By Kelly Hayes-Raitt
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The mystery of love


Last week, a friend of mine lost her son.

“Lost” is such a ridiculous word.  He died.

“Lost” implies she somehow misplaced him in the deli section in Wal-Mart, when, in fact, he will never be found.

I don’t fully understand this loss, this unspeakable, irrevocable loss.  While I’ve been pregnant and I grok the deep sense of creating life – the merging of DNA that is a one-time-only opportunity – I don’t know that feeling of feeling a new being growing and developing its own personality in my belly. 

I don’t know that feeling of birthing a new human, of raising a new human, of launching a new human into the world with the entirely normal expectation that he or she will continue beyond my lifespan.

“It’s so unnatural,” my mother always said about her daughter’s and her son’s deaths.

It is so unnatural.

Yet, my friend lost her son last week. 

Ed. Note: Kelly Hayes-Raitt writes about refugees.  She is an award-winning author of several essays and has written How to Become a Housesitter:  insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva, available at Amazon ( or her web site (  She is her mother’s only surviving child.


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