To say that the two years following our stillborn daughter’s birth were rough would be a huge understatement. There was so much pent up anger in both of our hearts, and trying to find a way to deal with it felt almost impossible. We were angry at the world, which in turn made us both short tempered and easily agitated with each other, ourselves, our family, our son. At the same time we needed each other more than ever. It was such an awkward dance. Add in how other people dealt with it, and us – mostly by avoiding us and we felt lonelier than ever. We had no idea how to explain it to our son, who really had no idea what was going on. It was very strange how he only asked a time or two about the baby…I’m guessing he knew something was up.
We swore we would do something every year to honor her memory. We’ve made donations to our church, March of Dimes, & the local library’s children’s reading program. If you look around our home you will see subtle reminders and if you look closely you will find her name on the wall in different rooms. I’m immediately drawn to anything with her name on it, even though most people outside of our immediate family don’t remember, and may have never known.
See that’s the thing about having a stillborn daughter…you want people to remember, but at the same time you want to protect her from the world, almost like she is yours and yours alone. Which she is. Eventually life goes on and as the years go by, people forget, even some of our family has forgotten. There are no phone calls that day from them But there are those few, that call or say something, and God bless them, because sometimes that’s the only thing that I need.
Moving on was never easy. Healing is elusive. I don’t think we truly heal from it, I think we learn to cope better…most of the time. I can go months and think of her daily, but then one day it just hits me all at once and I spend an hour crying. Most would think after having our 2nd daughter that would make it easier, but that’s not always the case. Looking at my baby girls’s things, make me wonder what her sister would have liked or looked like in that outfit. Right after we lost our daughter, pregnant women were everywhere! I even deleted Facebook for over a year because there were so many people pregnant and posting about it, and I absolutely couldn’t handle it. I guess sometimes I even thought having our 2nd daughter would make that easier, but there are still times when I look around and there are pregnant women everwhere, and I get that wistful feeling again. I guess what I’m trying to say is that just when I think I’m getting to the point of healing, there’s always something to remind me of her. (Feathers lying on the ground are my favorite…I always feel that they are a feather from her angel wings, and she’s just saying hello, and letting me know that she was there.) Truly, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I want to remember, I never want to forget. I always want her to feel like she was important and loved, and since I’m the only one that held her, I feel like I’m the one that has to keep her memory alive. I’m her mom, and that’s my job.