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incompatible with life

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What a strange phrase. Who came up with this one? It sounds entirely trite for such an immensity. Falls short.

“my roommate and I weren’t really compatible.”

“is this cord compatible with your cell phone?”

Incompatible with life.

Huge, helpless, grief for any parent hearing these words.

My dear friend will meet her baby tomorrow. She has heard these words.

I am supposed to be there with her. Should have been on a plane today. But I’m waiting on a post due client and cannot go. I suppose that means I’m really not meant to be with my friend. And I’ve always trusted God to get me to the births I’m meant to attend. I believe this one is the first I’ve missed.

So here I sit. Feeling helpless and aching for my friend. Praying for her body and her emotions. Praying for her amazing husband. Praying that they will grieve with abandon yet it will not freeze them. Praying for peace and beauty. Yes, even beauty in this terrible birth.

She once sent me this poem and I post a fragment as hope to all of us.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

When I am among the trees” by Mary Oliver

Sweet friend, go easy and be filled. Even as your arms feel empty.

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