Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 39

The Parallels between Birth and Death By Preeti Hay “Oh, what an experience it will be to witness the parallels up close. I have seen its immediate as well as its lasting between birth and death,” the woman said. effects. Its pain, its healing, and everything in between. I had met her at my workplace. I smiled gratefully but How a birth could be similar I had no idea. I recognize cluelessly because I had no idea what she meant. Like an that both are transitions between two worlds, a profound angel she went on her way. Later, I realized that her words moment in time when the soul is entering into the body or were the most profound anyone said to me during my leaving it. What I could not understand was that death pregnancy. was a painful event but birth a happy one. Was the parallel supposed to be in this ironic duality? The time for the birth arrived. At two weeks past my due date, labor started but would not end. My plans for a Giving birth is being an instrument in this magnificent play natural home birth failed me utterly. My 50-hour labor of the universe. I wonder if the pain of labor is a way for ended in an emergency C-section. An infection followed the universe to conceal the extraordinary miracle that’s that kept the baby hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive taking place. The force with which the soul tries to come Care Unit for two weeks. Breastfeeding challenges lasted out, in longing and in suffering is almost tangible. Yes, for months. As I still learn this new art of motherhood, I am looking back, I think I did very tangibly feel this force, finally reflecting on the profound parallels between birth this set of impressions coming back into the world in the and death. form of a human body. I have similarly seen and felt the dissolving of impressions during death. It is as if time stops I have experienced a lot of death in my life. The series and one feels the soul leaving the body, like a thin layer of of deaths started when I was young and it feels like they film in the atmosphere. haven’t stopped. I have lost people I loved, people I let into my life and close family members. Having lost The process of birth is beyond anyone’s control. It takes a parent in my teenage years, I have witnessed death a life of its own. When it starts and when it ends is 39