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.
Return to Write Your Grief Homepage

Share this post via:

Miranda on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

28 May 2018 – Planet Miranda

A Letter to My Belly (Write Your Grief) | overlaid on image of Miranda making a heart on her belly (Synch Media)

24 Feb 2018 – A Letter to My Belly after the Stillbirth of my Firstborn Child

Hiking the Sleeping Giant Trail, Kapaa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i

3 Feb 2018 – The Kindest Thing

Julia Pfeiffer Burns Plant1 - Feature

7 Feb 2018 – Tests

Matthiola flowers on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

26 Sep 2018 – Dear Grace

30 March 2021 – Subsumed Grief

24 March 2021 – Emulation

17 March 2021 – Who I Used to Be

Limp hand holding a cell phone

26 Mar 2019 – The Worst Thing that Never Happened

Title: My Personal Experience with Grief | overlaid on an image of Miranda in Kaua'i (Luna Kai Photography)

29 Jan 2018 – Grief

20 March 2021 – The Absence of Memory

Seagulls on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

27 May 2018 – Fairytales

Wide angle view of Miranda standing on a deserted beach in California at sunset. She is wearing a pink kimono fluttering in the breeze (Synch Media)

30 Jan 2018 – The Second Death

Sunlight through the trees, North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

25 Aug 2018 – Amy Anne

22 March 2021 – Kindness…

Lakeside in Incline Village, North Lake Tahoe, Nevada (Miranda Hernandez)

13 Feb 2018 – The Condition of My Heart

Sunset over the California desert, with highway signs in the distance (Miranda Hernandez)

1 Feb 2018 – Photos

Incline Village, North Lake Tahoe - Feature

20 Feb 2018 – Time

Pinecrest Lake 1 - Feature

26 Feb 2018 – The Nuclear Bomb

31 March 2021 – Clarity

Tree branch in California - Feature

5 Feb 2018 – Akhilandeshvari

24 March 2021 – The One I Avoided Last Time

4 April 2021 – Memories Part 2

Sunset over the Pacific 1 - Feature

26 Feb 2018 – Nuclear Bomb Part 2

Keālia Beach 2 - Feature

20 Feb 2018 – Unspoken

Sleeping Giant Trail 1 - Feature

25 Feb 2018 – That Day

North Star Resort - Feature

20 Feb 2018 – Flight

Miranda on the California coast (Synch Media)

21 Jun 2018 – The After

Lakeside in Incline Village 3

14 Feb 2018 – I love you. Please.

Miranda on the shore of Lake Tahoe, California (photo used with permission)

23 Aug 2018 – Windows

18 March 2021 – What I Wish You Knew

Palm trees over the Pacific Ocean - Feature

7 Feb 2018 – Beauty

21 March 2021 – Does Grief Mourn?

31 Jan 2018 – Choice

Keālia Beach 1 - Feature

8 Feb 2018 – Prickly

Title: Grief is a Mother, Too | overlaid on an image of Miranda and Elephant on the coast at sunset (Synch Media)

2 Feb 2018 – Grief is a Mother, Too

Sunset over Arizona - Feature

12 Feb 2018 – Hard Things

19 March 2021 – Where I Live Now

Miranda on the Pacific Coast 2 - Feature

10 Feb 2018 – This is How I Feel About Life

26 March 2021 – Landscape

A Letter from the In-Between (Write Your Grief) | overlaid on image of Miranda staring off into the distance (Synch Media)

28 Jul 2018 – A Letter from the In-Between

Chalk drawings on the sidewalk (Miranda Hernandez)

18 Mar 2018 – Someone Else’s Birthday

Miranda with Adrian's First Blanket - SQ

2 Feb 2018 – Elephant Onesies

Amy's collar (Miranda Hernandez)

12 Sep 2018 – Three Dishes

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

2 Jun 2018 – Peace

Memories (Write Your Grief) | overlaid on image of Miranda on the California coast at sunset (Synch Media)

18 Feb 2018 – Memories

27 March 2021 – Community

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

22 May 2018 – I only write to ghosts. You must be one of them.

The first blanket and baby toy Miranda purchased for Peanut (Miranda Hernandez)

29 Oct 2018 – Baby Things

Title: A Letter to My Fellow Bereaved | overlaid on an image of the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

18 Feb 2018 – I Love You

Birds on the Pacific Coast in California - Feature

22 Feb 2018 – Fuck

A seagull over the Pacific Ocean - Feature

9 Feb 2018 – No

Close up of Miranda and Adrian in the hospital after Adrian's birth. Both of their eyes are closed, and Miranda is holding Adrian's hand

6 Feb 2018 – Regret

Explore more of Adrian's Elephant

Scroll to Top