"I write about Bianca every March 18th.
It is important for me to remember her
and to remember the moment that she
came into our lives. It is important that
I remember those three days; days that
mixed hope with the most profound sadness."
first born would have been 30 on March 18th. She was supposed to
have been born in June 1986, my own birthday month. Yet something
happened. Entirely unexpected and impossible to predict, she was
born prematurely. She was gorgeous. Beautiful brown skin,
waving her arms and squeaking, but she was just too small and too
underdeveloped. She lived for three days and then…she could live
I write about Bianca every March 18th. It is important for me to
remember her and to remember the moment that she came into our
lives. It is important that I remember those three days; days
that mixed hope with the most profound sadness.
My first born, my first little girl, would have been 30 on March
18th. Yet we - that is, my wife and I - had to make a very
difficult choice on March 21st. Do we use various artificial
means to keep her alive - despite the profound physical challenges
discovered by the doctors - or do we disconnect her from the
machines? In some respects the decision was actually easy. When
we understood the quality of the life that she would most likely have,
it sounded like we would be condemning our little girl to a hell
encased in a body. On the other hand, saying good-bye was not
easy since there would never be another hello.
I have written, in the past, about the ‘underground’ of parents who
have lost their children. I do not wish to repeat that
point. What is worth noting, however, is that over time one
adjusts to the pain but that is not the same thing as the pain
disappearing. It is analogous to getting used to arthritis, that
is, you come to accept that it is part of you and that there will be
pain. At the same time you figure out a way to navigate around it.
Every March 18th I feel a sense of guilt. This may seem odd to
you, the reader, but it is very true. I feel this sense that I
should be over this sadness by now. It has been 30 years and I
still cry. It has been 30 years and I still remember her.
It has been 30 years and I cannot let go. The guilt is so strong
that I rarely bring up the matter of Bianca. I feel as if I might
somehow impose upon someone with my sadness and make them
uncomfortable. So, during 364 days of the year, I keep it
internalized, at least for the most part. I don’t want to see the
look in the eyes of someone conveying to me the notion that “…here he
goes again…I am not sure how to handle this…” So, unless it is
another member of the ‘underground,’ I leave it alone.
But on March 18th I insist on making a statement. Bianca lived,
if even for a moment. And her mother and I will never forget her.
| is published every Thursday
David A. Love, JD
Nancy Littlefield, MBA