He Should Have Been 3 Years Old This Month!
by Kara L.C. Jones

Where does one start when it's three years since your child has died?

Should I tell you that I feel better about life? Well, I don't. I mean I don't want to throw up and die all the time anymore, but life without my son still sucks.

Should I tell you that my son's death has magically turned into a gift that was meant to be? Well, it hasn't. I still hate that he's dead. I guess I have learned a few lessons along the way about losing everything like losing my son, my husband losing his day job, us losing our living space, being homeless in our car for a month. And still I've landed on this abundant island and have found that I can survive it all.

Should I tell you that once you get to be three years out from the death that life gets better and you won't be scared to try another pregnancy? Well, life has it's ups and downs still, but I'm just as scared now as I ever was to try getting pregnant again, carrying all those months, and then giving birth to death instead of life. I don't know that I'll ever *not* be scared. I think I'll just have to jump in and try again if I want to try again *and* be scared about it.

What should I say? My heart still aches. Life goes on, yes. In fact I just did this whole actress thang and got myself a part in the Vagina Monologues here on Vashon. It was a fabulous hit. We raised $10,000 for IDVOS and played to a sold out house as well as filling our dress rehearsal, too! And yet, everytime I had to hear that last monologue called "I was in the room," I would break down sobbing. It's a monologue about the author witnessing the birth of her grandchild. And it is a great homage to the vessel that a woman's body can be. But of course my experience was that a woman's body can fail as that vessel, too, and so everytime I heard that piece, I'd sob. The cast and crew were very supportive and I'm grateful for the hugs and kleenex. And it still sucked to be sobbing three years later.

He should be three years old. We should be checking out co-op preschool and learning silly songs together and I should be complaining that he's getting so big that my back hurts when I give him piggy backs. We should be swimming with water wings and learning to take the wings off this summer. We should be investigating silly pirate camps and festivals where he can get his face painted and share cotton candy with his dad. Yes, if he were here I'd damn well let him eat cotton candy!

I don't know. I'm grateful for the tattered life we've put back together after his death, after losing our house, after being homeless in our car for a month. This island has been a haven and has reminded me of abundance in this world. But I still f*cking miss him like my heart has been torn from me and beats on the floor in front of my aching eyes.

What's three years in the face of a lifetime without my son?

Author Biography
Kara lives on Vashon Island which is a much more awesome place than she ever imagined it would be. She is a poet, bookmaker, wife, teacher, mother to a stillborn son, facilitator, receptionist, founder, struggling p.t.barnum, turtle faithful, editor, artist, and a million other things that will prevent you from putting her in any one particular label box! Kara teaches through local art centers, artists in the schools programs, KotaPress and independently. To find out more about her, see:


And her class Expanding Poetry is now available in an online format from CourseBridge.com where you can register today at:


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