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My Still Standing Magazine post for the month. Thinking of you all. xo
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see you, numb from the shock of what has just happened. I see you sitting in the hospital bed alone that night, the night that your baby died. You can’t believe that this is your life. You can’t believe that you have just had to say goodbye to a soul that had just been kicking and swimming inside of you, a soul whose life you had been hoping for and dreaming about.
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see you crying big, loud sobs when reality has set in that your baby died. When you can’t believe how unfair this all is. I see you sitting on the floor of what was to be your baby’s nursery. You are still in disbelief that your baby will never sleep a night in this crib. He’ll never wear any of the diapers that are neatly tucked into the diaper stacker.
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see you returning to work. When people look at you, they don’t know what to say or how to react. Some of them might be afraid of you. But you carry on. You try to care about the work that you’re doing, even though you don’t. How could you care about it? Your baby just died.
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see you watching all of the families around you in your community. They are living the life you wanted so badly. You see husbands returning home from work and going into their homes to kiss their wife and new baby. You see them through the windows as they pick up their new baby in their arms. Of course you are happy for them, but your heart aches immensely that that is not your family.
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see you walking into the mall to buy a baby-themed memory box for your baby who has died. I see the clerk asking you excitedly, “Did someone just have a baby?!” You try to lie and say, “Yes, a friend,” until your chin starts to quiver and you can’t hold the tears back anymore. You tell her that actually, it’s for your baby who has just died. She doesn’t know what to say, but tries to comfort you while quickly finishing the transaction.
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see you make your way through the winter without your baby. You angrily shovel snow, cursing out loud as you do it. Thinking that you should be in your house right now, toasty and warm, holding and nursing your newborn baby.
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see you facing your due date. The date that should have been when you would be having your baby. Now it’s just a horribly painful date. A reminder that your baby has gone too soon. You and your husband release a balloon for your baby to the heavens. But it’s not enough, and it never will be.
Grieving mother, I see you there. Trying to conceive again. It’s complicated and hard. You know that no baby will ever replace the one you lost, but you are desperate to give it another shot. You yearn to parent a child in the way you had hoped and dreamed of.
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see the anguish in realizing that the world has continued to move on and that people might be forgetting your baby who died. They might think that you shouldn’t be continuing to grieve for your baby. But you know that you will always have a hole in your heart. They don’t understand because they can’t, not if they’ve never lived what you are living. And you hope that they never have to.
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see you making your way through the aisles at the grocery store. Everywhere you looked, there were parents pushing their cute little kids in the child seat part of the shopping cart. Their little feet dangling there. Maybe the mother was scolding the kid, “No, Johnny, we can’t buy chocolate Teddy Grahams.” Or maybe they were making little silly faces at their infant trying to elicit a smile. Whatever it was, you wished that you were the one in their shoes. You felt your heart physically ache, but yet you pushed on.
Grieving mother, I see you there. I see you continuing to live your life. You are working through your grief and getting past the days of ‘just getting through.’ You are starting to live again, little by little. You are laughing and loving. You still have periods of sadness, and that is ok. You realize that you can still have those sad periods and continue to life a life that includes joy and happiness.
Grieving mother, I see you there. You are not alone. Unfortunately, there are many of us out there with you. Walking alongside you . Wearing that same hat that you are. I too am a grieving mother. When I lost my son, nearly 5 years ago, it was very hard to envision that I’d be where I’m at today. But I am here. I am still a grieving mother, but I am more than that. And so are you.
Thank you Libby for writing this. It's the reality for many and there is some comfort in knowing you're not alone. Yes, forever grieving and learning to live again.
Big hugs and Kleenex,
wow -- beautiful piece, libby. thank you for writing this and for sharing it here.
So beautifully written as always.
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