“But after tempest . . . /There came a day as still as heaven” (Tennyson)
Still. An ordinary word, brief, easy to pronounce. When my sons were toddlers, I often told them to hold still while I was brushing their hair, changing their clothes, bundling them into snow suits.
I would ask them to please sit still when they squirmed at the dinner table. In restaurants, wait staff offer a choice of sparkling or still water. This simple word took on a never-ending depth of meaning in 2003, when my granddaughter was stillborn.
Born, yet still. Silent. Motionless. Dead, yet still born.
Still has a myriad of uses in the English language. It is truly not a simple word. It can be a noun, as in the phrase the still of the night, which is when I do much of my writing. It can be used as a verb, meaning to calm or appease, to still my tears. An adjective in phrases like still water.
As an adverb, still indicates time, and time is what I will never have with my beloved granddaughter. She is still dead. I will still rage and cry. I held her for hours yet I still crave more time with her.
Seven years into this journey, and I still don’t understand why she isn’t here for me to spoil. As a conjunction, still replaces and yet or nevertheless.
She died during delivery; still I love her.
She is dead; still I have four grandchildren.
After several years, still I continue to think of her and write to honor her.
Still. Not so ordinary; a grand, sweeping word, able to communicate a great deal in its brevity. Much like my granddaughter’s life, the nine months when she was not still, when she squirmed and danced, effervescent as sparkling water. Her face when she slid still from her mother’s womb like still water, peaceful, tranquil, calm.
Every sip a toast to my granddaughter, to life, to memory, still haunted by her absence while aware of her presence.Tags: grief, hope
Hi Nina. My grand daughter was still born on Monday 7 Feb 2011 – a week today. My heart is broken. I was in the labour ward with my daughter as her husband was sick. The gynae did an emergency C-section and when he took Gabriella out I knew something was wrong. The findings of her death was that after a wonderfully healthy pregnancy she had bled out into her mother through the umbilical cord.
Sharon, I am so very sorry that you have to be a member of this terrible club. Thank you so much for finding the strength to post a comment.
My GrandDaughter Grace was stillborn on 25th April 2011 weighing 7lb 9oz. She is my 7th GrandChild, my 4th GrandDaughter. I ache for her so much. I see my Daughter every day and we talk about Grace, but when I’m on my own at night the pain of my loss is unbearable. When I think of my own plans for her, I can’t even begin to imagine how her Mommy and Daddy are feeling. Your post touched me so much and again the tears are flowing.
Grace goes on her final journey on Thursday and all her family will be there with her, her Mommy and Daddy, Brothers and Sister, Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles.
Joy, your journey is so new. I am incredibly sorry that you need this site, but Open to Hope is a wonderful, safe place for you to come. Thank you ever so much for sharing about Grace-what a lovely name.
My Grand daughter,Sybella Eve was born still 18 months ago.I have 2 grandsons as well.I can’t get her out of my head at the moment and just want to cry all the time.A perfectly formed beautiful little girl.Tests showed no abnormalities.I feel so sorry for my daughter, having to endure the pain of a child dying….no mother should have to go through that pain.
I cant say that the pain fades…it doesn’t.I feel so sorry for everybody who experiences the tragedy that we have to bear….just be there with love and comfort for your children….. those poor parents .Wishing you all the best and Love.
Jane, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. No matter how many other grandchildren we have, we will never forget those beautiful babies who are not with us.