Sunday, October 14, 2012

a little more


There were just over 250 people at the memorial walk. It breaks my heart that so many know the unique pain of losing a baby.

My friend Amy went with me yesterday. I could not have managed without her. She held my hand and kept me together like a very kind personal assistant. Amy lost her first baby, Natalie, had two living babies, followed by two miscarriages and is now pregnant again. Amy has been through so much, but is still full of joy and laughter. We were talking while everyone else walked (yeah, I ended up bailing on the walk so I could prepare and get set up) about how much it sucks that we're friends because our babies died. Only in the loss world can you tell someone, "I hate why I know you," and have it be a kindness.

This morning I woke up with a sad/happy heart. I feel a bit lighter now that the walk is over because it was weighing heavily on my mind, but I miss Charlotte so much after talking about her.

I want to share my words from yesterday. Well, some of them. The first bit of my speech was Charlotte's story, which I didn't write down. It is etched on my heart.


After Charlotte died I struggled with knowing how to parent a child I couldn't see or hold.

I struggled with knowing if I was a mother. How could I claim that title when my baby died?

I found comfort in friends, family and online I but still felt alone.

I wrote my struggles down, and as I did I discovered the fierce love and intense protectiveness that enters one's soul when a child is created.

I became a parent.

And as a parent who has lost a baby I parent the best I can. I remember and honor Charlotte by speaking her name, by writing and speaking about grief, by telling our story and celebrating her short life.

It doesn't matter that Charlotte only lived one hour and forty minutes after birth. What matters is that she existed; that the Lord blessed me with her and as soon as I knew about the life growing in me my life was changed.

And that's why it's important for us to be here today.

We have to break the silence that surrounds pregnancy and infant loss.

We need to create space for people to remember and be together so no one has to feel alone, and so we can encourage each other to continue parenting the children we have lost even after the expected or accepted time of grieving has passed.

We know we will never be over it. We know we will never move past it.

We know there will always be someone missing from famly pictures, the dinner table and every milestone small and large.

We are all parents.

Whether the children we have lost lived past the first, second, or third trimester, or two months after birth, holds no consequence.

Our babies left a mark. Whether they drew breath or not, an imprint has been left on hearts and lives.

We remember our lost babies everyday, but today we gather as a community to honor and celebrate their lives and speak our grief.

Sweet babies, we love and miss you.

I wish I had a picture of Charlotte to share at the end of this post. One that hasn't been seen before. One of her alive.

3 comments:

  1. I heard Charlotte's story at The Walk to Remember. I am so thankful for you, your strength to be able to go on. To speak your feelings, what you went through. To heal yourself by helping heal others. While our stories are different, the end remains the same. I lost my 10 day old son on August 12th this year. My first and only baby. I am 37 y/o and have struggled with infertility for over 15 tears. He was an absolute miracle. I am so grateful to have been blessed by him, and I thank God for every second he gave my son to me. Your story was so powerful. I was so tuned in to every single word you uttered. The whole time thinking to myself, "oh my God, that's exactly how I feel" "I'm not the only one!" Struggling with motherhood, am I even a mother? How do I face all the people that saw me as my belly was growing? I have nothing to show for it, how do I explain this? Anyway, I simply wanted to say thank you. I wish I would've had the guts to speak to you that day... God bless you and yours.

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss, Monica. I wish we had connected on Saturday. Please contact me if there is anything I can do for you, even if you just need a listening ear and understanding heart.

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thank you!

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