Six months. Today, we celebrate six months of life. It’s your little brother’s half birthday. As I type this, he’s cuddled close to me, sucking on his pacifier, while his softie is nestled into his neck and lullabies lull him to sleep. It’s beautiful. But it stings. It’s bittersweet... I’m overcome with love for him and the joy he brings me to the point that I’m overwhelmed and brought to tears. His breaths fall heavily on my arm, while you remained so still. His little life, in my arms, because your life slipped through my hands. Death literally passed through me, so a new life could be planted. Could grow. Could resurrect from the darkness and bring to fruition a redemption I had not thought possible. There’s so much guilt. But there’s so much love. And grief, it still remains.Read More
Who am I now? How has this experience changed me? I hesitate to even call it an experience. It was and is so much more than that. It was stillbirth. It was losing a child. It is loss. And it is grief. But nonetheless, I am different.
Transformed, however, makes it seem as though I have come to the end of this difficult road. I am ever evolving. Ever changing. In each day, each moment, in each breath...I am transforming.Read More
Dear Friend, I’m sorry that someone in your life has experienced the greatest loss—the loss of a child. You must feel so sad, yet so awkward...so unsure as to what you should do. Because, what can you do? What can you say? You can say nothing. You can do nothing. Just be. Just be there for them. Nothing will fix this. Nothing will take away their pain. Nothing will make them feel better. No cliches, no words of wisdom, no biblical quote or spiritual truth. Nothing.Read More
Healing has been a process of surrendering, remembering, and waiting. It has been allowing the emotions and the memories to surface. It has been going through the pain and not stuffing it away. It has been allowing the gaping wounds to be exposed to the light. It has been counseling, and writing, and graveside visits. It has been nights of endless tears and crying to the point of vomiting and being unable to breathe. It has been going through your memory box and looking at your pictures. Meeting others in their suffering and talking about real and hard things. It has been allowing others to love me and admitting that I can’t do it all. It has been an attempt to trust, and getting let down—but trying again anyway. It has been acknowledging my pain, giving it a name, and being okay with who I am now. It has been accepting what life after loss looks like, moving one step forward, one day at a time. And it has also been taking steps backward. It has been losing relationships, losing friends, and letting go of the expectations I place on myself and others.
Healing has been allowing the old wound to touch this new wound. It has been waiting in joyful hope.
And healing will come because you existed.
Healing will come, because of you.
My healing baby.Read More
Every night, before bed, I would look at her picture on the mantle. Trace my thumb over the rosary beads made from her funeral flowers. And beg for it to all be different.Read More
Today my grief is a longing. A dull ache that never goes away, stealing my breath and causing me to feel like I can’t breathe. Today my grief is finding beauty. The Eucharist. A smile. A glimpse of joy. A warm fall morning. The flowers at your grave. Standing near you as the sun warms my skin, and the birds sing, reminding me of our silent retreat together. Today my grief is feeling you in my heart, always. Knowing that wherever I go, you are always near. And I feel it so deeply. Today my grief is choosing. Choosing to take another step forward. Choosing to be present. Choosing to remember. Choosing to let God soften the edges of my heart. Today my grief is real and tangible. I am aware of its presence. But I invite it in. I do not hide from it or run away. Today, I step back, and I allow it to take its place in my life.Read More
Your name. It came to me in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. It was early on in the pregnancy, and we weren’t finding out the gender. I had always thought I would have a Rebecca if I had another girl. But God named you before you were mine: Teresa Elizabeth. This was to be your name...Read More
Purpose. You are the reason. You are the reason I write. You are the reason your little brother is here. You are the reason I am a mother of six. Purpose. What is the purpose of this pain?This loss?This life without you?Your death?This valley? Purpose. Your existence...so short, now eternal. Impacting every fiber of my being. Changing our family. Changing my life. Changing me. I’m trying to discover this purpose, but I don’t think I will ever fully discover it this side of heaven. And that’s something I have to accept. Purpose?My purpose was to carry you. To be your mother. To participate in God’s plan for your life and salvation. The purpose of that day?To experience the grace. To witness the veil being lifted. To be united momentarily to the other side.The purpose of the past 16 months?To survive. To let love in. And your purpose?Was it to bring love?And simplicity? And a life back to the basics?To love big in small ways?To get me to heaven?Let this pain have a purpose. Let this suffering not be in vain. Let this longing not go without reward. Show me my purpose now. Show me how to move forward in this life, where you and I do not reside together.Read More
The joy that stirred me awake this morning shocked me. Excitement over this adventure? Excitement of greeting the sun? Excitement for today’s feast? Even your sister remarked about the beauty of today’s sunrise. “It looks like heaven,” she said. Yes. Indeed. I thought the same. Heaven...where you are. Heaven...where we will see you again. Heaven...where you celebrate today on this feast of St. Therese. Even the sky splashed your colors...orange, yellow, and pink. Beautifully and delicately arrayed like you. This morning the sun welcomed me into a new day, it left behind the tears of yesterday, and it stirred me on to start anew. To find beauty and love in big ways and small in the midst of the bittersweet reality of today’s anniversary. Even though the darkness finds me...the light does, too.Read More