The Vortex

At some point your realize the death of your child will be ever thus – a howling vortex of pain and anguish, lasting only a few seconds.

Standing on a hill at a summer folk fest, singing along with a band I love. The very last of the set begins. It’s that song.

I walk away from my friends. I stand alone and stare at the candles we are all holding. Then, we are both here. In the vortex, you come back to me. In the dark, by the light of hundreds of candles, I am your mother, singing your first and last lullaby.

The vortex. It comes from the day when my head and my heart realized that I had your life growing inside me. The first time I ever felt you move. The nickname I gave you. The moment I first stared at you on an ultrasound screen. The conversations I had with you. All those moments only we know about.

I figured out pain and anguish so very quickly. I figured out how not to talk about you. I learned to tuck you between my heart and my lungs. I found out ways to make my life meaningful without you.

A decade later, I understand the vortex. I hold my pain and sorrow as immutable truth. I loved you. I loved you with every ounce of my being. I love you still. I will love you until the day I die.

The vortex is the price of that love.

When it comes, I fall into it.

Happy 10th birthday little boy. I miss you.

Dear friends and loved ones,

With great joy and heartbreak, we wish to announce: at 10:26 PM on December 10, 2007, Gabriel Anton was born into the hands of Cathy, his midwife, sang to in the arms of his mother, rocked in the arms of his father, bathed in the arms of his grandmother, and baptized in the arms of Regula, his Parish Priest.

At just after 11 PM, he was carried to Heaven in the arms of the Angels, where we will meet him again one day. At 520 grams (1 pound 2.4 ounces), and 33 cm (13 inches) he was wee, with 10 fingers and toes, and a full head of hair. He was a perfect, but very tiny baby.

For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart. Luke 12:34

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5 Responses to The Vortex

  1. Julie says:

    Little baby, Big love, always.

  2. Debby Hornburg says:


    Next year, on my grandson’s birthday, I will send this to his mother. And the beautiful woman will understand your words immediately. <3

  3. Jane says:

    I can’t work out what to write.


  4. Naomi Miller says:

    Thinking of you as you commemorate your pefect boy with these beautiful words. Happy 10th birthday, Gabriel.

    Best wishes,

  5. loribeth says:

    This comment is late, but I was thinking about you & Gabriel on that day. (((hugs)))

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