Friday, October 20, 2017
When you become a part of the baby loss community, you talk to many different mothers with years of grief behind them. Each of our stories are all a little different, but there are commonalities we share. I've been told that the season of your baby's death will stir in your soul without you even being conscious of it (this comes from seasoned Moms who are 15+ years out). 2 years makes me still fresh on this loss journey and I can say I felt it. Last year took me to my knees (ok, it was really a face plant) and I'm thankful this year isn't as overwhelming. I know it's hard for those who haven't experienced a stillbirth to understand and for some reason it matters to me that others 'outside' of our community at least begin to grasp how life altering this loss is for us. Interestingly, the last few days I've had conversations and ran into people that added to my personal journey & insights. Over the last 2 years, I've heard stories of mothers who were in there 90's and in their final days share with their loved ones when they were asked what they were looking forward to in heaven... their number 1 answer?... they couldn't wait to see their baby. Many struggle(d) with mental illness. With this all said, I just want to caution you with your thinking or response... ask yourself if what you're thinking/saying/doing is to make yourself feel better? I did it too. I ran into a loss Mom yesterday who interestingly I hardly knew but when I lost Vivian I thought of her and a couple other Moms I knew who had stillbirths many years ago. I remember my response then... uncomfortable, didn't know what to say, impacted by deep sadness for them, and with one of them I had a newborn and it was as if I couldn't handle thinking let alone doing much for her recognizing the preciousness of what I held at the time. I could've done more. I should have. Being uncomfortable should be our cue to do something... lean in and act.
Speaking of uncomfortable. I reconciled with a friend this week. The grips of bitterness had a hold of my heart adding weight to my journey that just didn't need to be there. It goes back to an earlier post "The response or lack of from others is life as they know it through insecurities and fears... to recognize this, keeps the grips of bitterness & blame at bay." She was doing the best she could in the season she was in. Lord knows, I'm not perfect & have missed the mark (see above paragraph). Brene Brown's (she really is the bomb) BIG acronym is a freeing motto to live by: "What Boundaries need to be in place for me to be in my Integrity in order to make the most generous Assumptions about you." LOVE this. If we could all default to this way of thinking, how would our relationships be? I'm trying.
So this is a bit of a mixed post... but such is life :) We made the decision as a family that we'd do something different each year to honor our baby girl. This year we decided to ask for bears, bunnies and books from friends and family on Facebook. We have a great collection to be donated to the hospital I work at to be given to baby loss families in order to help fill their empty arms. It is absolutely giving purpose for our pain! Our hospital has a perinatal loss budget from a volunteer group at the hospital who solely funds some of our needs, but it frankly isn't enough. Many items are donated from several of us at the hospital, either hand made or purchased. I have to say, it's also been cathartic for me on a personal note, to open Amazon boxes in lieu of what would have been 2 year old birthday gifts for our sweet Vivian. It has been so good for this Momma's heart. Those who have given have no idea how much these items mean to me and will mean to the families they're going to. For anyone reading this who gave, THANK YOU. For those who added a note with their gift, golden.
That's it for now. I'll post again later tonight after our donation delivery. We're a far cry from the nothingness we felt 2 years ago. Focusing on the love of Vivian!