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Thanksgiving in Mongolia

Ariel Levy, The New Yorker

He was translucent and pink and very, very small, but he was flawless. His lovely lips were opening and closing, opening and closing, swallowing the new world. For a length of time I cannot delineate, I sat there, awestruck, transfixed. Every finger, every toenail, the golden shadow of his eyebrows coming in, the elegance of his shoulders—all of it was miraculous, astonishing. I held him up to my face, his head and shoulders filling my hand, his legs dangling almost to my elbow. I tried to think of something maternal I could do to convey to him that I was, in fact, his mother, and that I had the situation completely under control. I kissed his forehead and his skin felt like a silky frog’s on my mouth.

Ariel Levy details her horrific ordeal as she lost her premature child in a country on the other side of the world, in one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful pieces I’ve read in years. Stop whatever it is you’re doing and read this unbelievably courageous essay that will undoubtedly have a profound effect on you. Share it.