LIFE AFTER BIRTH
In 2012, a letter from a apparently unknown author circulated on Facebook
referring to a dialogue between two babies about to be born. The dialogue
is fictional but convincing. After a little research, I found out that the
author is French writer Jaques Salomé (Toulouse, 1935) and that the letter
is an excerpt from a longer text he wrote on the subject. Leaving the
exploration of the original text for another time, I present here my
personal version, alluding to various somewhat forgotten elements
surrounding the birth of all human life.
In the womb of a pregnant woman, a couple of children were talking about a big issue: life after birth:
“Do you believe in life after childbirth? -asked one.
“I think I do! -I think that day will be the beginning of a new era for us.
We will be freer and fuller. That’s why we came here: to prepare for that
“Do you really believe that? But we have no evidence of such a life.
Nothing we have here seems to point to a “better life.”
“I’m not sure either, but something tells me there will be more light and
more space. We’ll be able to move around more easily and even develop our
limbs and senses. I even suspect we’ll be able to do the same thing we’re
doing with each other: talk to each other.
“What strange things you say! I can’t conceive of a world where we will use
our limbs to move around. I don’t know what you mean by developing our
‘senses’. Dialogue? Well, I don’t know. For now, what I can tell you is
that life after birth is not feasible because it would involve
disconnection from the umbilical cord, and that means death.
“I, too, am also terrified that we’re going to break the umbilical cord.
But there are times when, when we are in silence, I feel a certain “throb,”
a pulse that suddenly quickens, that makes me feel special. I also hear
“voices” that seem to be addressed to us. Aren’t these signs a clear
indication that there is “someone” outside who is waiting for us?
“Do you really think ‘someone’ is waiting for us after the birth? Now
you’re really worrying me. If you hear voices or feel palpitations that
make you feel special, that’s up to you. Certainly we have grown a lot
lately and there is no plenty of room for both, you and me, to live in this
limited and dark place. To me, what counts is the arrival of the delivery
day, which will put an end to this strange and ridiculous existence.
“Hearing you talk like this makes me sad, but I understand your position.
There are days when you just want to let go and not think about it anymore.
However, something tells me that there is ‘something’ very special waiting
for us. In fact, I suspect it won’t be “something” but “someone” – we’ll
see Mom and Dad and they’ll take care of us.
“Mom and Dad? Do you believe in this nonsense, in the parents who will
beget and educate us forever? Doesn’t that sound like bieng an slave? Now
you would tell me that we will also have siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts,
and even grandparents. Believe me, you are taking nonsense, you ares
speaking of pure myths, illusions, longings for an unreal existence that
take away our identity. Remember, we are individual beings, free and
self-sufficient. Life ends inexorably after birth and there is nothing to
“Does it seem very strange or slavish to talk about mom or dad, siblings,
cousins and grandparents? But don’t you realize that mom and dad are
everywhere? I feel that we are currently living in Mom, and it was Dad who
left us in charge here for a period of preparation for the life ahead. The
same thing happened to them, and also to our siblings and cousins.”
“I respect your ideas. However, I share the following with you: none of us
have ever seen mom and dad, siblings, cousins, etc. Therefore, it is
logical to think that they do not exist and evidence supports this.
Eventually, the day of birth is near and nothing will matter anymore
because everything will be lost in nothingness.”
“You may be right, but I also share this with you: I believe that the
umbilical cord is connected to mom and when she eats, we feed. There are
days when we are silent, I hear Mom and Dad talking about us, how much they
love us and how much they would like to hold us in their arms. I suspect
they are anxiously awaiting the day of birth, when we will finally meet
them. Maybe I’m wrong, but I definitely want to be born and meet them.”