This fall I took a class about writing grief through lyric poetry and narrative. This was a beautiful opportunity to put words to the sea of sorrow I felt with two brilliant professional writers as navigators. I journeyed with others in various stages of the grieving process, opening our hearts together through writing. I looked forward to these evenings, of holding a pen in my hand and writing about Rayna while facing the waves. The class stretched the way I saw myself and the way I wrote. You will see more works from and inspired by those six weeks throughout the future of the blog.

During our first gathering we skimmed an article entitled How to Give a Eulogy, and the idea of telling the truth in eulogy, even when it is not all flattering, stuck with me. We did not have a funeral for Rayna, feeling satisfied with the dedication we shared in the hospital, so through the class I wrote a eulogy. There was peace and levity in writing about how I knew and experienced Rayna:

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Rayna’s Day: Part II

Early in the afternoon, Rayna was outside of our hospital room for x-rays and other tests, which provided us a moment to take a break. With our minds having been elsewhere up until that point, we suddenly realized we were hungry and snuck in a small lunch. It was also during that time I began to again feel my legs… and my bladder. I had to GO! It took two nurses to help support me, but I made it to the restroom and back to the bed. It was a pretty funny scene, I’m sure.

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Rayna’s Delivery

After sleeping very little and deciding to stay where we were, labor was induced the morning of Sunday, July 26. Induction started slowly, as my body was only 33 weeks pregnant and not prepared for labor. I hadn’t had any cramping or spotting; my body was still completely unaware our baby had died. To start labor, I took a pill every few hours (probably Cytotec, I don’t remember), and small contractions came and went throughout the day. Our Sunday nurse had also experienced infant loss and had some insight for us throughout the day.

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