30 March 2021 – The 13th Guest

The 13th guest is the gift we didn’t see.

When I was younger I used to love to watch Disney movies. I knew all of the songs from everything. I used to imagine myself, sitting on the edge of a well like Snow White, singing the wishing song. The very epitome of a happy ending fairy story.

When I was older I learned more about fairy story history—Sleeping beauty’s rape and Ariel’s death from pining. And yet, in spite of everything, I still wanted this kind of magic in my world. Is this how it happens? Is this how we dream, even knowing the faults inside of our wishing?

Have we Disney-fied the scary pieces?
After all, in the movies, these things only happened to other people.

The 13th guest came to the feast and she told them: childbirth carries risk—like life; like all things.

And still not until I climbed out of dreaming;
Still not until I pulled grief from my eyes;
Still not until I rubbed smoke from the mirror,
Was I prepared to see—the 13th guest was me.

Posts written in response to prompts from Megan Devine’s Refuge in Grief writing program.
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