me find some of my old self-confidence.

For teaching me to acknowledge and appreciate…

The tiny moment of satisfaction that comes when I know I’ve cooked something delicious for dinner.

The scent of your father’s hair just after he has come out of the shower.

The view from our balcony just as the sun is setting.

The little conversations I have with your grandfather, when I feel he is truly listening.

The smile on your grandmother’s face when she walks into our apartment and sees that we’ve managed to keep it clean.

The moments when your uncle makes me laugh so hard that it hurts.

The sounds Luna makes when she’s dreaming.

The warmth of a home filled with fresh flowers.

The simple act of sitting on the couch with Luna and your father while we watch a stupid TV show, snuggled under a blanket.

The satisfaction of looking at myself in the mirror and feeling that today, I actually look kind of pretty.

The warmth that surrounds me each time your father holds me.

Every tiny little joy in life that has gone long ignored. Far too long.

Most importantly – thank you for showing me the beauty and unfathomable power of a strong marriage, true friendship, and a loving family.

You will forever be a part of our family, forever in our hearts. Every smile, every laugh, and every tear will echo with what you have taught your parents. We are forever changed, and for the better.

This is because of you, my beautiful baby boy. You did this. I will never ever forget that.

I will never ever forget you, my firstborn son.

On the night of February 21st, 2012,  when their son passed away, a mother and a father were born

35 Responses to “What Nadav Taught Me: Rebirth”

  1. RelaxedNoMore March 13, 2012 at 20:57 #

    I don’t really have words right now. This is such a beautiful, powerful post. With tears in my eyes, I send you and Shmerson big hugs!

  2. melissa March 13, 2012 at 21:21 #

    I have been a silent stalker for a few weeks now but after reading this beautifully written post I had to comment. I am not good with expressing sympathies because it never feels like enough nor does it ever help the matter but I am terribly sorry for the lose of your beautiful Nadav. My heart has broken and I have cried with you and for you over the past 3 weeks. It brings hope to my heart to hear that some wonderful changes have taken place in your life beause of Nadav. No one can ever take that from you. You have taught me along the way that it is just as important to live my life as it is to create life and I will be more conscious of this in the future, for this I thank you.

  3. SRB March 13, 2012 at 21:23 #

    Mo… Bittersweet tears on my cheeks and a big, full heart. You remind me to not only breathe deeply, but savour the air. Thank you for sharing these lessons with us. They are powerful beyond measure.

  4. Amanda March 13, 2012 at 21:39 #

    The loss of your son breaks my heart for you. And they way you describe it-to lose a future, is such an eloquent way to put it-and one I completely understand and relate to.
    It is so powerful to read these “lessons” posts and see how you are not only going to survive this loss, but grow from it and thrive. You are inspiring, and even if its for only a few moments when I read your blog, it makes me conscious of the changes I need to work at making in my own life.

  5. Jay March 13, 2012 at 21:52 #

    Mo, this is a beautiful, valuable series. I think it has the potential to really help people who have gone through pregnancy loss, or any personal tragedy. I can really identify with this post because it reminds me of the evolution that happened in me after my second loss, although I never had the words to express it so beautifully.

    The one thing I held on to, was the hope that the loss of my 2 babies might not have been in vain, that something positive would come from their brief existence. I’m really getting that sentiment from your posts as well. I once wrote a post talking about the creation the emerges from destruction, I’m sharing here.


    I hope you do not feel any guilt about your return to a fairly even keel. I remember the guilt when that happened with me, but I told myself, there was no reason for it- I loved my would-be babies with every fiber of my being, and that was the bottom line. Wishing you peace, and joy wherever you can find it.

  6. Heather March 13, 2012 at 22:02 #

    Beautiful, beautiful post.

  7. PM March 13, 2012 at 22:05 #

    I’m so happy to read this post!!!!!
    Welcome back dear friend. I missed your fabulouse self!!!!

  8. chon March 13, 2012 at 22:13 #

    Mo, you are fanfreakingfabulous. I want to be just like you when I grow up.

  9. the bunless oven March 13, 2012 at 22:45 #

    What a stunning piece, full of love and beauty.

  10. Esperanza March 13, 2012 at 22:54 #

    What a beautiful post. And what an incredible legacy. Your son was a truly remarkable boy and I’m sure he’s very proud of all the good he brought to your life.

    Thank you for taking the time and energy to pass along all these invaluable life lessons. I know I will remember them always and that Nadav has left a mark of light on my life as well.

  11. Shrinking Mrs. S March 13, 2012 at 23:02 #

    I just simply had to comment on this post. I have suffered two miscarriages–and my first pregnancy, had I carried to term, would have also been a June baby. Reading the things you no longer take for granted and the little things in life you now enjoy was almost exactly like reading through my own experience. So eloquent and so beautiful! Thoughts and prayers your way.

  12. Living Our Life in Cycles March 13, 2012 at 23:10 #

    Incredible lessons from an incredible son. Thank you so much for sharing the lessons you’ve learned through this unbelievable tragedy. Love and hugs to you both.

  13. marwil March 13, 2012 at 23:21 #

    I’m so glad to read that you are enjoying the things you have right now. It’s hard but it’s a good starting point. Thank you for sharing these lessons from your son. They are powerful and very wise.

  14. Amy March 13, 2012 at 23:30 #

    Perfect. You’re amazing – thank you for sharing these lessons with us. We won’t ever forget them, or him, either.

  15. Coco March 13, 2012 at 23:46 #

    Beautiful and insightful. And no it is not a betrayal to him that you didn’t cry. I struggled with that a lot last year. I had a miscarriage and then my dad moved into my basement so I could help take care of him while he died from cancer. There was so much of sadness and grief, especially just after dad died. And I struggled with feeling like I was betraying my grief by living my joy. But that’s just not how it works. Grieve when you need to, laugh when you need to. It’s all part of healing and growing. And from what I can see, you don’t need any advice from me about healing and growing. Kudos to you. You are amazing.

  16. missohkay March 14, 2012 at 00:00 #

    Maybe you won’t want to come back and revisit these posts in the future, but if you do, you’ll see that your voice here has changed too. It’s not just you telling us you’ve changed but HOW you say it that rings so true. I am so proud of you (is that weird? I don’t mean it to be weird.) ❤

  17. EmHart March 14, 2012 at 00:27 #

    This post is beautiful. I love your theme of what your beautiful boy taught you. It is such a wonderful way to remember him.

  18. Cristy March 14, 2012 at 01:41 #

    This is an amazing post, Mo. It’s filled with hope as well as so many lessons. Thank you for sharing all that Nadav has taught you in such a short period of time. And regarding your question as to whether you’re doing his memory justice: you most certainly are.

  19. Athena March 14, 2012 at 02:09 #

    Beautiful and powerful post. Thank you for sharing this series, you are truly a remarkable and inspiring person. Live and love Mo.

  20. Daryl March 14, 2012 at 03:10 #

    I am truly in awe of how you have taken tragedy and turned it into something so filled with love and light for your son and what he, in turn, has given you and Shmerson. Just beautiful.

  21. Anna March 14, 2012 at 03:24 #

    You are so strong and such an amazing person. I am in awe of you.

  22. Lisa March 14, 2012 at 04:17 #

    This was so beautiful. You had me in tears.

    You are truly amazing.

  23. Rebecca Pallack (@RPallack) March 14, 2012 at 08:59 #

    We all have to chose a starting point. Time to move forward. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for continued healing.

  24. St. Elsewhere March 14, 2012 at 10:33 #

    I am sure it has been very cathartic to write the series.

    The changes – I understand them. After CBub died, and with whatever else, I and DH as a couple, became more cohesive. We grew more strongly attached to each other. He became more sensitive to me.

    I love your last line.

    Yes, Mo.

  25. Port of Indecision March 14, 2012 at 12:37 #

    The memorial you’ve written for him is beautiful. The legacy you’ve uncovered out of tragedy is inspiring.

    And I’m glad you haven’t lost your snark 🙂

  26. Gil March 14, 2012 at 15:15 #

    This is a powerful lesson. I hate that it had to come from such terrible loss, but I am glad that it is a lesson learned. Not only for you, but for all of us. Carpe Diem. Use the good dishes. Wear the expensive dress. Buy flowers. Kiss deeply. Live. Live every moment to its fullest. Mo, I am so glad that a mother and father were born out of a son’s passing. Blessings to you and yours.
    And we’re all hoping to see some of that snark when you’re good and ready.

  27. Mer March 14, 2012 at 15:31 #

    My goodness, this series has been powerful and beautiful, despite the unimaginable loss from which it sprang. Words cannot adequately express how much you honor your son with these lessons. You are an amazing mother, and an amazing person.

  28. Louisa March 14, 2012 at 16:16 #

    Very very moving, you are incredible, thank you for sharing Nadav’s gifts with us. You are a wonderful mother.

  29. EB March 14, 2012 at 20:07 #

    Thank you so much for sharing. All of your posts have been moving, but this one in particular struck a chord with me. I’ll repeat what others are saying: you’re amazing.

  30. LogicalLibby (@LogicalLibby) March 15, 2012 at 02:56 #

    I like to think Nadav’s love for you is now showing in your love for each other. He lives on.

  31. Serenity March 15, 2012 at 18:07 #

    Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us. I am not sure the words will come out right, but you have inspired me to open myself up more. We fear pain and being hurt so much but forget that’s where the Light enters us, too.

    You are an amazing, inspiring woman, and I am looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you next.


  32. Serenity March 15, 2012 at 18:15 #

    Huh. I thought I had commented here, but it’s not showing.

    I just want to thank you for sharing yourself with us. I’ve read since I saw Esperanza’s post about your loss and I’m struck by how we fear pain so much, going at such lengths to protect ourselves, without realizing that it’s the broken places where the Light can enter us and make us better people.

    Thank you for inspiring me to open myself more, and fear pain a lot less. You are an amazing woman, and I am looking forward to seeing where your journey leads you next.


  33. Heather March 16, 2012 at 21:00 #

    You are truly an inspiration.

  34. mrs. brightside March 17, 2012 at 06:50 #

    I really admire your commitment for getting back out there. I’m definitely still struggling with that whole “having a life” thing. I can see plainly the downward spiral — stop drinking so become antisocial to avoid attention to said non-drinking, quit former exercise routine and dancing/sports hobbies because doctors think that it’s safest, lose place in the world as peers all become parents and their lives now revolve around it and you don’t belong there, avoid revealing any personal IF/RPL details to people too stupid or naive to be trusted not to say something stupid and hurtful about it. Aaaannnd, you’re a recluse.

    I love the title of this post, by the way. I’ve been going to a reiki/meditation class and we did a chant, Sa Ta Na Ma, meaning birth, life, death, rebirth. The term rebirth has been rattling around my brain ever since. It seems like a fitting, healing way to think about moving forward from our past suffering as the new people we are today, facing a new day.

    As always, sending hugs and kindness.

  35. Emily @ablanket2keep March 17, 2012 at 22:37 #

    You have left me speechless again. Love you.

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