Laugh to Keep From Crying

March 15, 2015


Once I lost my baby through stillbirth, I had tough decisions to make.  Would we tell anyone? I mean, everyone could tell I no longer had a big belly.  Would I return to work? What would I say to people? How would I go on? Would we try to have another baby? Would we have a memorial for him? But, there was no doubt in my mind that I would write poetry. Poetry has always been healing for me. (I had been writing poetry since I could remember.)  The first poem I wrote was for my son's memorial service to embed in the program.  Of course, on the day of his funeral when I read  the printed poem in the program, words were misspelled. I was enraged; a precious moment had been further tainted, but the process of writing the poem was still healing. "I gave my son something before he will be placed in ground" is what I thought.  Unfortunately, after losing Baby Cade, I lost the taste to do a lot of things. I didn't and don't write as much as I used to, but there are times when writing is just what I need to make it through.  I realized that even if I write small poems, such as haikus and senryus, it is healing. As a Creative Writing teacher, I have found these small poems to be just as therapeutic a lengthy poems. A senryu, (pronounced "send you"), is very similar to a haiku, except that is it not about nature but human nature. The short poem is humorous or sarcastic.  The senryu is three lines long, 5 syllables on the first line, 7 on the second line, and 5 on the last line. If there is one more syllable on a line or one less, it's okay because in the end, it's about the healing process.  Below is a senryu I wrote about my experience. Today I encourage any mother or father who has lost a child, lost a baby, experienced a miscarriage, or who is having trouble conceiving to write a senryu. Sometimes it is easier to laugh to keep from crying. 



They say I’m crazy

For crying over a baby

Well, who cares about them?


By: Carlo L'Chelle Dawson





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