Monday, November 11, 2013


You hear a lot of parents in the babyloss community who talk about the friendships and family relationships that they've lost since the death of their child.  Sometimes it happens because there is a big confrontation where hateful words are exchanged and irreparable damage is done.  Sometimes it just happens slowly because phone calls and visits taper off and the relationship quietly fades away.

We often hear that we have "changed" or we are "different."  Of course we are.  It would be foolish to think that we wouldn't be.  What others don't seem to realize is the depth of the ways in which we have changed and become different people.

In some ways, we learn to appreciate things more.  We truly understand what a blessing it is to be given each day and strive to make those moments count.  We work to cherish the relationships and the love that we are fortunate enough to have.  We do all of this because we have come to realize that the life we are living today could be altered in the blink of eye.

With that knowledge also comes an intense fear.  It becomes a near-constant companion and one that we may not even be aware that we carry around sometimes.
  - I find it in the moments when I am watching my children sleep or in the breaths that catch the smell of their shampoo...without warning, I find myself terrified to walk out of their room or to let go of them because the fear of losing them too overwhelms me.
  - It attacks me when I come across a photo of a friend's baby on Facebook.  I have become so used to the idea that "babies die" that my first thought now when I see a sleeping infant is "Oh God. What happened??"  Images of smiling, happy newborns actually catch me a little off-guard because that is no longer the norm for my haunted mind.
  - I have to swallow the panic sometimes when my husband takes the girls for an outing while I nap because my mind starts racing with the thoughts of what my life would be without the three of them.

So, if you want to know why we are different or why we look so tired and is because we are.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Walk Your Own Path

For what it's worth, I actually wrote this post about a month ago when I had been reflecting on a few recent events...when I came back today, I found that it was still something heavy on my heart and I felt like it needed shared. 

I know that I have examined the topic of bitterness a few times and have always been glad to find that it isn't something with which I have had a terribly difficult struggle. I am human, so therefore I certainly have those brief moments where I simply can not help but think "She got to have a perfectly healthy baby and I had to bury mine??" Thank God those are few and far between.

For the majority of the time, I am genuinely happy and excited for others when I find out that they are expecting a baby.  I am thrilled when they get to experience a pregnancy journey free from the agony of losing a child.  While I wish that Aaron's pregnancy and birth had been free from sorrow, I would never begrudge anyone else that experience.  In fact, I pray that no one should have to find that kind of pain in their lives.

Lately I have seen so much bitterness and anger seeping from others in my life who have lost a child or lost multiple children and it has been weighing heavily on my heart.  I understand that "hurting people hurt" but I do not accept that as an excuse.  I firmly believe that you have two choices when faced with such a deep and crippling grief, because no matter what you do, you can not escape a change of epic proportions.

You can choose to let that grief consume you and let it proceed to fill every corner of your life.  You can choose to shut down and allow yourself to cease functioning in a world outside of your own.  You can choose to believe that your life completely ended in the moment when your loss occurred.


You can choose to take ahold of the grief and make a decision to say that it will not define you.  You can choose to stand up and find a way to fit the "new you" back into the world that will continue to exist whether you choose to accept it or not.  You can acknowledge the fact that the life you used to know may have ended, but find strength in knowing that there is a new life you can create for yourself.

I believe that you will find days when it isn't possible to be in control of the grief or when it simply isn't possible to reach inside and find that kind of strength...but I also believe that if you don't wake up and try again the next day, you are condemning yourself to misery.

None of us asked for the pains we've been given.  Sometimes, we simply are not in control of the things that life lays at our feet.  And we may not always be in control of our reactions to what we are given.  I do, however, think we absolutely have to strive every day to try to regain control.

Stop wasting precious energy resenting those around you who get to walk what appears to be a sunnier path and start figuring out how to navigate the path that has been set before you.