Meteor Children: Me-Te-Now

by Claudia Ravaldi

When I lost my son there were no words to say it: I had to invent them.

I lost my dewdrop! says the flower to the sky of dawn, which has lost all its stars.
(Rabindranath Tagore)

Lapo left on Saturday night, in silence, in my belly.

As often happens to many of us, when I realized that something was wrong, the terror of the truth paralyzed me.

I remember that day in full.

What did I do, moment after moment.

What did I say, to whom and where.

I distinctly remember hoping, ten, a hundred, a thousand times, that I was just “too anxious”.

My silent prayers, addressed directly to him, were of no avail.

Please stay.

Please stay.

Please, my child, stay here.

I’m a good mom, you know? Or at least, I put a lot of effort into being a good mom. I can improve, a lot, if you stay.

Let’s dance love that you like so much?

You haven’t moved anymore.

You don’t move.

And you won’t move. Not here, with me.

Can I come with you?

That evening, an “almost born” child, expected as expected on Christmas Eve, left.

I’m sorry there is no heartbeat.

I know, I already knew.

But I don’t want to know.

It can not be true.

It doesn’t go away like that.

My baby.

Which in an instant becomes a “stillborn fetus”.

Horror at the word dead.

Horror at the word fetus, used to distance ourselves from the colossal life experience that was happening, in that room, and in thousands of others, at the same time in the world (again, alas, I did not know, how many we are, every day, to fall from the waiting in the cosmic void, like astronauts unhooked in space, aimlessly).

I had a huge problem with the word dead.

I absolutely did not want to bring her closer to the word child.

To My baby.

I couldn’t think of it.

I couldn’t tell.

Dead is a definitive word.

After you are dead, you disappear.

Especially if you haven’t lived “long enough”, if you have no history.

Nine months of love, nine months of belly are not “enough” for a story to remember, they told me.

But I was your mom.

This was the only clear thing, as much as your absence.

Where did you go?

Why so far from my arms?

Why in the general silence of all?

Why condemned to oblivion as something insignificant?

You were not, and you would never have been insignificant. Not for me.

But I couldn’t, I couldn’t, I couldn’t start telling you from the end.

I couldn’t start your story from your death.

There was life to tell.

There was love to cultivate.

There was a name to pronounce.

There were too many beautiful things, of the first, they could not be hidden inside the word stillborn.

That’s why, that day many years ago, you became my meteor baby .

I didn’t want your story to end.

I wanted your presence, short, to be bright anyway, and a source of joy and wonder. Like shooting stars.

But even “falling” scared me.

Because falling is close to the “disappearance” of death: what is transient, in fact, is something destined to die.

You were already dead, and I couldn’t even think it, to think of you as “sagging”.

At least in my heart, I wanted you to stay, a little longer, as I knew you.

Source of amazement, joy and wonder.

Like a meteor in the middle of the night.

You know, my stubborn child that you wanted to do what you wanted, because Gibran says “children are not your children and bla bla bla”, the meteor is a star:

a bright, unruly star that detaches itself and goes around the cosmos.

Meteora is synonymous with star, light, rock, ice and matter that draws trajectories in the sky and no one can stop it.

The meteor star can only be admired, enveloped in darkness.

Meteor children, like the stars on the night of San Lorenzo, go away, detach themselves from what should have been their place in the sky, and go to illuminate everything around, dancing.

So we can still dance, my child.

Thanks for this post to my son and all the CiaoLapo parents who wanted to dance with their stars, helping to make a name “official” to describe our children, without forgetting their essence, which is amazement, wonder and joy.

With love for all Meteora children and their parents.

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