Six months ago I had a late-stage miscarriage, and gave birth to a baby that had passed away in the fifth month. I got out of the hospital, and began to write. Since then I have not stopped writing. Lately, I have begun to dream about putting out a book, a long buried dream that has lain submerged for years beneath the everyday concerns of taking care of my family, and my "real" work.

This loss has changed meI have cut back my hours working at a job that is sometimes draining, and increased the hours I spend writing, an act that rejuvenates and energizes me even when I am exhausted. Rather than waking up at 2:00 AM to write, I get up in the morning and know that I will write, that everything else must stand aside before this more immediate and pressing concern.

The irony is not lost on me. Had my baby lived, he would now be three months old, and I would not be writing so intensely. I would not send him out to a babysitter "just" so I could write. I would keep him home with me, and I would not write, because writing is not something that can be done with frequent interruptions. My muse speaks in a still small voice, and unless my mind is quiet, I cannot hear her.

Losing this baby has allowed me to hear her again. It is not a choice I would ever have made, and yet it is my writing that initially saved me from the sea of grief, and has lately become my constant companion.

My friends wonder where I have gone. They know I am "working," but they can't understand this frantic drive to write every minute, despite a ringing phone, a messy house, and a growing "to-do" list. Even while talking to someone, I am already growing bored. My mind wanders down the path of new thoughts that I know will soon lead me back to my place at the computer.

Just the other day, I noticed with wonder that I am truly happy, despite having been touched so recently by tragedy. This loss has changed me. Losing money is no longer a tragedy. A flooding pipe, a leaking fridge, and an oven that has suddenly stopped working overnight, are inconveniences, but they are no longer tragedies. Even unpaid bills, and a threatening call from a creditor don't affect me in the same way. These are hassles, they are things that can't be ignored, but they are not tragedies.

"Tragedy" is a term now reserved for irreplaceable losses, like this child I will never know.

I can write and keep writing because I am no longer afraid of lifeAnd healing is the wonder of my new found strength, and the courage to reach deep into my past to reclaim a part of myself I thought I had lost. This ability to write and keep writing despite the wolves at the door, is something I have gained since losing the baby, because small concerns such as financial worries or a dirty floor no longer keep me away from what is really important. I can write and keep writing because I am no longer afraid of life. Having been touched by tragedy, and having survived, I can now live with courage, the courage to admit that those years I wasn't writing were a form of death to me.

This baby who died gave me this gift. I couldn't bring my baby into the world. But I wasn't left empty after the birth. I was left with a way home, a way to reclaim a lost portion of myself. That self who lives through writing.