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    « You'll Thank Me | Main | Touring Prose »

    April 26, 2005


    Southern Fried Girl

    What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it. :)

    Cool Girl

    I admit, it is a rather hormonal week in my month.
    But I think I'm sniffling here for your lost baby. What could have been. What wasn't. And what was instead.
    Nice post.

    Bucky Four-Eyes

    This was such a personal and touching post. Not many people could tell this story and still have a few smiles thrown in for good measure (the kitchen fight with the ill-placed background silence...I love that).

    Thanks for lettin' us peek at your life, Nils!


    Nilbo, I'm right there with you. I had four miscarriages between my older daughter and the baby. And I realize that had any of those babies survived, we would not have Aislinn. And I already cannot imagine our family without her.

    Furthermore, I did not plan a 4 1/2 year age difference. But it's working beautifully, probably better than a closer age difference would have.

    I don't always understand how God works. I sometimes wonder why I had to lose those babies, why He didn't let me just be infertile for a few years. Maybe so I would still have hope? I don't know. But He's always come through in my life, so I trust Him.

    Thanks for sharing that story.

    Craig Willson

    Each time I started to add a comment, I stopped, because what I would say seems trite and inadequate. It still does, but the day somehow just got a little better and at the same, time a little worse.


    An impossible subject, handled beautifully.
    "It just ... sucked in ways that only people who have gone through it can begin to understand."
    I can begin. I've had people tell me that I'll see my children in heaven someday. If that's true, I'll be known in heaven as "the old woman who lived in a shoe." That many. People don't know what to say. Perhaps not here, either.

    And your wife. Wow. You're an even better wife-selector than you are a writer.

    Jim Fogg

    Hi Nils
    For those who read this blog, know I post once in a while, I went to high school with both Nils and Joyce. One ceratinly wouldn't describe our relationship as "friends" but it was more than "acquaintances", perhaps I'll come up with an appropriate term sometime. I never knew of the loss of Kathryn (not something that you send cards out for). And I'm not a parent. But I watched my parents lose a daughter (cancer at 44)and the grief was unimaginable to me. No matter how I felt, I could never feel what they were feeling. It's not the way it's supposed to be...children bury parents....parents don't bury children.....but as we all know it does happen and all too frequently. I learn something new everyday, the retelling of a horrible circumstance handled with grace, compassion, dignity and humour.......

    Jim Fogg


    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    little sister

    You're right - I can't possibly understand what you went through. My parents could, though. My brother died the day after he was born in 1971. I remember him every March 3, and I call my parents, and we mention it, and life goes on.

    Your wife is a wonderful woman to think of the doctor's feelings at such an awful time. You both must be really great people.

    btw, I found you via Susie's least Susie gave us Booty Flies to make us laugh for at least a week :D


    Thank you for this, Nilbo. That's all I'm able to say.

    Kelly AKA Fat Housewife

    I am sorry for your loss. Wounds like that never heal.


    Nilbo ~ With all of my struggles in coming to terms with God and plans and pain, this post has helped. Thank you for sharing such a painful part of your life with us in such an eloquent way.

    You belong to a club of which I hope never to be a member. The sadness I feel just reading about that pain attests to that.


    That was a touching story, and beautifully written. I'm still struggling over losing a baby to miscarriage three years ago. I have my sweet little Baby Boy now, but I still think about the child I never knew.


    Wow. Okay, now we are even. I made you cry with a post and you made me cry with this one.

    Thank you for sharing that huge part of yourself.

    You really are an amazing person.


    Folks, your kind comments are appreciated, believe me - kind comments always are. But I wanted to write this to point out that while it WAS painful - excruciatingly so - when it happened, that pain has long since mellowed into a rueful resignation that what was to be, isn't. And that Life (or God, or Buddha, or Fortune, or whatever you choose to believe) offers unlimited joys to balance off the great sorrows. And that healing happens while we're not looking, in ways we could never imagine.


    I do not have the words to convey the way your post touched me. I have 4 girls-and they are everything girls should be. Healthy-thank God everyday for that-smart, funny, and beautiful. But from time to time I wonder about the one that I lost. What did I lose? How is our world just a little bit different because of the loss? But we have been blessed with more than we could ever repay.

    I enjoy your blog-you have a gift for words. My time spent here is spent well I think.



    Wonderful. Touching.


    I'm very sorry for your loss, but WOW, so incredibly happy for your family, and your ability to move on together.

    You are a fantastic writer.


    Nilbo, I'm sorry. I'm sad and glad for you, all at once. Thanks for sharing this with us.


    The loss of a child is so very tragic. I believe the beauty of life is how we find the strength to overcome that tragedy. Your comment "And that healing happens while we're not looking, in ways we could never imagine" is exactly how it just kind of sneaks up on you.

    Pissy Britches

    Wow. What a wonderful story. You blog is very good. Thanks for visiting me and for the advice about getting DOOCED! I hope that doesn't happen but that is a chance I am taking I reckon!
    Please visit again soon, I know I will.


    I was not ready for that today! *sniff* I think I need to call my best friend now... Thanks for that, by the way.

    suburban misfit

    My daughter turned 5 on April 22. The baby we lost would have been 2 in February. Our friends' daughter would be 1 this coming September.

    It's excruciatingly painful to think of what might have been, but it's wonderful to think about what IS. Our friends are now expecting a baby, due in August (tests show everything is OK this time), and we're discussing adoption.

    I wish I was as strong and sweet as your wife. All I did was blame and sulk.

    Your story was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it.


    Beautiful story of love and courage. Thank you.


    MR. N: Wow. You told the story of a tragedy for your family, that beautiful tiny soul, your wife's incredible generocity ... so honestly and candidly.

    I almost had my last baby at 22 weeks and ended up flat on my back to protect him until 33 weeks. He came into the world in a frighteningly quick and bloody frenzy. He's now doing beautifully and I am beyond words, thankful. It didn't have to turn out that way.

    Regardless of my bills, my health issues, my life, my depression...Your story reminds me in a very real and vivid manner, how damn lucky I really am. Thank you for your generocity in providing a lesson I really needed at this particular moment.


    I cried when I read this. I lost a baby 16 years ago. You never forget.


    No, you never do forget. There are two waiting for me and one here with me on earth. I thank g-d for him everyday, even when I'm yelling. Lovely post.

    Lala in Ottawa(for some reason I think you're Canadian too)


    Excellent writing. It's my first time through, coming from a link on Susie's blog. Thanks for sharing with everyone, and I'll be sure to be back again and again.


    I read your post about your daughters earlier today. Throughout the day today, in moments of quiet, I found myself thinking about you and your family and how you realized the good that came from such sadness in your life. My grandmother several times stated to me, “God has a plan – and it isn’t for us to understand”. I have found that statement to be so true in my life. Your post today, in my opinion, is a wonderful tribute to your family and your faith in ‘the plan’ that is sometimes hard to understand.

    Thank you for sharing. Thank you.

    Home Detention Lady

    What a great read. I need to be visiting you more often. It sounds like you have a close, beautiful, estrogen filled family - and it sounds like you're loving it. Thanks for the story.


    Nilbo--I just recently stumbled across your blog and I have to say that I'm enjoying! I just figured out how to put links up on my blog--would you mind if I put yours up?


    Effie, by all means ... love to welcome new friends! And to all you other kind people, thank you for your comments. Come back anytime ...

    And Lala ... good hunch ... I live in a farmhouse in rural Prince Edward Island. "Rural Prince Edward Island" is redundant.


    Speaking of meta... metatheatre, that is.

    Those of you who have been lucky enough to see Nils' play, "The Truth About Daughters," will likely recognize part of this blog post as the source of one of the most emotionally powerful scenes in the play. As a collaborator on this work, I recall several conversations during which we discussed whether or not the scene should remain. The chief objection was that the story felt out of keeping with the rest of the piece, which is generally lighthearted. (Which is not, I hasten to add, a criticism.)

    The reservations were justified. It was somewhat devastating to sit in the audience the first time Nils told the story, especially as I was sitting beside Joyce, especially as I knew the story to be true (albeit with a changed gender.)

    The conversations continued, even after opening night. Unlike the other scenes, which generated copious amounts of laughter, this one generated little but stillness, the odd sniffle, and, towards the end of the scene, rustling in purses or coat pockets (for hankies.) I've always believed the audience sensed the truth in that story, even if they weren't certain of it. In the end, the scene stayed in, and "The Truth..." is all the more richer and deeper for it.

    It just strikes me that, in case any doubt still lingers, all of the comments regarding this blog post reaffirms the choice to leave the scene in the play, and that, in the theatre, audience stillness has equal potency to audience laughter.


    Davey - who directed "The Truth About Daughters" - was an integral part of every decision we made in bringing the play to the stage. We didn't always agree, and he won more than he lost. The decision to involve a scene based on this true-life story was risky, and it has become a part of the play that always touches a chord with the audience.

    I believe it worked in part because the scene is truthful (one could argue "almost to a fault") ... and because I have never forgotten Davey's directions in performing the scene. It is performed with no - zero - emotion. The character sits on stage, numb ... spilling out the story without expression or emotion. You can hear a pin drop. In a show that is primarily a comedy, this scene has become my favourite.

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