It’s one of the most beautiful things in human existence. A love that will not break.

The other night I was watching a movie and a pregnant woman went into preterm labor. Innocently enough, the characters in the movie casually mentioned how the baby might die, the words effortlessly falling off their lips like they were talking about the color of the sky. Now, I’m not an attentive watcher. I’m a multitasker, and I take a lot of pride in my ability to do twenty things at once, but this— this stopped me. Suddenly, I saw the pregnant woman in this movie and my mind flashed to all the moms I know who have lost their infant to stillbirth or to complications from preterm labor. I know the pain of these women. I know how they cry and they mourn 3, 10, 35 years later.

I saw them in my mind, and I thought back to myself, two years ago. Oblivious. Casual. I would have felt sorry for someone who lost their child to stillbirth or to complications from prematurity, but I never would have understood. Casual thoughts may have entered into my mind like It’s just a baby… They didn’t know them. It’s not like mourning the loss of someone you actually knew.

I was painfully ignorant, and good Lord, how I wish I could return to those days.

Instead, I am now constantly aware of all the things I never knew before. Like how I never knew that a part of that mom dies with that child, even if their heart never beat outside the womb. Or how she’s bonded without ever saying a word. Her love knows no limits.

There’s a ridding of self for our children. We remain a whole person. Intact. Full heart and soul. But something happens in the breaking of our bodies, as our mid section swells and bears the weight of life, we are burdened and broken so they may grow. Our souls ties are born far before birth, and little pieces of ourselves are shared between hearts. It’s a unique and special bond between a mother and her child.

And we give our whole selves to each child. No matter how many children come before or after, each child is tied to the mother’s whole self. No matter if that child is nameless, no matter if their form is tainted, no matter if they will never lock eyes, the soul ties string and weave every which way, so hearts and souls are connected without ever breaking.

And sometimes, these ties are stretched, over chasms of time and worlds, as a soul’s heart beats one last time.

Those soul ties don’t know the difference. Those soul ties extend and expand and strengthen no matter what the distance.

When a child dies, a mother is still tied to that child. Souls, tied together across universes. It doesn’t matter the age when they passed. It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened. It doesn’t matter— none of it. Their souls are forever tied.

That’s the love of a mother. That’s the love that is more powerful than death. That’s the heart that breaks and keeps breaking until her arms are filled again. That love. That tie. Soul to soul. Mother to child. It knows no discrimination based off of age, health, or time, it just is, and it always will be. Their souls are forever tied, and there’s nothing that can break them.

That’s the beauty of unconditional love.

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