In the vernacular, I think this phrase is meant to exemplify life-long friendship; a fun, rhyming testament to having that permanent person from the start of life to the end of it. Pretty sure a synonymous phrase could be “ride-or-die”, but I guess in that case it doesn’t directly refer to a friendship that has weathered decades.
It doesn’t really matter, and I’m sure you’re wondering where I’m going with this. Or maybe you’ve guessed, because it isn’t a far leap. When I first started this blog, I wrote about having a missed miscarriage. Because of that, even though I know why people say it, “womb-to-tomb”; even though I get it, because I can see how it would be kicky and fun and it rhymes (and I kind of adore rhymes); it will never mean to me what it means to most of the people who say it.
I have no idea how long my baby was dead before they pulled it up on the sonogram screen and we found out. It’s part of what haunts me. My body, the womb, is supposed to be the absolute safest place. I know I didn’t cause my baby’s death. I do; with all the gray and all the concrete reasons they can’t give me for why this happened, the one thing that is certain is that it isn’t my fault.
But at some point between a strong heartbeat and the silent ultrasound, my womb became a tomb. And I still struggle with how I didn’t know. It was supposed to be the place where my baby grew and became strong enough to be born into the world as we know it. Instead, it became the place my baby died. And I hate, with a passion, that I was a walking tomb for God knows how long. Who the hell wants to be that? Ever? Let alone when what your body is supposed to be is the complete opposite of what it became.
And I hope (there’s that tricky little word: hope) that one day I do have a healthy baby. And that at some point in their life they get a friendship that they feel is womb-to-tomb, even if technically it isn’t. Because how wonderful is it to feel that way about another person?
And I hope that one day I won’t be so haunted by being a tomb.