Writing is a kind of revenge against circumstance too: bad luck, loss, pain. If you make something out of it, then you’ve no longer been bested by these events. -Louise Gluck
Back in April of 2016, after completing my grief writing course, I came up with a series of prompts to help me continue. I have been writing from those prompts ever since; mostly publicly, but privately as well. I started with over 200 prompts from various sources: a book of random writing prompts that I made “fit” into my context, quotes I liked, passages from books. I added when I found something new to inspire words. The result has been over 120 blog posts that I have published, and even more that I have kept to myself.
I’m now down to about 40. With under 90 days to go in this pregnancy, I’m determined to complete the remaining prompts. It feels like closing a chapter, a definitive plan and effort. One more item to check off the list. I looked at the prompts and certain events between now and August and already have some of the prompts lined up. That tells me what I have left to work with.
After that, I have another series of a hundred new prompts, with a decidedly more hopeful undertone. I hope to be writing from an entirely new experience of handling a baby after loss. I know women who have had their rainbow babies and there is a different type of struggle that comes from holding the baby in your arms while remembering the baby that was lost. I am pre-emptively preparing myself to work through that process.
I fully acknowledge that re-reading what I’ve written will be bitterly painful if we lose this baby too.
I see the world differently than Before, through a lens of understanding loss, through living loss. The deeper compassion, gentleness, concern, and even beauty have been born from the pain. Through the ages, artists have been able to harness their pain and drive it into something beautiful. And so I write, to give voice to the experience rather than scream in silence. If suffering must exist, then from it I am determined to emerge.