I’ve often written about one of the key behaviours that helped me heal, that keeps me at a healthy equilibrium, and allows me to look forward not back. And that is refusing to allow myself to think about the what-ifs, never imagining the details of the child or children we never had, those babies we lost who would (this is always dangerous, but because of this policy I always have to stop to calculate this) by now be 16 and 15 respectively, as this would simply be an exercise of self-flagellation.
I’m watching the TV show Counterpart, which is set in two alternative versions of our world, where versions of each person exist in both, but with subtle differences. <Warning: SPOILER ALERT> The lead character in one world lost a baby to miscarriage, and never had children, and in the other world, the counterpart character had that baby (and its name was the same as that chosen for the miscarried baby in the other world). The childless character discovers this, and understandably has an overwhelming urge to get to know the now grown-up baby.
It is hard to watch this and not wonder about a 16-year-old girl or 15-year-old boy (or vice versa), to wonder what their personalities and interests and talents and flaws would have been. I try not to, but it is hard, and after so many years of resisting this temptation, it is unexpected too.
I’m pretty confident that I’m not going to fully fall prey to the temptations, because – unlike on Counterpart – there is not and will never be a real person to see as the embodiment of my child, but … still …