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Friday, October 15, 2010

history of loss

I have always known that I have numerous cousins who have been lost to miscarriage in the 70s and 80s. There were also at least two who were born later term, April and Alethea, who I believe both lived for a short time after birth. I am sad now that I never included them whenever I listed all my cousins on my dad's side (there are approximately 20). They count too.



I also always knew that my great grandfather, William (who my dad is named after), was a triplet, and that one triplet died. I dug a little deeper today, and I see that William, Anna, and Samuel were born on August 24, 1881. It was UNHEARD of to have triplets back then... my great-great grandparents James and Keziah were embarrased and felt like a circus. So when Samuel died, they just said they had twins, because it was "less weird" to have twins than triplets. Poor Samuel, and poor Mommy Keziah who felt ashamed to speak of her baby, and probably didn't have a proper funeral to heal some of her heartbreak. I REMEMBER SAMUEL TODAY, my great-great uncle.



I never ever knew though, that my great-grandfather William had a stillborn named Charles. This would have been my grandfather James' brother, my father's uncle, my great uncle. My grandfather James "Opa" was born in 1917, so it had to be around that time. My mother didn't know about this baby - he is not in our family history book, though Samuel is. I REMEMBER CHARLES TODAY, my great uncle.



My mother and I were just talking about this recently, it's ironic. Her father is an only child, but I said that I wondered if there were other babies anywhere who were stillborn or miscarried or died as infants that were just never ever spoken of. Maybe my mom had an uncle or cousin or great uncle somewhere on her side. Times were different then, babies died all the time (although I'll argue that they still do), but no one spoke of them like we do now. I have come to believe that probably 100% of women in history have miscarried at some point.. a lot just don't know it. And now here, a stillborn baby that was never spoken of, my Great Uncle Charles.



I pray that my great grandmother Eleanor and great great grandmother Keziah had grand, long awaited reunions with their babies upon their deaths.



<3 Baby Samuel <3 Baby Charles <3

3 comments:

  1. So sad but neat that you're remembering them now. <3

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  2. I'm sure all families do have 'lost babies' in their family trees that aren't known. I'm glad we are more free to recognize them today.

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  3. Oh Beth. That is so sad. I'm sure that your great grandmother and great great grandmother would be so touched to know that you remember their lost babies today. xo

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