Friday, November 20, 2009

Our Story

It is amazing sometimes.
The friends that I have made simply because he's not here.
Friends that stretch cities, states, and even countries.
All because of his story- our story.

Holly, an amazing mom I 'met' from Caring for Carleigh, emailed me these pictures. Such a simple gesture, but one that took time, took thought, took effort.

I've been thinking about it. How if it weren't for Andrew's story, for Baby E's story, for Carleigh's story and countless others- I would have no idea. No idea of the community that is out there- waiting in the shadows- one that no one knows about- has ever heard of- until you need them- until you become one of them.

So many stories-
Like the leaves in these piles- all with names- details- stories.

I've spoken of the 'secret society' on here, of the many (mostly) women that I've met. Stories that I've heard. And I've wept for them. Thinking about how horrible it must have been to have lost their child- their children.

And though I've lost a child.
I've lost children.
Their story isn't mine.
I can only imagine.

I've had people tell me that they can't imagine. It must have been so hard to go 39 weeks and had to say goodbye. To have carried so long...

And I would tell them- I can't imagine. It must have been so hard to lose a baby you could fit in the palm of your hand. A perfectly formed, but tiny babe. To not have had more time...
I can't imagine.

Because it isn't my story.

We would unpack our stories at meetings. Those hard details- the pain- the tears-
We'd unpack them all.

But in the end if we could choose- we'd take our story back. Each of us. We've talked about it- because in the end it is our story- our children- who have led us to this point- made us who we are.

I choose him.
A 6 pound 11 oz boy.
I choose him.
His eyes closed- I never did get to see them.
I choose him.
And those little fingers that seemed to wrap around mine.
I choose him.
And the little spark- full of hopes and dreams- that just left one day- for reasons unknown.
I choose them.

It's my story.
One of millions-
Like a single leaf in the forest
A grain of sand on the beach
A lone star in a brilliant night's sky

And yet I'd find him again
and again
and choose him.
Choose them.

Our story.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Secret Garden Meeting

The Secret Garden Meeting is a wonderful blog for women who have lost children. It asks them about their experiences and then allows them to post and read about one another's experience. This is my experience- October.

So this meeting we would like to talk about where you are. Where are you at in
your grief. Has it been years or just weeks since you lost your baby. How are
you feeling. How do you hope you will feel in the future. Have you found any
peace at all?
It has been such a long journey, but I can say it now-
It has been the greatest gift-

For the first time ever, I am full.

It has been six years since I began my journey.
Six years ago I became a mother.
Six years ago I became so much more.

I never dreamed that I would lose a child.
I never dreamed that one could have such a healthy, happy, uneventful pregnancy-
one could get so close-
so very very close-
and yet miss.

Mere hours-
but we missed him-
and he left.

I never dreamed I'd feel full. I had one baby but it wasn't enough. When I was pregnant I was expecting babies not a (one) baby. And so I needed to have that feeling again- to be pregnant- to have 'babies'.
And I did.

And I thought it would make me full.
But I wasn't full.
And we added to our family.
And we added to our family.
And I remember talking about it... Were we trying to fill a void that could never be filled. Would we just keep adding to our family in hopes that one day we wouldn't miss him anymore? Would we keep going and never feel 'full'.

But it wasn't my living children who made me full.

I began to see-
By a little boy that I talk to all the time.
By a little boy who has journals all filled with letters that he'll never read- but I think he hears.
By a little boy who gets the kisses I blow each night.
By a little boy who has watched and smiled as his mom grew- and forgave- and healed-
and loved

And my heart has grown, and grown, and grown and grown-
And though there are two pieces gone-
I am full-
I am done-
I am at peace-

Peace is something I thought would never really be part of my story and yet I had glimpses of it- little tastes-
Peace came when I first laughed again
(and didn't feel bad about it-)
Peace came when I chose to live
(and not feel bad about it-)
Peace came when I could take in a deep breath of the crisp fall air
(and be thankful)
Thankful that he was sent to me- even though he flew away too soon.

He was my son.
He is remembered
And I will meet him again.

Full and at peace.
It took a long time.
The greatest gift I've ever received-
And the greatest gifts are not to be kept, but to be shared.
I wish you peace- that one day you would feel it too.
When you're ready-