Thursday, December 01, 2011


i have been asked about the talismans of my previous post. what are they? how big are they? how did i make them? what do they mean?

a talisman is a something which has meaning or significance for the holder. these small talismans (small enough to fit into my palm) have enormous significance for me - each one stands for a baby i miscarried between July 23 1992 and September 9 2003. eight babies who were too small to have any significance for the world - remembered only by me. unable to be wrapped and shrouded and held and buried and given the dignity of naming and ritual.

so this is the start of my real, allowed mourning:  eight tiny shrouds. talismanic and powerful. real, able to be held.
 tomorrow i will tell you how i made them - tonight they are here, named and signified. 


Banaghaisge said...

Oh, so sad. I only had Hannah and Gerard (May 1989, Oct 90) and no support. MTU took them to do disputed paternity tests on them, and I didnt get them back until after Nov 93 when we finished in FC, buried them in the bush by myself.
Poor lost babies, it is so hard when only you know them.
Hugs and love.

Kit Lang said...

What a beautiful way to memoralize your lost children.

I lost two babies myself- one born, one unborn. One no one remembers and the other people seem to try to forget. But I remember and love them both.

Thank you for sharing them with us. And I'm so sorry for your loss.

librarygirl said...

Your first photo of the talismans unsettled me and I wasn't sure why, now I know. Beautiful and strange Lisette, your little mizuko.
I'm sure you've read Peggy Orenstein's piece about the Japanese acknowledging unborn children. I tell every woman I know who has miscarried about it ( like me, but only once).


Penny said...

Ah now I understand. I only miscarried twice, I dont think I could have survived eight. It is a lovely idea to remember such losses.

Fenland Textile Studio said...

I miscarried three times and still remember times, dates and memories are still strong. I think this sense of loss is something that binds women together. Thank you for sharing your eight tiny shrouds. Angela

Kate said...

Oh. I'm so sorry for all of your losses. What a powerful way to give form to an intangible thing. I hope the healing process is as good as it can be for you.

Lynn said...

Hugs...nine for each baby and one for you.

Suse said...

I too, found your talismans sad and unsettling. I wanted to write disturbing but that sounded brutal so I didn't comment. "Unsettling" is a far more articulate description, thanks LibraryGirl.

I hope the process is a healing one, xx

Chloe said...

Love to you, Lisette.

jill said...

These are beautiful. My daughter has lost 5 babies and at some stage I may tell her about these. Thankyou for showing them