What does it feel like to have a stranger inform you there was nothing that could have saved your daughter from a blood clot in her kidney? What does it feel like to arrive at the NICU full of naiveté only to be informed by a resident ten years your junior that your cucumber sized infant has a bowel rotting disease? What does it feel like to receive a phone call in the depth of night that you should come and quickly? What does it feel like to see the neonatologist walking towards you already knowing the message includes death and your daughter?

None of these things rival the feeling of seeing you pumped full of medicines that were never destined to save you. The perpetual worry and enormity of the gravity that is reality cannot possibly touch the infelicity of your swollen body. A mixture of adoration and despair, your tiny self bloated beyond recognition of the cherub that I love.

Within the depths of my maternal grief I continually seek to channel you. My nose seeks the unique sweaty smell of your incubator moistened skin. My ears seek to hear the soft wheezing of your lungs breathing over the ventilator. I see your tiny fingers grabbing the life saving apparatus; your thumb searching for your mouth. Yearning, my heart longs to touch your scrunched up face and cup your ambrosial body.

Nightly, your father and I light a candle hoping to channel your spirit, invite you to our table, encourage you to take up residence in our home. Within the chasm of life and death, I feel you. I love you. I embrace you.