A book I was reading the other day said that god’s language – if you believe in a god – is not sacrifice, but juxtaposition. “His-or her- voice is heard most clearly in the reconciliation of the contradictions and contrasts of life.” I don’t really believe in any sort of traditional capital-G God, but I believe in something bigger than us, and it does feel like those are the moments. The moments that are at once completely opposite. And of course, it made me think of Amy.
I gave birth to our daughter, knowing that in doing so she was going to die. It was the saddest and most awful thing I’ve ever had to do.
I gave birth to our daughter, and got to hold her and touch her and see her, and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, and she was so wonderful, so beautiful.
Dan doesn’t see it that way, which is in and of itself another juxtaposition. When I say that as awful as it was, some of it was not, he says, no, it pretty much all sucked. Which is fair. While I am in the unique position of having been the one who had to do the birthing, I didn’t have to watch my wife crying from pain, both tangible and not tangible, while giving birth to our daughter. Our daughter who would die. I didn’t have to spend 5 days watching the woman I love struggle to keep our child inside of her, lying in a hospital bed, miserable and unable to even use the bathroom on her own. I had to do it, but I didn’t have to watch. I’m not sure one is empirically easier than the other.
And I got to spend 21 weeks with our daughter inside of me. He didn’t. I think that makes it both easier and harder. Juxtaposition.
When I think about juxtaposition, I think of Amy. When I think about god, I think of Amy. And for her sake and mine, I do hope there’s something bigger, something more. I hope I’m not just talking to myself.