by Simcha and Rayzel Raphael, March 3, 1996
SONG - Min Hameitzar Karati Yah
DEDICATION – To Winkin’, Blinkin’ & Nod (womb names of triplets)
TELLING OUR STORY – Simcha’s telling
TELLING OUR STORY – Rayzel’s journal
JANUARY 30 – the night before the ultrasound. Dream. Inside the womb, a boy and a girl. The boy was hobbling on one leg, holding a sharp object. The little girl was yelling at him, saying: “Don’t use that or we’ll never get out of here.”
listening to the ticking clock-
Counting the seconds as I have counted the weeks..
the weeks of the first trimester…
that my babies almost made it to…but not quite.
Here I sit- the graveyard,
the keeper of the containers,
the coffin, holding the placentas of the fetus’ – my children
The babies I have dreamed about
and schemed about, and talked to and hugged and sang to and carried.
The womb, empty for so long finally felt full of life-
I was happy and deeply contented.
The heat rises as my stomach rose,
as my breasts swelled
as my lungs worked my chest-
I sit in limbo, “ah-ni-nut“
I am the shomeret for these bodies-
I alone will stay with them at all times
till D & C day, D &E day-
the day of their “evacuation”.
I feel abandoned- someone has kidnapped my children..
they are missing!
I am numb, sad, blue, depressed, forlorn and melancholy..
This is not the worst thing in the world, I tell myself….
But it feels like about the worst thing that has happened to me.
February 2, 1996 – waiting for THE D & C
Did these souls choose to leave? Should we adopt? Am I too old?
Am I strong enough? Am I crazy to want this?
Should I eat meat? Where did they go? Why are they missing?
Why do I still feel pregnant? What does this all mean? Why me? Why Now?
Is this a trial? a test? Am I out of balance?
Are my hormones working? Did I do anything?
February 2, 1996 – AFTER THE a D & C
Empty, empty, I am “cleaned out”
I have been vacated, evacuated, but not placated.
I am void of the life that I held- home now only to the black hole of my emotional turmoil.
February 2, 1996 – TU B’SHEVAT
I return to the beginning place, the fool, the dreamer, the place of Tu B’Shevat and sprouting- of new growth in the midst of winter-
I plant the seeds of hope- holding on to the shred of hope that I did get pregnant. I plant the seed of hope that new life, new joy shall grow somewhere in my heart and my life.
PRAYERS OF LOSS
“After A Miscarriage: Hold Me Now”
(adapted from VIcki Hollander, in Lifecycles ed. by Debra Orenstein, Vol. I, p. 46)
One who shapes
Who formed us out of moistened clay
Who rolled and pinched and sculpted the world,
hold me now.
You who enable wisps of seeds to grow,
who partnered the life which grew inside me/her
Life was gifted
Life was removed
shape me a place where I can weep,
and mourn the loss,
and let the blackness inside
Help me say good-bye
GR – to the child who was growing within me,
GR/S – to the promise and the dreams we bore
ALL- to the love held within for those budding souls, plucked away…
Stand by us
Stand by our sides,
watch the tears fall and touch the earth.
Hear our pain, hold us….
You who shapes human beings, man and womb-man
Heal my body and my soul
Mend my spirit
Thread new life in our saddened lives
Help us to see shoots of green emerge out of this winter season
Help us to hear, feel, see and know the rushing of sap within
The cry of a new life coming to fruition
I kneel to plant
A seed of life
An act of faith
Sower of life
Take my hand and, for a time,
hold it tight.
“Prayer After a Miscarriage”
(adapted from Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, in Lifecycles ed. by Debra Orenstein, Vol. I, p. 45)
God, we are weary and grieved. We were anticipating the birth of two new children, but the promise of life was ended too soon. Our arms yearned to cradle new life, our mouths to sing soft lullabies, to be Abba and Emma to two new children. Our hearts ache from the emptiness and the loss of life. We are saddened and we are angry. We weep and we mourn. Weep with us, God, Creator of Life, for the life that was not to be, for the lives that were not to be.
Source of compassion, el maleh rachamim, source of healing, help us to find healing among those who care for us and for those whom we care. Shelter us under wings of love and help us to stand up again for life even as we mourn our loss.
Source of compassion, el maleh rachamim, source of healing, help GR & S to find healing among those who care for them, among special friends and loved ones. Shelter them under wings of love and help them to stand up again for life even as we mourn their loss with them.
Holy One of Blessing, With Compassion Remember Us and Renew Us Unto Life
Baruch Atta Adonat, Zokher Yotreinu B’Rachamim
Bilvavi mishkan evneh
Bilvavi mishkan evneh l’hadar k’vodo,
Uvamishkan mizbeiach asi l’karnei hodo,
Ul’neir tamid ekach li et eish ha’akeida,
Ul’korban akriv lo et nafshi hay’chida.
I will build a sanctuary in my heart to glorify your honor,
And I will place an altar in the sanctuary, to the splendor of Your glory,
And for the eternal flame I will take the fire of the Akeidah,
And as a sacrifice I will offer up my unique soul.
BURNING OF THE OLD (SYMBOLIC BURNING OF ULTRA-SOUND IMAGES)
PRAYERS FOR HEALING
spontaneous prayers from friends
Ha-Rahaman, O Merciful One, heal my body and my soul; heal my womb so that I may carry to term a healthy soul, that I may come to sing your praises as a happy mother surrounded by her children in the courtyards of a Jerusalem at peace.
Baruch atah adonai elohaynu ruakh haolam, hagomel l’hayavim tovot sheg’malani kol tov.
Holy One of Blessing, who bestows kindness on those who are committed, and who has granted to me all kindness.
Amen. Mi she g’malcha kol tov, hu yigmalcha kol tov, selah.
May the One who has granted you all kindness always grant kindness to you, selah.
SONG: EVENING EVENINGS
by Geela Rayzel Raphael
Recorded by Miraj, Counting Angels in the Wilderness
With words You even the evenings
Wisdom opens gates locked around our hearts
Asher bid-varo ma’ariv aravim
B’chochmah potay’ach sh’arim.
Chorus: Evening, the evenings
evening the frayed edges of our lives;
Ma’ariv aravim. (2x)
Understanding altering the times
Changing seasons, cycles divine;
U- vitvunah m’shaneh e-tim
u-machlif et ha-z’manim.
Paint diamonds on the canvas called sky
Soooth our souls with a lilting lulalbye;
U-misader et ha-kochavim
B’mishm’rotayhem ba-rakiah kirtzono.
Rollin’, rollin’ into the night
Rollin’ rollin’ away the light;
Golayl or mip’nay choshech,
golayl hoshech mipnay or.
Spirit of the Night we bless Your Name
Eternal light, eternal flame;
Ayl chai v’kayam tamid yimloch ah-laynu
AFFIRMATION OF LIFE
PLANTING OF SEEDS FOR RENEWAL
SONG: I set before you, a blessing and a curse.. Therefore choose life!