Friday Fiction – Untitled

Long intro alert – skip down to the picture for my FF story if you prefer.

Last week’s Friday Fiction story prompted a lot of judgements about Wilf’s grandkids, so I thought I’d share another view of the cabin on the island – click here if you didn’t see it and would like to.

This week’s prompt is a repeater – my original story link is here. I decided to go ahead and write something new though, and that story is below the picture prompt (photo copyright Madison Woods). I hadn’t read / remembered my old story when I wrote this one, but now I have, I’m pondering the significance of the running theme, and smiling at the importance to me of the original post.

I couldn’t think of a fitting title this time, so your feedback on that, and on the story itself, is very welcome. My sincerest apologies and condolences if the loss of a baby is a sensitive topic for you. I found this article from Huffington Post / The New York Times incredible, and incredibly moving.



How many friends had warned her, “You won’t remember a time before you were a Mother”? Certainly, there was nothing before that moment when the doctor frowned, took Bea’s hand and said in whispered words that deafened her, “No heartbeat.”

But was she a mother now? A childless one, encircled by misery where there should have been diapers and toys, tiny fingers and too-loud cries. She picked up the plaster-cast footprint and held it to her heart, then pulled back the curtains to stare at the moon. They’d named her Celeste; another angel in heaven, another star in the sky.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

46 responses to “Friday Fiction – Untitled

  1. Beautifully done. I wouldn’t know what to call it, either.

  2. At first I didn’t want to read the article you shared. But then I did to honor the feeling of those mothers/fathers you had the courage to share their stories. We need reminders like them so we can learn empathy for others and to count our blessings.

  3. I read only your story.
    After that I was not emotionally equipped for anything else.
    This is a superb piece of writing.
    And any suggestion from me, a mere man, for a title, would be arrogant and trite.

    • Thank you, ceayr, my stories are always intended to stand alone, so tha’ts fine by me and your comment is most generous. As for a mere man – I think fathers are often the forgotten victims when a child dies – their loss is different of course, but that doesn’t necessarily make it less profound.

  4. Lovely, my dear. i know too many women who have lost children. You captured the feeling ~ and then some.

    • One of the things mentioned in the linked article is how everyone seems to know someone, and yet it’s a topic rarely talked about. Thank you for your comment, and my condolences to your friends.

  5. Dale

    I did lose my firstborn 18 years ago (he was not quite 8 months old) and you do question whether or not you still can have the title of mother. Oddly, the year I was pregnant, Mother’s Day fell before I had him and he died before the next one. I was never celebrated. It’s weird the things that remain Inside…

    • My condolences, Dale. I can’t imagine the loss and what I can imagine is terrible. I would say once a mother, always a mother – you have known that incredible love and while your son may be gone, I’m sure your love for him is not.

  6. A friend of mine recently lost his unborn child. This writing really reminds me to give him support with his and his wife’s loss.

    Excellent work.

    • Thanks, and absolutely. The loss of a child is devastating at any stage and the support and understanding of friends and family must be one of few things that can really make it bearable.

  7. “A Mother, No Less”
    I have shared those words, “there’s no heartbeat” more times than I can remember in my career . Always painful to say and hear.

  8. micklively

    What a terrible burden.
    Good piece.

  9. bykimberlylynne

    Beautiful and heartbreaking.

  10. Heartbreaking Jen. My stepdaughter lost her first child, but went on to have three other beautiful children. There are aspects of her loss here that I hadn’t considered at the time, so it made me think. Well done.

    • I don’t take much credit, Sandra – I appreciated so much more of the loss because of the linked article. Sorry to hear of your stepdaughter’s loss; I imagine the other children feel like so much more of a blessing as a consequence.

  11. Beautifully heartbreaking. Well done.

  12. Powerful and achingly beautiful.

  13. I rarely react physically to something I read. I got goosebumps reading your story. Celeste. Perfection.

  14. Awesome writing! I could actually feel the pain…..

  15. Dear Jennifer,

    I echo other comments. Beautifully heartbreaking. This hits me personally, but not because I’ve lost a child. Years ago a friend and I were both trying to conceive and we both did. We encouraged each other through our pregnancies and dreamt of how our children would be playmates. However a month before my son was born, hers died within her. No heartbeat. After that we drifted apart and I always felt a little guilty that my son lived and hers did not.

    Wonderful writing as always, Jenn.



    • What a moving story, Rochelle. I can imagine how it must have been so hard for you (as well as her, of course) especially after your son arrived. And losing a friend for any reason is a tragedy too.
      Thank you for sharing it.

  16. Heartbreaking indeed – and this could so easily have been my daughter, whose baby was whipped out at the last minute with the cord round her three times.

    • Wow, Liz. Glad your daughter and granddaughter made it through such a dangerous time. It’s amazing how many people have a story to tell, especially in an environment where we tend to keep these things to ourselves.

  17. Such a heartbreaking tale … I can’t really add anything to what’s not already been said .. wonderfully written and so terribly convincing …

  18. Sensitive telling of a tragic reality for so many.

  19. Such a sad story, beautifully written

  20. I echo all the previous comments – very sensitively and beautifully written. I think your story helps us to feel, which is a good thing. I would name it ‘A Star in the Sky’

  21. Powerful, painful but beautifully crafted story. I felt as if I could actually see her through the words. Well Done!

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