Due Date

The alarm sounded at 5am. We repacked the overnight bag with a beach blanket and a cardboard postal box with his legal name printed in black lettering on the front, the weight of it in my hand a haunting reminder of his flesh-and-blood realness, my child whom I never got to meet. Driving in silence toward the cobalt horizon, we pulled off at ‘our spot’, parked illegally at the hotel across the way, and slipped into the shadow-shrouded darkness of the dirt path that leads through the shrubs and scrabble separating the ocean from the road. In the watery light of dawn, all mist and the faint beginnings of blazing orange clouds stratified across the eastern sky, my husband read over again the letter he wrote to our first son tearfully at the hotel desk the night before. We clung to each other there for awhile, in the quiet solitude and whooshing heartbeat of the sea, wiped away tears, eventually walking hand-in-hand toward the cresting waves, where we scattered his ashes and watched them wash away with the foam and undertow. It’s easy to be overcome by a sense of infinity in Montauk, its wild and wind-blown vastness: one understands how it earned its moniker, “The End.” He lives here now, body and spirit mingling in the silt and current, unshackled and omnipresent. Fly free, my sweet boy.

14 thoughts on “Due Date

  1. Beautiful…Sending you so much love today.
    I live in Sag Harbor, I have been following you dor a long time now and after many losses myself over 3 years and still no baby I feel a kindridness towards you. I would love to extend an invite to our little house on the bay anytime you are out next. Husband and I think you are deeply inspiring. Any self pity that creeps in for myself I remind me of you and your strength. Love Kelly x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I remember you mentioned that. I love the north side of the south fork and have been often. I’m always happy to hear that others find strength or inspiration in my storytelling because from this end it’s mostly this sucky thing we’re trying to manage while living life like it means something (and I know you get that!)

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  2. Beautiful and heartbreaking and so familiar. We scattered A&C’s ashes in a similar place, further south if I read you well. Now I feel that they are near whenever there’s an ocean. Often I draw hearts in the sand and watch them be washed away. There is so much love for these children we didn’t get to keep.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We spread my father’s ashes in the sea when I was a child, and it’s been the same: the ocean felt special, and I could commune with him wherever I could find salt water. Now my boy is with his grandpa, which is comforting. So much love, indeed…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Fresh Page | The Empress and the Fool

  4. I’m late, but have tears in my eyes. This is so very moving. I’m glad that you had this beautiful moment together (though of course sorry you needed it), and glad too you will always have these absolutely beautiful words.

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