Coventry Carol.

My house is clean and dim, I am writing by the light of Christmas tree.  John Tesh and his radio show is playing softly.  I can barely make out the music over the din of the dishwasher which is, in and of itself, very comforting.  The littles are asleep and quickly so tonight. 

I have the blinds open and the snow is falling very slowly.  The sky is a steel blue/purple/grey.  It looks like theatre “night”.  The reflection of the town lights on the snow will keep it from being totally dark tonight.  I can see the flakes falling only by the orange glow from the streetlight. 

I am humming the “Coventry Carol.”

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.

Christmas can be a hard time for anyone who feels like she is missing something from her life.  The sense of loss is deep and dark.  The Christmas after Will died, we didn’t do Christmas cards, we barely put up the tree, we cut way back on gifts.  We stuck to ourselves and regrouped.  But we were definitely missing something.  The noise, his cries, his schedule, the ritualistic “just checking on the boy” in the middle of the night.  His door was still closed.  We were lost.  Even with a new life inside me, it was never going to be the same.

O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
By, by, lully, lullay.

You cling to those that know you best in times like this.  We really only had ourselves then.  We were newly married, newly mourning.  There isn’t a word for what happens when your child dies.  A child who loses his parents is an orphan, a wife who loses her husband is a widow but what do you call a mother who buries a child?  There are no words.  And never will be.  Never can be.  Only tears and the sympathetic head tilt that says “how are you doing?”

Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young to slay.

When Will died, we didn’t get to say goodbye.  He was just gone, nearly half an hour before it was “called”.  I knew it, Stephen knew it, the doctor knew it.  But they humped away, and humped hard on his little body for many minutes after his soul had gone to heaven.  When Stephen died, he never said goodbye.  He was gone several hours before his heart stopped beating.  There was nobody breathing for him, there were no extra tubes down his throat, nobody to try and restart his heart.  He was just gone. 

Then woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and say,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

******************************************************************

Thanks to Wikipedia for helping me to get the words right.

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