"Waiting is Painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering." -- Paulo Coelho
This week is the two-year anniversary of my estimated due date for my angel baby. In a different world, I would be ordering a birthday cake and planning for my second daughter's official entry into the terrible twos.
The most interesting thing to me about the anniversary this year is that I forgot it. It was only when I logged into an online support group discussion board I'm a member of and saw my name listed under the "Special Days to Remember" thread that the significance of the date hit me.
Maybe part of the reason I forgot is that my healthier pregnancies ended no where near their due dates. Big A was supposed to make her debut a week before Halloween but stubbornly refused to come out until after Election Day. And Little A arrived in a whole different calendar year than her EDD. For me, due dates have not held true.
And of course, there are no real memories to associate with this. Unlike my angel day, which is burned into memory, the EDD was a guess of an assumption that never came to pass. It is ephermeal as a spiderweb made out of clouds and cricket songs. It casts no shadow. It floats away.
In years past I would have felt guilty for not holding on to my phantom baby bundle tightly on this day. So much of new grief involves fighting the disappearance of your child. We wait for these key anniversaries not only to get past the pain they bring, but to experience the jolt. Sometimes the white-hot memory is less disconcerting than the feeling of the fire going out.
But once you cross the line between forgetting and forgot, it's different. I have no guilt. It's ok. I'm glad to be set free in certain ways. To no longer be waiting, and to finally let the baby be lost.