Nearly all parents who lose a child will reach this tipping point. The point at which their child is gone longer than they lived. Some parents have 18, 30, 50 years before this can happen, and for some parents they never see this date. But for parents who have lost an infant this date comes barreling down at us with in days, weeks, or months of a child passing.
I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a child one or two days after birth, or even at birth. My grandmother had a still born child. She was named Grace. My grandmother never "got over" this loss (how can you?) She spoke of her daughter to me when I was a child, and she loved Grace. My grandmother never even experienced this tipping point because it was simultaneous with Grace's birth. I cannot begin to imaging the pain of losing a child before its first breath.
There is a saying, "It is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all." I cannot help but think that for me it was better to have been a mother, even if it were for only 5 months, 10 days, 11 hours, and 18 minutes, than to never have had Zoë in my life.
So this September, on the tenth day, at the eleventh hour, and forty-four minutes past I will have reached Zoë's tipping point. Every second beyond that time and date she will have been gone longer than she lived. I don't know yet what to do with myself that day. Do I try to go to sleep and let time do its thing and march on? Do I stay awake and hold my breath from 11:44 to 11:45? Do I cry? Scream? I don't know what I'll do. But I know that no matter what I cannot stop this date and time from approaching, and passing by, and pulling me along with it.
Zoë will forever be 162 days old. She will never speak. Shew will never crawl, or roll over. She will never eat solid food, or walk. But she will change lives, hearts, and minds. She will change the world, because she has forever changed me.