A Name

I am in the process of trying to name our lost baby. It’s not a task I take on with joy, or a sense of certainty. My husband isn’t ready to talk about names, and I suppose neither am I. I want to give our baby a good, strong name–something with dignity and meaning. I am torn between naming him from a place of despair and a place of gratitude. I wish there was a name that adequately conveyed both. My pain is ceaseless but I am grateful. It’s an odd mix and as usual, words fail me.

Rachel named her last son Ben-Oni; it means “child of my suffering”. Jacob changed it to Benjamin, which is a popular name and one used in my extended family. I don’t want to use Benjamin, but I can’t use Ben-Oni either because I don’t want to make his name about our pain. I want to give him something of his own, even if he’ll never know it. I want to dedicate him to the God he lives with in perfect health and joy.

I haven’t found the name for my baby boy yet. Maybe I never will. Maybe we just need to wait a few weeks or decades; it’s not as if he needs our name. I’m doing this for me, and my need to honor and respect him. He doesn’t need anything from us, a fact that both comforts and destroys me. I have so much I want to give him, and I can’t.

I would have died for any and all of my children, but it seems that God doesn’t want my life, just these three little people who are the core of my heart. Surely my heart won’t keep beating with so much of it gone.

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