Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Post mortem mila:A Young Life Passes, and a Ritual of Birth Begins
My hands trembled as I grasped the tiny sleeve of skin with my forceps and separated it from his pale, still penis. He lay weirdly motionless on a utility table, which I had draped with a slate-blue operating-room towel.
A few feet away, his young parents sat quietly wrapped in each other’s arms. Several family members and friends stood silently around the periphery of the small hospital room, whose gray-green walls enveloped us dispassionately.
The pregnancy had been uneventful. A month before the due date I had received a familiar, reluctant, yet eager call about arranging a bris, the ritual Jewish circumcision performed on the eighth day of life. The expectant parents promised to call back after delivery to confirm the date and time so they could order the deli platters. [...]