To the Mother in the Red Shirt at Music Class

musicroom_tcm4-119705When my son walked over to you, staring at your beautiful baby boy, you asked him What do you want? My three-year-old boy did not take the triangle that you offered him. What is it that you want? you asked again reaching for a tambourine as he stared at you and your son processing how your baby moves and his sister did not.

The first time that my son saw a newborn after his sister, Mary Rose, died of trisomy 18 an hour after birth, he was startled when the baby girl moved her hands. Later in the car he said to me Our Mary Rose didn’t move.

Why do some babies go to heaven? he asks. Why do some babies live? God, the Gardener, plants the soul in the best garden for her soul I tell him. Mary Rose is doing her work in heaven. We are here doing our work on earth. I want to go to heaven, he says again. I want to be with my sister, Mary Rose.

Mother in Music Class, I’m sorry that my son made you feel uncomfortable. He is a little boy who knows unbearable loss and yet he bears it. Your son was moving and crawling and thriving. He doesn’t know much about the babies who live yet.

Author: Dianna

DIANNA VAGIANOS ARMENTROUT is a published writer, teacher, workshop facilitator and poetry therapist. She graduated from Adelphi University’s Honors Program and earned her MAW from Manhattanville College. Dianna’s pregnancy with her daughter, Mary Rose, who died an hour after birth of trisomy 18, changed her life completely. Her blog, Walking the Labyrinth of My Heart, was launched in April 2015 as a way of offering support to others going through pregnancies with life-limiting and fatal diagnoses.

3 thoughts on “To the Mother in the Red Shirt at Music Class”

  1. Beautiful…Gabriel truly has suffered great loss, as have his Mommy and Daddy…yet the space you hold for his grief and his process of healing is so nurturing, Spirit-filled and Grace-full that Mary Rose remains present as his sister here and in heaven. What a blessed little boy! Meeting these needs today will save him/you YEARS of unknown and misunderstood anxiety and misplaced anger/grief/abandonment, etc. Our society does not allow discomfort (much less grief and true process) in any arena…whether it be birth, death, life passages such as menarch and menopause, boys coming through puberty…none of it! I believe this is a major factor in how we end up with so many emotional “hangups” in our lives. As always, Dianna, thank you for your beautiful work.

  2. What an angel boy who so clearly states his wishes and unconstitutionally reminds all of his love for Mary Rose!


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