We must not talk about Zac

Zac is not a person. Zac is the child I never had, and never will have. Most days, I don’t think about him, most days he doesn’t have a name.

But these have been a rough few months, and today… Today was a day I wanted to do well, and didn’t. Today was also a day I accidentally went up the baby aisle in the shop. I never go up the baby aisle on days like today, because on days like today I can’t deal with thinking about Zac – the one that will never be.

I didn’t have a miscarriage, or an abortion, so it is not that Zac was and now isn’t, but rather that when I was younger I thought he might be, and now I know he won’t. Is it any less painful, this not having a child because I already have one? Is it any less valid because it is decision I take (due to family circumstances) that causes my distress? Is it any easier because I have carried a child before and know I never will again?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. I only know that it is a journey that is harder because it is culturally unacceptable to talk about it. I know, because I have tried. I have tried from the other side too – and been told I can’t say things like that. This culture of silence is unacceptable to me, because it means that women must suffer bruised and broken hearts with no recourse or support, because it makes people uncomfortable.

So in a way, I am glad of Zac – the child I will not have, because he represents the stories that need to be told, the silent suffering that must be addressed.

We must not talk about Zac. But we will.

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