קרעים של אישה

Pieces Of A Woman- An Un-Realised Potential

pieces of a woman** Spoiler Alert **

The trailer for Pieces Of A Woman was very promising.
Vanessa Kirby is an excellent actress, so is Ellen Burstyn. The topic is significant. Netflix is involved, Martin Scorsese was involved. I was looking forward to watching the movie and write my praises about the film and the cast and crew.

In reality, it seems the trailer is much better than the movie itself.
All the advantages I mentioned above were not enough to create a good or authentic movie, in my opinion.
I find the movie to be scattered, the acting is average and exaggerated, and the storyline is very unclear.

I also find the movie doesn’t offer a real peek into the world of pain that is the woman, her spouse, and the couple who went through such a difficult loss.
The movie spreads clues about the woman’s state of mind. Still, those clues are merely whispers (for example, the looks the actress gives to children on the bus. The apple issue is the only theme that got a bit more attention throughout the movie, which did not get the attention it deserved).
There were many empty scenes, one scene which seemed to be on the verge of sex without consent, which came out of nowhere. The movie also introduced us to an annoying interfering grandmother, which was correct with her feelings towards her daughter’s choice for a spouse (but no one admitted it).

The Movie In Short

The movie talks about a homebirth in which there are fetal distress signs. The baby was born alive, but a few minutes later, she turned blue and passed away.
A horrifying story, undisputably.
The baby’s grandmother, portrayed wonderfully by Ellen Burstyn, decides to sue the midwife involved. The father, portrayed poorly by Shia LaBeouf, doesn’t get along with the grandmother but co-operates with her on the lawsuit, behind Martha’s, his spouse, back.
The father meets Martha’s cousin, the lawyer handling the lawsuit, and pretty soon, they have an affair, also behind Martha’s back.

The connection between the baby’s death and home birth was troubling to me. As if this horror can only happen during a home birth. We know this is not true.
Loss happens too many times in hospitals all over the world as well. Connecting home birth to death opens a window to yet another slanderous debate about homebirth- yes or no. I don’t think this is the point of this movie.

Pieces Of A Woman- An Un-Realised Potential

I wish the movie could have done a better service for women who went through this kind of loss.
I wish the creators could have found a way to show the spouses’ side more complexly, beyond going back to old addictions and a tendency to violence.

Imagine the service this movie could have done with a more unmistakable script, the kind that dives into the deep pain inside the parent’s souls, as they already held their baby alive, and a second later lost her forever.
If they could include the loss of control people feel after losing their babies.
Sadly, I think the movie settles for very few glimpses that truly portray what a couple goes through and feels like after losing their baby.

Imagine how this movie could have been if the acting would not be all about yelling and being silent.
Shia LaBeouf turns out to be a not so good casting choice, Vanessa Kirby is super-talented, yet she’s very restrained and does not show her abilities in this movie. They’re both either silent or shouting. When they do so, and in between, I am not convinced they went through such a terrible trauma.
I think this movie had all the odds of raising awareness for such a loss. It could have been a reference movie to all those who never encountered this kind of loss before, providing them with information about it and helping those around them going through this loss. I mean, the incredible platform Netflix and the name “Martin Scorcese” offer!

This film did not fulfill it’s potential.
These were very long, two hours and eight minutes. As a woman who went through stillbirth on the 37th week + three days, I expected to cry, identify, and remember similar situations that happened to me. I thought I’d at least feel empathy towards the characters.
I didn’t feel any of these feelings.
I did feel the movie to be superficial, unclear, not authentic, and like this movie missed the point big time.

Pride Tag

Discrimination drives me crazy.
Sometimes it’s towards women, sometimes it’s because of the color of someone’s skin, sometimes it’s about religion, and a lot of times, too many times, it’s about sexual preference.

Don’t even get me started about homophobia!
I can not understand, for the life of me, why someone thinks he or she has the right to take away fundamental human rights from someone else just because he or she does not agree with a particular lifestyle.
How is it even possible for someone to tell someone else he’s a freak for being different from him?!
People think it has something to do with politics. You know, I don’t think that’s true.

It should be said out loud: discrimination is not a political issue. I think it is a way of life.
And this way of life, which is based on denying someone else, is not acceptable.
So I decided to act.

I contacted The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel and asked to add my business to the list of the Pride Tag.

What is The Pride Tag?

The Pride Tag is a project of marking businesses that support the LGBTQ+ community.
This marking, which is made by adding a sticker on your business door, or adding their logo to your website, lets the community know they can come to you and just be themselves.

I support the LGBTQ+ community here in Israel and around the world.
I realize my act here is relatively small, but it is important because we should strive for equality daily, not just on Pride month or the Pride Parade.

שיחה על לידה שקטה

Post Conversation About Stillbirth

conversation about stillbirthI took on new roles in my new path; all are very important.
But I think one of the essential roles is talking about stillbirth with practitioners from various fields.

I begin my talk/lecture/conversation with my own story and talk about the specific characteristics we will see in our clinic, with women who will tell their own stillbirth story.
I also share my personal and professional experience, assuming that many practitioners don’t know enough about stillbirth, so it’s important to give even some necessary information about stillbirth. So practitioners will have a general idea of the situation and know how to react.

I worked on my presentation for a while, trying to deliver a very accurate and precise message.
Of course, I realized I have more than just one important message, and I hope they echoed in the hearts of those wonderful eight women who cleared their summer schedule to come and listen to me.

Before every talk/lecture/conversation I give, I get very nervous, to the point I don’t understand why I set it up in the first place.
Every time I feel this way, there’s one book and one person who remind me why I’m coming out of my comfort zone to talk to others about this silenced topic:
If I won’t talk about it, how will you know?

If I won’t tell you how I felt, what life’s like after what happens in that delivery room at the hospital, if I don’t tell you that stillbirth includes everything that happens after, not just what happens in that delivery room, how will you know?

If I won’t shed light on dark issues, how will you know to help that patient that comes to you in desperate need of help after her stillbirth?

How will you know there’s hope after stillbirth if I won’t be the one to come and talk about it? Hope that appears like rays of light, piercing the clouds of loneliness and silence, which are all around after a stillbirth.

So much silence surrounding this topic, so many whispers.
How can this be, when this is a topic that should be talked about out loud? Have we any idea how that can help those who went through stillbirth?

This talk/lecture/conversation ends, I hope, with a bit more understanding that stillbirth is a trauma, like many other experiences. We should talk about trauma.
I hope that the women who heard me and asked their questions, understand that we need to bring our kindness to the front. It involves allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and allowing words to come straight from our hearts.

Kindness. We need more kindness and compassion in this world.
Every day, and especially in situations such as after stillbirth.

חלונות לנפש

Windows To The Soul

windows to the soulProper treatment can save lives.
(Can I be more dramatic?! I think I could, yes, if I’ll give it more thought, but I think this is dramatic enough so I’ll move on)

When do we seek help?
Usually, this will happen when we feel our lives aren’t going in the direction we always imagined it would. Or when we feel great distress.
We can have trouble sleeping, anxieties, we feel very tired, and we want to sleep and disconnect from life, we fight a lot with people around us, we feel great dissatisfaction with what is happening in our lives… it’s a long list.

Our Healing Journey

Acupuncture treatment, as is Anpuku treatment, is a journey.
After trauma, we find ourselves learning to live our lives with what happened to us. This is our healing journey.
We can not erase what happened to us, we can’t erase trauma just as we can’t erase happiness. This is how we live our lives, we flow on a wide range of emotions.

During our healing journey, we might not express all that we feel. Life has a fast pace, and we try to adapt ourselves as best we can.
But what about our hearts?
What about our soul?
What about everything that we feel?
We will sometimes find we do not let things out for long periods, and the only problem with that is that it will come back to get us.
We can have trouble sleeping, anxieties, we feel very tired, and we want to sleep and disconnect from life, we fight a lot with people around us, we feel great dissatisfaction with what is happening in our lives… sounds familiar?

Windows To The Soul

Acupuncture and Anpuku treatments offer us windows to the soul.
Along the healing journey, windows are opening on all the things we repressed, those things we said can wait, you know, those things our soul and body have given us many messages that they need to come out.

Acupuncture and Anpuku sessions can bring things we never thought of up to the surface, such as our wish to give to others and our expectation to receive from those around us, and our fear they will let us down.
These can manifest in our body as pain (stomach ache, headache), dizziness, overwhelming emotion, and so on.

These are reactions to the treatment. Things are starting to change, to move. It’s like opening a window and air comes in. Suddenly, we can breathe a little better.
Suddenly, you will notice that you sleep better at nights, the anxieties really calmed down, you don’t feel as tired as you did before, you do not wish to disconnect from life anymore, you love more and fight less with people around you, and you are getting more and more satisfaction out of life as you go along.

These reactions can sometimes make us feel uncomfortable, and we decide to stop the treatment. That’s ok, of course, we should always do what we feel is right. But please remember- you are not alone in this healing journey, you have your practitioner. I think it’s best to share all those things you feel, and maybe, it is time to solve all these things that are preventing you from having the life you wish to have.
That’s a form of saving lives, isn’t it?

I Am Not A Hero

I Am Not A Hero

I Am Not A HeroAfter my stillbirth, at the hospital, I remember the doctors saying I am a hero.
When I went back home, my friends told me I am a hero.
My brother told me that he sees me in a Wonder Woman suit, saying that I am a hero.
I am not a hero.

I never felt like a hero. I felt I stumbled upon a horrible nightmare that I can’t wake up from because it’s not a dream. It’s real.
I lost my baby girl Ayelet.
As if that’s not bad enough, I had to give birth to my dead baby girl Ayelet.
There was no way around it. I had to give birth to her; there was no other way.
I had no choice.

I was heartbroken, terrified, and given half a chance I’d bolt the hell away from that experience.
What’s so “hero” about that?

We did what we had to do

Today, when people read my posts about stillbirth or hear me speak about it, they say I am a hero.
I understand what they are trying to say, I guess, but listen:
I am not a hero.
I don’t think women who went through stillbirth are heroes.
The simple truth is- we did what we had to do.

I’ve been trying to think about why people say this.
Most of the time, I think it’s people who can not even begin to imagine what it means to go through stillbirth.
It just sounds like the worst thing that could ever happen to them or anyone. It is merely un-imaginable.
Therefore we are required to have superhuman strength or something extra, like being a hero. It is the only way to go through this because being a simple human isn’t enough.

Being human

Honestly speaking, I think this is all a part of going through life as a human being.
We go through wonderful, fulfilling experiences. We go through beautiful love which brings us joy and laughter.
These are all understandable experiences.
Once we get to the more painful experiences, that’s when people think we need super-powers to go through them.
But we are not weak. We are not unable to go through heartaches, grief, pain, and loss.
These all stem from the love and relationships we go through in life.
It’s all part of the deal of love and relationships.
Just as we don’t need superhero powers to go through the joy of love, we don’t need those powers to go through loss.

So what are you saying? What should we say to a woman who wen through stillbirth?

You can say she seems very strong. You can add that you think she probably didn’t even think she had such power inside her.
You can also decide to say nothing and sit there with her in silence.
The words can come later on.

יציאה משתיקה לחרות

Departing From Silence To Freedom

departing from silence to freedomYears before I had my stillbirth with Ayelet, I went through sexual trauma.

This trauma took over my life primarily through fear. Thanks to successful therapy sessions (which were at times also scary. And challenging. And exhausting. Sometimes it felt like it took me hundreds of years to go through it), I conquered fear and chose to be in the light

I mentioned fear as the decision-maker in my life at the time. Another constant companion was silence.
Silence was involved with each trauma I went through. It was also present in other trauma stories I heard from friends and read about in books.

How is it that silence is the one thing that most traumas have in common? Thinking about it rationally, it doesn’t make sense. After all, we didn’t do anything wrong; others did us wrong. It’s almost like a given: something happened, and we’re not going to talk about it. When I talk about being silent, I don’t mean just the actual act that caused the trauma but being quiet altogether, about how we feel, and about what’s going on in our head. Just not talking and being silent.

This is the case with many women after stillbirth too. No one’s talking about it, including us. Many women can suffer from post-traumatic as a result of stillbirth.
Guess what. Nobody’s talking about that either.


I read a bit about silence, trying to figure out why it is so present in our lives, and here’s what I found out:

As I stated before, silence can be found in various traumas: Holocaust survivors and 2nd generation, PTSD, child abuse (sexual or physical violence), and also, stillbirth.
I recently started reading the work of Dr. Yochai Ataria, which is fascinating, even though I don’t always understand or agree with him. Dr. Ataria mainly talks about PTSD, and this is what he has to say about silence: “trauma is an impossible situation. It is something between a nightmare and a delusion. A state in which all sets of rules, beliefs, hopes, and expectations collapsed. There are no explanations but complete horror. The post-traumatic person is, therefore, representing a condition in which all words are truly gone. Words are a system of symbols that are completely detached from the experience. Trauma leaves words out and causes them to be foreign. This is why, in a PTSD state, it is not possible to use the every-day language to describe the world behind the curtain. Words don’t describe or explain. They obstruct. Any kind of testimony is damaging the authenticity of the original experience. Speaking up turns the impossible to “just another story.”
Dr. Ataria further explains that reality is a world of words. Silence is the primal protest of people who went through trauma. Trauma is a different world. Through silence, they express they have reached the lowest point, and they refuse to cooperate with reality, with the world.

As a woman who has been talking about her traumas for several years now, it is understandable to see my problem with Dr. Ataria’s explanation of silence.
Of course, I can understand his meaning. I felt like this with my traumas before I started to deal with each one of them.
How can we even begin to describe stillbirth? Every word belittles all I went through during those two days, from the moment I was told my baby girl Ayelet died inside my womb and all the daggers in the heart like experiences I was served by reality. Each of these experiences prompted me to seclude myself more and more. 

However, it is a known fact that words have power. In the wrong hands, this power is abused. But in the right, delicate, sensitive hands, words can empower and us.
My therapist and I shared many words. Many times they were trying, painful, awkward words.
Who wants to sit and feel shame from head to toe? Not me.
Who wants to feel guilt floating around, threatening to paralyze one’s heart? Not me.

Nonetheless, these words were spoken. Yes, they released shame and guilt in all their glory (and other emotions), but these words also helped bring these emotions back to their normal proportions.
It’s been nine and a half years after the stillbirth, and I can sometimes feel guilt over my girl Ayelet’s death. But I now know it’s not true. Thanks to those words I spoke at my therapist’s office, I know the answer to that creeping thought. This is the empowerment I needed to feel I can lift my head and keep it up above the difficult swirling emotions I felt after my stillbirth.

Freud & Lacan

Dafna Ben-Zaken speaks talks about the Holocaust trauma, which was never talked about in her family but was felt throughout her childhood.
The silence was loud and very present.
A combination of Freud’s findings and Lacan’s approach explains silence: “It is a tear which was arbitrarily made and has no logic or meaning. It is a tear that leaves the subject without the defense of language. The injury will always show up suddenly and violently, leaving us shocked and distressed, and we try to collect residuals of words in which we try to understand what happened.”

Freud established an element of repression in dealing with trauma. Lacan added: when facing certain traumatic moments, we are verbally unable to express what we went through.
These can explain the experience of women after stillbirth. Many women are not interested in facing the stillbirth they went through because it is too hard even to try and talk about it, and all it’s affects on their body and soul. Their only wish is to move on, towards the next baby, in a desperate desire to give birth to a live baby.
I can understand that. Of course, I too wished for a live baby with all my heart. But a live baby can not erase the loss I went through. The live baby can not replace the baby I lost.

Repressing can not delete something that already happened. Repressing pushes the trauma away from us, but the trauma stays embedded in us in so many ways. The longer we remain silent and not talk about it, the trauma will penetrate deeper and deeper.
The goal is to integrate trauma into our lives, so it won’t be a force which runs our lives.

Departing from silence to freedom

It’s challenging to describe in words what we went through. That is why it’s easier to remain silent and not talk about it.
In the long run, this silence took a hefty toll from my life. I realized that although I didn’t want to talk about my experiences at all, I didn’t have a choice anymore. I had to talk about all of them.
I found that my ability to put my most inner secrets and fears into words is one terrifying experience, but at the same time, it marked the beginning of my healing journey.
I found that through telling my stillbirth story and talking about everything I went through, I can validate someone else’s stillbirth story, validate all her feelings and her sense of loss.
I found I can live my life as I see fit, and not be blinded by fear and missing out on so much.

This continues to be almost a daily mission for me, conquering the restraint of fear. It was present in my life for so many years, but I am overcoming fear again and again, and this, to me, is the true meaning of freedom: the power to act, speak, or think as one wants without restraint.
All this starts with words that come from the heart, the womb, the soul.

*Photo: street art in Tel Aviv, saying “ok we’ll talk, we said. And we were silent”

קברים לתינוקות לאחר לידה שקטה

Graves For Babies After Stillbirth

graves for babiesAs I was in the delivery room, waiting for my stillbirth to begin, the medical team talked with us about burial.
There were two options: a private burial or a mass grave.
Ayelet was still inside me, two hours were between me and the horrible announcement that I lost my baby, and already a To-Do list was forming.

It’s a difficult thing to do. I am sure that anyone who went through loss knows what I’m talking about, like when my parents passed away, I received endless letters from gravestones companies.
It was as if these companies have a list of families who just lost their loved ones, and they passed it around them to tell us about the high quality of marble they have, and the professional engravement. The various fonts I can choose from. The bank of quotes and illustrations we can select from the gravestone, and so on.

I don’t want to hear about burial, or maternity rights I might or might not have, or the room they’ll put me in after the stillbirth.
All I wanted was to get my baby girl back.
But there was another voice in my head, as I am in the delivery room and forming that To-Do list, an inner voice that understands that I must make these decisions. It is my baby, my husband’s and mine, we are the only ones who should make these decisions, for example, how are we going to burry Ayelet.

Graves For Babies

My immediate answer was, “we will have a private burial.”
The medical team told us we can still discuss burial, so we did, my husband and I. We talked about how we have no idea what to do, and how we want to be after the stillbirth and as far away from it as possible.

So Maybe A Mass Grave?

This was a very upsetting thought for me. My imagination was starting to get the best of me, and I was freaking out: Why should my baby girl be one of many? She deserves a private burial.
We had two days until the labor inducers kicked in, which provided us with time: to cry, mourn, be silent, talk, dose off. And we went through all this together.

My Experience With Graves

As we talked, I remembered about my feelings towards graves:
My mother passed away in October 2001, my father in April 2004.
I loved them deeply, they were everything for me. My parents were buried next to each other.
I don’t visit their graves. I don’t feel connected to their graves. Let me explain a bit more on this:
I remember my parents every day. I talk about them, they are very present in my life, and I share many stories and anecdotes about them with my family.
There are pictures of them at the house, the kids hear about them a lot, and my husband met my father, as I met him three months before my father died.

I don’t believe that the grave is where I can talk to my parents.
Yes, their body as I knew it lies there, or at least it used to. But what about the soul?
I won’t get into various theories here, but I will say that I feel their presence with me many times.
When I wish to re-connect with them, I don’t go to the grave.
The days of their passing are sad, and I feel very uncomfortable in my skin. It seems strange to remember the one miserable day in which a person died and forgetting the great life this person had right up until they died. I celebrate a person’s death rather than mark the day of his death. It feels healthier and a better way to remember a loved one.

The last time I went to their graves was before I got married back in 2005 because I was told: “it’s tradition.” So I thought, “OK, I’ll go.”
We were there, my husband and I, for about 5 minutes and we left.
Fifteen years have passed, and it still seems like the right way to go.

Back to Ayelet

Assuming we will have a private ceremony and burial. Then what?
I won’t visit that grave, neither will my husband.
What does this grave give me? It is not significant for me, and my husband shares that feeling.

Ayelet died at the exact place she was created in my womb. If she left her mark anywhere, it’s between the walls of my uterus, as if she carved on one of my womb walls, “Ayelet was here.”
She’s with me all the time.
And so I looked at my husband as we were waiting for the stillbirth to start and told him, “let’s not to this, I don’t believe in graves.”
Nine and a half years after the stillbirth, and I still feel this way.

I feel it’s better to sanctify the living rather than the dead, celebrate life rather than mark death.
People who die are embedded within us. I feel true to my mother’s spirit when I go to the beach, one of the places she loved most. I feel true to my father’s spirit when I keep telling his jokes, and my kids roar with laughter.

Ayelet & Me

It’s a bit different with Ayelet.
I didn’t have the time to create memories with her our of the womb. And yet, even with her, I felt I had memories to share when I held her after the stillbirth:
During the pregnancy, I used to talk to her, and told her, for example, that I will sing two songs in Hebrew for her when she’ll come out.
As I was holding her after the stillbirth, I sang those two songs for her.
During the pregnancy, Ayelet would move a lot. At some point, I started asking her questions and wait for a reaction: if she’d kick hard, I knew that was a “no.” If she’d hardly kick, I’d take it as a “yes.”
As I was holding Ayelet after the stillbirth, I looked back at those questions and answers. And I talked to Ayelet about the heartburns I had with her, how heavy her pregnancy got at some point.
How much we waited for her.
Mainly, I told her we love her very much.

In the case of stillbirth, choosing life can be a bit more complicated, I think. But I always remember:
My stillbirth with Ayelet was the saddest experience I ever had in my entire life. It taught me a lot about deep sadness.
That’s where my choice of life came from. Choosing life means being in the light, making the most of every opportunity for a celebration. For being happy, and that’s what I’m doing to this day.

For me, the question of burial is personal, and each woman and her spouse make their own private decision.
But I think that the most important thing, in the end, is how we remember our loved one.
The memory we have inside counts more than anything else, even a grave.

נדנדת הרגשות לאחר לידה שקטה

The Rollercoaster of Emotions After Stillbirth

rollercoaster of emotionsStillbirth is a loss.
We go through a real loss, even if society doesn’t always acknowledge our loss, as society never saw our baby.
But we felt our babies grow and move inside us, totally present in our lives.

Loss is known to everyone. I don’t know one person who hasn’t gone through a significant loss in hers or his life. When I saw “significant loss,” I mean significant to that specific person.
The kind of loss that creates intense feelings of mourning, sadness, a forced goodbye from a loved one. A profound difficulty performing daily activities, and much confusion.

The kind of loss that sends us through the rollercoaster of emotions of mourning. All the feelings I mentioned above are present at the same time, when we feel the need to laugh, smile, go out and have a drink to feel free from this emotional weight in our hearts. Oh, we know the weight won’t go away, it will wait for us, no doubt. But just for a few moments, we try to free ourselves from it.

Stillbirth is death.
Death of a baby. End of hopes, expectations, of a whole life.
It’s loss forced upon us.
Once we start addressing stillbirth as such, we will be able to understand all that we go through after stillbirth.
Once society addresses stillbirth as such, society will understand:
The need to mourn, the need to cry. We will realize that we are not “dwelling on this,” we are saying goodbye again and again. Each time will be a little different because we will be a little different.

We will understand the need for commemoration comes because we don’t want to forget what was erased from everyone’s memories.
We want to give meaning to this difficult and sad experience that we went through.

We will know this rollercoaster of emotions after a stillbirth is the rollercoaster of emotions one feels after losing someone significant to us.

But I think the most crucial part is for *us* to understand all this.
I think that in the end, it doesn’t matter if society understands us or not. I guess we’d rather have the seal of approval from people around us. I’m sure it’s easier than giving it to ourselves.
But we should be able to give it to ourselves, the permission to “dwell with it,” to mourn, to feel the loss, to “always talk about it, again and again,” because it is a part of the grieving process we need to go through before we enter the next phase.

Once we allow ourselves to feel everything, the need for assurances from people around us won’t be needed anymore.
The first weeks are difficult. As the Buddha said, thus it is.

Slowly the process we go through changes. Sometimes we’re up, and sometimes we’re down.
It’s all part of the healing journey.

הפנים והשמות של לידה שקטה

The Faces and Names of Stillbirth

The Faces and Names of StillbirthI went through stillbirth.
It is not a source of shame. It doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable. Stillbirth for me is a deep sadness I went through, and I can reconnect to it in a second. I choose not to do so.
Instead, I choose to talk about stillbirth.
It is the thing that will give this experience a face, a name, presence, acknowledgment.
It is the thing that gives faces and names to stillbirth.

For years there are rows of women who remain faceless, who lost their baby and have birth written all over their bodies and souls.
With an extra scar: we lost our babies. They died in the womb.
I don’t think it’s right to keep this experience faceless.

For years there are rows of babies who are buried faceless and nameless.
Yet they all have a face, and most of them (I think) have names just as my Ayelet had a face and a name.

Working through the loss I went through doesn’t prevent me from living my life. It allows me to acknowledge her presence in my life and the fact that she lived with me, inside me, and now she’s gone.
For one to die, one must be alive first. And if I don’t acknowledge Ayelet’s life, how will I be able to admit her death?

It is the only way that leads to mourning, grief, saying goodbye, and integrating this experience in my life.
I go on with this experience as a part of my bundle in life.
It is a healing journey.

after stillbirth

Thus It Is Mother- After Stillbirth

after stillbirthProf. Jacob Raz is a well-known author, speaker, and teacher of Buddhism. He wrote a book (in Hebrew), in which I found this, which brought me to tears.
The original text talks about a father who seeks comfort with Buddha, but I changed it a little, to mother. I hope Prof. Jacob Raz will forgive me.

When I read it after my changes, I feel Prof. Raz successfully captured what I went through after my stillbirth.
And what I feel many women go through after stillbirth.
Mainly, I love the deep understanding in which mourning and grief have a direct connection to love. Sorrow, difficulty, crying, this endless weight we go around with; thus it is.




At one time, some mother’s boy had died.
The bereaved mother, grieving and tormented
Came to the Buddha
And said,
My boy has died
And now that he is dead, I do not care to work or eat.
Again and again I roam the streets and moan,
Where are you, my boy? Where are you, my boy?
Please help me, teacher.

And the Buddha said to the mother,
Thus it is, mother, thus it is, mother
What is dear to you, mother, brings hurt and misery, suffering, grief, and despair,
Which comes from what is dear.

The mother, indignant and annoyed at the words of the Buddha, rose from her seat and went away.
What is dear to one brings joy and satisfaction, she thought, not hurt and misery!
How could the great master speak these words?

What did the Buddha say? He said this,
That which you are feeling now, mother,
Are hurt and misery, suffering, grief, and despair.
That is what you are now – grief and despair.
Right now
Thus it is, mother.

He did not say, may you know no more grief,
He did not speak words of consolation,
He did not say your son will return, did not say he will not return,
Did not say let time heal, go and meet friends,
Find meaning in your work,

He did not offer painkillers,
He did not say sit down to meditate,
Breathe in breathe out
Go to support groups, weekend workshops,
Sweat lodges or miracle-working gurus
He did not offer therapy
Nor reading in Buddhist classics

He did not say
Your son will become a god, or
He is in paradise now.
He did not say,
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord
He did not say all that
He did not offer God’s grace

He did not even talk about impermanence

He said
Thus it is, mother

You wish to feel no pain
To be free of grieving
But you cannot because this is what is now
Nowhere to go
And the more you wish to get rid of the pain
The more you suffer
Not only from the pain upon your son’s death
But also from the pain of the wish to be free from pain
And from the inevitable failure

Because there is no way for you not to be what you are now
A mourning mother, full of pain

Dear mother,
This is the nature of things
What is dear to you brings worry and pain
This is it
Anxiety is within the dear –
Like the color red in a pomegranate.
You want the joy of love but not its sorrow
But can you have right without left, high without low,
Youth without old age
Meeting without separation?

Your loved one equals anxiety about his life and mourning about his death
There is no other way

But the Buddha might have also said,
Be your hurt and misery
And you are free.

Know them thoroughly,
And be free.
Go through them
Like getting wet in the rain, like watching your footprint.
Like eating your bread and breathing the air
Know them
And you are free

And then, you will see, dear mother –
Mourning is liberation
And so are joy, and fear, dance and dream, and old age
All lived
Full measure

These and all the rest
Such as they are
Members of creation
Oh, these very sentient beings

The matter from which all is made
Free to come, free to go

Thus said the Buddha unto me