Breathe, Baby- by Lael Braday (Adult)

The funeral went as smoothly as it could for a baby. SIDS took my Lauren. She was in the same room with us, and neither of us knew that her breathing stopped in the night. I should have known. I’m her mother. My refusal to cry as they lay her tiny body in the earth was building toward a migraine. I deserved it. I let her die. Four months old. What mother lets her child die in the night? Geoffrey led me to the car. On the way home, I screamed at him—Stop the car!
Geoffrey, ever attendant to my needs, inquired as I fled the car—Are you going to be sick? Oh.
There was so much of it. I grabbed handfuls of the wild baby’s breath. Lauren’s breath was taken. I want to give it back. She probably needs a small amount, yet I continue to embrace the delicate flora, crushing it as my heart has been crushed. Then I’m on my knees, sobbing uncontrollably, Geoffrey rubbing my back.

Learn more about the author:

Lael Braday

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-03
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