Five Days

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Last Summer I was stocking up on cemetery pictures for my Halloween Blog (which did not happen due to the fact my life decided we were NOT going to be doing any writing for the rest of the year ) when I found this headstone in a cemetery in Bothell, Washington.

What grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go was the epitaph.

A short one.

It read:

Aged 5 Days.

I guess if you had to sum up a baby’s life, you can’t say much more.

I’m sure the child was beloved, wanted, cherished. I’m sure that in its room that baby had a dresser with clothes, toys lining a shelf and that it’s Mother had picked a name that she had put to a face to the minute she knew she was pregnant – an adult -face because isn’t that what babies do?

Grow up?

You give them adult sounding names, strong names so that when they grow up that name will be waiting for them to take on and out into the world.

Aged 5 Days.

I’ll be the first to admit it my grief and anger and despair are always front and center. I suppose it’s why I write what I write. Or why it’s easy to approach the subject matter I deal in.

So, had I been that Mother I probably would have gone back and carved into the stone- with my bare hands:

Aged Five Fucking LITTLE  Days.

Life isn’t fair and Death is a Cheat and when it comes right down to it, they have a lot in common.  Two of those things being that they create anxiety and hope at epic levels.

Such is the source of the horror of it all – how fine that line is between life and death and how fragile it all is.