For any babyloss parent out there- this is everything that needs to be said when the wounds are still fresh….. and more truths about whats to come after. XO to you all.
When The Angel Princess first died I spent a lot of energy being angry at the people who said, or did, the wrong things. All the people who told me it was for the best, in an attempt to comfort me, all the people who gave me “at least…”s, all the people who ignored me, or her completely, the people who announced their pregnancies within weeks of her death, with no regards to the stab in the heart that was for us, the people who kept waiting for me to be ok, the people who wouldn’t say her name. It was a long list, and the reasons were varied. But it felt good to be angry at something, or someone, concrete. I was so angry that she died, but she wasn’t here to be angry at, so I raged at the people around me. And although I am…
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I came across the post “A Letter To My Doctor” today found on One Pink Balloon’s blog….. click HERE to read it.
These are some of the very words that I have said and/or felt, and if I haven’t, they are certainly the words of my fellow baby loss mamas. True, some of it pertains only to the doc, but there is much more that is helpful information for any loving friends and family who are at a loss of what to do/say.
There is no better feedback for anyone looking to support these mothers than what is here. So please, I beg you – read, understand what you can, and share.
Today is the day that I will both love and despise for the rest of my life. It’s my angel’s birthday and the reason that I am where I am today (for better most times, for worse every now and then). She would have been 3 today. I could choose to reside in depression about what I’ve lost, what our family is missing, what she would’ve could’ve or should’ve been doing now….. I’m an hour away from her gravesite, but I never felt much in the way of comfort there anyway. I could reminisce our short time with her by looking at my picture books dedicated to her, but her pictures are up in our home and I see those beautiful eyes every single day both in person and in my memories. Instead, like my goals with Tangerine Owl Project, I’m choosing to celebrate by “paying it forward” a bit by covering the cost of people’s morning cup of coffee….
What?! That’s silly, what does coffee have to do with an angel baby’s birthday or work for supporting families of NICU babies? Well nothing inherently – but it’s the little things….. that make the biggest impact.
My little 1.5 lb. wonder did so much for me in her 27 days on this earth, this pales in comparison. We dubbed her motto “go big or go home” because she didn’t do anything subtly. Preemies are said to be “small but mighty”. I feel like the Tangerine Owl Project is small but mighty too. We’re working one connection at a time, to make a difference in this world to the families that suffer in silence through the ups and downs of the NICU, or those who have experienced the same unimaginable loss and are trying to pick up the pieces. There’s a saying about being kind to everyone because you never know what battles they are fighting by themselves. Totally true.
Furthermore, coffee is my husband and I’s “thing”. We don’t do a whole lot of “out and about”, we rather prefer being homebodies or having friends over instead of big nights on the town. Our coffee dates are where we’ve had some of our most meaningful conversations – a time to truly disconnect from the world around and focus on just being us. The Tangerine Owl Project idea was created over coffee. It’s like a comfort zone for me. Yes, I am absolutely in need of caffeine to get my day started, but it’s so much more than that.
So the little things like simply making someone smile feels like the right way to honor someone that most of the world never got the chance to meet. Because she may have been gone for three years, but she’s far from forgotten, in fact, she should be known, because even from heaven, that girl is destined for great things.
XOXO Delilah, and Happy Birthday.
Today is the 3 year angelversary of my friend’s dear daughter Noelle. I have never met my friend in person….we have continued conversations online, via phone and text, but I share the bond with her of our lost daughters. I’d like to share a story with you –
On the day my daughter died, I got a facebook message from a friend of a co-worker. She didn’t know me, but she had seen my co-workers post about Delilah and sent me a message. Instantly I was amazed that a stranger had reached out and could already understand my pain that I couldn’t even yet put into words and also that she cared enough to message a complete stranger. It was a time when I needed someone who just understood. Her message was real, It was more than just ‘sorry for your loss’, she had been there done that having lost her little girl only 2 months prior, but she had put aside that pain in order to comfort someone else. I envy every bit of my friend’s strength and compassion, because I recognize exactly how much it must have taken to look over her own grief to try to help relieve someone else’s.
As such, I make every effort to replicate that gesture, because I swear if it hadn’t been for her, I may not have been able to recover. I think about her daughter often. We wonder if they’re playing together in heaven sometimes. We remind each other of happiness and beauty through our little girls and we needn’t speak of the sorrows, but if we need to, there is no doubt that we can lend a listening ear without question or pity.
So Noelle, happy angelversary to you my love – even though I never knew you, I am thinking of you today. I wish I had had a chance to know you. It seems that your mama and I were meant to cross paths and I hope that I can help take care of her when she needs it (on the days and months like today), just like she helped take care of me.
Such kind words. This is a beautiful heart wrenching but still vital story. I remember all the care and compassion our nurses had, and am thankful that you are all out there fighting along with us for our health and our babies. Thank you for sharing.
I didn’t take part in all the memes this Thanksgiving season, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to be thankful for. Everyday I watch others peoples worlds crumbling around me, and I remember when that time was mine…. Even with the extraordinary heartbreak that came with losing her, I am lucky to have had her, if only for a fleeting moment. I’m not always thankful, and we don’t always have to be. There is still room for sorrow, joy, confusion, anger, love, grieving and sometimes yes, even gratitude. Sometimes I need that reminder, and today I got one as I came across this. So as we close out November’s focus of saying and giving thanks, I’ll leave this image with you, in case it resonates.
This gorgeous image was one from a talented artist at Rose Hill Designs FB Page found here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rose-Hill-Designs-by-Heather-Stillufsen/108858199201084.
From my friend Leigh. A great idea, not only to remind you to practice self-care, but also this shows the intimacy of working through grief, and how much it takes of your own accord to process. *Hugs* to all my babyloss parents out there. We’ll make it through the season yet!
It’s no secret that I am looking forward to Christmas being over. The excitement ramped up a couple of notches over the weekend with decorations being proudly displayed on social media, talk of gift buying, Christmas songs, advent calendar opening, and elves on shelves.
While I do not resent others’ excitement over the festive season, it adds to my sense of loss. I have been reading a grief book based on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), and part of that is about training your mind to weed out unhelpful thoughts and replace them with thoughts that are more helpful. It’s not easy, and takes time – both to recognise and replace such thoughts when you are feeling low.
I have also been trying to practice mindfulness – awareness of ourselves and the world around us – well, since Saturday, when I bought a book about it. I have been pushing myself so hard with writing…
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As I was trying to figure out what to write about last night, I checked out my facebook feed only to see the sad, sad news about Robin Williams. I couldn’t believe it, like most of you out there I was a fan. In fact, I don’t think there is a generation that Robin Williams didn’t touch through his gift of comedic genius. As I read on, I couldn’t help but find myself thinking how could this happen? Why?
I don’t mean that in the open-ended “mourning” woe-is-the-universe way; I truly don’t understand. Was he so good at hiding it that his closest friends and family didn’t know how deep his sadness was? Was he showing all the signs but no one paid close enough attention? Was this a reaction to one thing that put him over the top or a build up of things that finally came to this sad conclusion? How did it get so bad that he couldn’t see the point in living anymore, that he couldn’t find an ounce happiness or purpose in life that made it worth fighting for? Why didn’t he ask for help? Or did he?? I know that he spent years and years battling drugs and depression, and it could not have been easy (that’s quite the understatement isn’t it?), but at the end of the day he gave up, and we will never have the answers to these questions. It’s another very public reality check on the detriment of battles with one’s own self and a heartbreaking way to call attention to something that has been needing it for some time. The scary thing is, we still don’t know how to fix it, and even worse, I’m unsure that “we” can. There is ample help out there for those who need it, doctors, medications, support groups, friends, but it takes the person who is suffering to choose life. It may be a lifelong battle, it may be short term after tragedy strikes, it may be somewhere in between. So what can “we” do?
We can care. We can care enough to read between the lines of our loved one’s words and behaviors. Sometimes we can care enough to physically intervene and get someone help they need. We can listen to the uncomfortable truths of that person’s reality, and validate how they’re feeling. We can respond to people who are asking for help in their own way and not brush them off or turn them away because we don’t have time or energy to deal with them. We can give them something worth living for, we can remind them that they are loved, and we can tell them that we need and want them around. We can help them see that there is something worth fighting for. In the end, It’s got to be the person suffering who makes their own choice. It may not be our choice to make, but we can make it easier for that person to choose to fight, with whatever help and encouragement we can give.
To the bullied child or teenager, I’m talking to you. To the parent suffering from post-partum depression, I’m talking to you. To the man who spends 80+ hours a week working to support his family, I’m talking to you. To the struggling college student who doesn’t see the point of all their labor, I’m talking to you. To the GBLT community, I’m talking to you. To the suburban housewife, I’m talking to you. To anyone who has lost someone so dear, that you don’t want to be here without them, I’m talking to you. To anyone who leads a perfectly “average” life, I’m talking to you. To the one who always makes us laugh, yet is dying on the inside, I’m talking to you….. To all of you –
You are all fighting different battles, every day. Remember even when you may feel at your worst, someone has seen your best. It will not be easy, but don’t be afraid to let someone see you are hurting. They may not be able to fix what is making your world cave in, but they can be a lifeline at times when you can’t keep yourself afloat, all you have to do is choose to hold on long enough. Every. Single. Time. It’s a lot of work that I’m asking of you, I know that. I also know there is something or someone out there you will be glad you were around for.