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Things that should never happen.

There was a certain distortion about this morning that didn’t settle well with me, a feeling of unease that I couldn’t quite put my finger on but I felt it. An unresolved tension between the earth and its people. It is hard to believe that this is the same land that can be so overwhelmingly beautiful and all at the same time a relentless thief of loved ones.

I sat in a saloon in Braamfontein about to get my hair done, when we heard a sudden cry coming from outside “My baby, my baby”. She had lost her baby and none of the other women were sympathising with her or even helping her look for her little girl. Instead her worry became a joke in the saloon and the other women chuckling and chatting about how irresponsible of a mother she is and how she should have left the child at home that she should have known better. None of her desperate screams for her daughter were taken seriously. Throwing her arms over her head and scratching her head almost as if to hurt herself so that she can physically feel or see the pain, but it was all brewing from inside, stenches of hysteria and forlorn.

I sat in the chair wondering what thoughts must be crowding her mind at that moment when she realised that her baby had disappeared. Someone whom she called her own had just disappeared probably with a stranger whom she had just done their hair. Someone that belonged to her was no longer there to hold and smile and watch grow. I didn’t understand how another woman as capable of bearing children just as she was, could sit and call the loss of another woman well deserved because she is a “bad mother”. How do you substitute somebody’s pain for a “there she goes again” statement. Did we skip the part where we’re supposed to be human?

Perhaps my continuing to sit in the saloon chair contributed to the pain and neglect she was feeling, even though I did not laugh, I sat there observing the situation and felt sorry for her from a distance and then came back and wrote a blog post about it. This post is not a poem or a call for sympathy. I do not know that woman, nor would I be able to spot her daughter walking with a stranger in the street. I do not know the kind of emptiness she is feeling right now.

To the woman who lost her baby today

The conventional “I’m sorry for your loss” would be an arrogant and stupid thing to say. I do not know the hells and highs you are going through, heck I don’t even have somebody that belongs to me yet. But may the Lord comfort your heart and may the awesome wonder of His presence consume every part of you, especially tonight.

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