Saturday, November 22, 2008
Seeing Someone Over the Threshold
You know, as a childbirth educator, I get to meet a lot of young couples. And on the whole they appear confident. Of course they have fears. The birth. Will the baby be OK? The responsibility. But underneath it all is the feeling that things will be OK. Which is probably good for our psyches. To live in constant fear is only good for ulcers and the like. But, as we all know, there are no guarantees. Not in childbirth, and not in life. When we send our children off to school in the morning, we assume that they will return by evening, and hopefully in one piece. And we hope.
Our love for our children starts well before birth, and will continue to the day we die. We wish that we could protect them, shield them, stop all hurt and pain. But as fierce as our love is, it isn’t powerful enough to make us G-d.
And sometimes parents end up watching as their child walks over that threshold into a different existence. And there is little that the rest of us can do to help, as the parents bitterly face the fact that all the love in the world can not protect their offspring.
But that love is there. It doesn’t go lost. It affects the parents, and those around them. And please never ever tell a parent that something was for the “best”, or that this little infant is something they can “forget”. For that love is the biggest piece of their connection to the child that they have left. Yes. Love makes us vulnerable. But without love, what is life worth?
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I just wrote this post -- before reading your post here.
I'm sure you're able to give your students a valuable and appreciated perspective on their fears and dreams. Thank you for sharing your insights. I find your ideas especially valuable when working with families for whom the dream of having kids has veered off into the dark uncertainty of life-threatening illness.
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