Thursday, December 9, 2010

For me on May 14th & for everyone who has lost a baby

Soon it will be seven months since she died.  I wrote this some time ago.  It's what I wanted to read that first day.  

Hello, mama.  I'm sorry you have to read these words, but glad you have found them.  I'm sorry your baby is not in your arms.  I know your heart is broken and you can't see how life will ever go on from here.  I don't want you to feel like you are all alone in this.  I want you to be surrounded by love, kindness, care, and compassion as you face life without your baby.

You will survive this.  Right now it feels like the world has ended, but you will breathe again, and it won't be so painful.  It's going to take time.  Don't rush yourself.  Don't let others rush you.  This is your chance to be selfish, to protect your thoughts and feelings and your baby's short life.  Even though your baby is not in your arms you still feel a mother's pride and instincts.  Protect yourself and your emotions as fiercely as you protect your child's memory.

You will have good days and bad days.  You will feel as if you are on an endless journey of grief, loss, and sadness, but there will be happy moments, little bursts of sunshine, too.  One day you will laugh without feeling guilty, or as if you are not mourning hard enough.  Focus on today.  Take one step at a time, and don't worry if those steps are small ones.  It's okay to feel scared and as if life will never be the same.  It won't, but it won't be as hard as those first days either.

At the beginning of September, nearly four months after she dies, you will visit your aunt in Seattle.  Sitting at her kitchen table, looking out over the backyard with tears streaming down your face you will hear these words:  This is one hard day in one hard week in one hard year.  The overwhelming pain, fear, and sadness will not last forever.  Remember this.  Remember that it will get better.

You will carry this loss for the rest of your life.  You will always have a child in your heart.  Mourn as you need to.  There is no correct timeline, and there are no expectations.  I hope you have as much space and time as you need to grieve.  If you don't, create it.  It is okay to be selfish.  The world may not understand your grief.  It will make people uncomfortable to see the gaping hole in your heart, but that doesn't mean you should cover up or ignore the wound.

Some will expect you to get over the loss.  Some may not see your baby as a viable human.  They don't understand what you have lost.  Refrain from telling them how lucky they are to stand outside of overwhelming grief and loss.  Never mind, don't refrain.  Always say how you feel, even if it makes others uncomfortable.

Find support.  The online community is amazing.  The mamas you meet online will help you through days that seem endless, nights that are overwhelmingly lonely, and, eventually, when you celebrate small triumphs, they will celebrate with you.  Connect with mamas who lost babies around the same time as you.  Find mamas who are six months, one year, three years, six years, or more even, out from their loss.  Surround yourself with these women and they will help you heal.

There will come a time when you will look behind you and see a person trailing in your footsteps.  Reach out, clasp their hand, and pull them forward with you.  I know it doesn't seem like it, and I know you can't see it, but you are strong enough to do this.

You will have seconds, minutes, days, and weeks when you feel entirely alone and so lost you will never find your way.  You are not alone.  Even in your darkest hour the memories you hold in your tightly clenched fists - her tiny feet, the feel of her downy head in your palm, her innocent face - will light the way to hope and peace.          

22 comments:

  1. A, a dear friend (and former client) of mine (and Patricia's too!) had a 20 week ultrasound today and discovered their baby had passed.

    This was perfect timing. I passed on the link to her. You are amazing. Thank you.

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  2. Absolutely beautiful and so true.

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  3. You truly have a way with words. (((HUGS)))

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  4. Incredibly beautiful and inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing. Sending love & thoughts your way ((hugs))

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  5. Angela, this is beautiful. It had me in tears.

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  6. This is absolutely perfect. I have said so many of these things myself to a friend who had a loss 6 months after I did.

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  7. This is just AMAZING Angela. Where did you get this? I love it and it is exactly what I needed to hear right now. THANK YOU!!!! XOXOXOX

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  8. Absolutely beautiful. I will share this. And also, I nominate it for Creme de la Creme. : ) <3

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  9. Lovely. I loved this line:
    "There will come a time when you will look behind you and see a person trailing in your footsteps. Reach out, clasp their hand, and pull them forward with you."
    This is what I try and do for others, and is what I seek from others who are ahead of me. We're all connected. Holding hands and supporting each other every step of the way.
    xo

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  10. Can't stop the tears.

    Just amazing, amazing words. These are the words that you can always turn to and remember how unbelievably strong and resilient you are.

    Thank you for the blessing in sharing them.
    xoxox

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  11. i am one of the lucky ones that stands outside of overwhelming grief and loss.

    our daughters share a birthday...and when my eye catches the day that charlotte was born? my heart reminds me each and every time how lucky i am for my own may 14, in the year 2000.

    so thank you for gifting me with that.

    <3 andrea

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  12. This is beautiful and it exactly what I needed to read right after losing Jacob, when I couldn't see how I could possibly live through it. I hope you don't mind me sharing this. I would like to put it it boxes that I donate to the hospital, with a few changes so that it is a little more general.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have saved it so that I can read it over and over again.

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  13. This is a BEAUTIFUL post, thank you for sharing.

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  14. This is a very, very moving post. I'm so sorry you had cause to write it, such an awful loss.

    (Arrived from the Crème de la Crème list)

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  15. This is beautiful.

    Thank you.

    xxx

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  16. This post is a real act of kindness for others who are grieving.

    I'm so sorry that you had occasion to write it.

    (here from creme)

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  17. i am one of the lucky ones that stands outside of overwhelming grief and loss.

    our daughters share a birthday...and when my eye catches the day that charlotte was born? my heart reminds me each and every time how lucky i am for my own may 14, in the year 2000.

    so thank you for gifting me with that.

    <3 andrea

    ReplyDelete
  18. You truly have a way with words. (((HUGS)))

    ReplyDelete
  19. A, a dear friend (and former client) of mine (and Patricia's too!) had a 20 week ultrasound today and discovered their baby had passed.

    This was perfect timing. I passed on the link to her. You are amazing. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

thank you!

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