Now that I think of it, I seem to recall hearing such things whispered of in hushed, sidelong, almost reverent tones that were highly unusual for the usual group or sarcastic bastards I worked with. Someone had lost a baby. Someone's child was in the cancer ward. Oh, god, now that I think of it I seem to remember a co-worker making a casket spray that was unusually small. We knew what it was for. We were all very quiet. I think she was crying. I should not have tried to remember this.
I write a lot about the circle of life, nature's system of checks and balances and endless renewal. I can't help but feel that a lost child breaks that circle. It's backwards. Birth, growth, death, rebirth. When the chain is broken somewhere in the middle, when the growth cycle isn't completed, why does the whole system not just fall apart?
Yet somehow, it doesn't. People go on. I don't know how they go on, but they do. So do animals. So do plants. In fact, nature's kingdom on it's more basic levels may be particularly merciless, because many of the young do not survive. A mother bear eats her young because she senses the upcoming season will not support them. A wild daisy seeds itself with abundance, knowing half of its seedlings will wither and die before maturity.
And none of that matters a goddamn bit when you lose a child. No words of comfort, of seeing the larger picture, will suffice. The circle is broken, inside, and will never be rejoined. People go on, but a part of them goes back to the earth or air with their child.
Maybe this is why it's folly to compare higher consciousness to animal instinct. Maybe the two have no relation to one another. Maybe I've been wrong all along.
May Day is a day of fertility and hope. On this day of renewal, my heart goes out to all those living with the loss of a child. May you be reunited someday, on some other plane of spirit or imagination.