Wednesday, December 19, 2012


This has been a difficult week for many people.  The tragedy in Connecticut, so many little lives gone so quickly.   It is sad.  Very sad.  And, for many loss moms, it seems like we have been transported back to a place in our grief which many of us had moved from.  A place where it was really hard not to cry all the time, where songs made us cry, where it all seemed very new and very terrible.  A place  where the stories of the little children and those who died trying to save them and those who came to try to help, and their parents, friends, and community make us hurt in a really raw way.

I've come to understand that our reactions, my reaction, as a mom and as a loss mom, to this horrible tragedy is entirely normal.  We all lost something, as a nation, last week.  As parents with living children, we can only imagine how absolutely heartwrenching it must be for those moms and dads who lost their child.  We hold ours a little closer and a little tighter. 

As loss moms, we remember our pain over losing someone we loved dearly and who was a part of us.  We know pain.  We know heartbreak.  We know the pain of having someone we loved taken from us.  We understand and share a commonality of sudden and unexpected loss.

Yet, I know that every loss is different.  I didn't get time to know my child.  I didn't hear her laugh, or cry, or do any of the things that the parents and families in Connecticut did with the people they lost.  I don't pretend to understand the depths of their grief and pain, because no one can.  Grief is entirely personal.  It just is.

I wish there was something that any of us could do to help with that pain, that grief.  But there isn't anything we can do to take it away.  All we can do, as loss moms, as parents, as humans, is offer to carry a piece of their burden for them, and to walk along side them on this path.  Life gets better in time.  It really does.  It is never the same, but you continue to move forward, because that is what we do.  It is what we have to do.

But a loss never really goes away.  Sometimes the grief hits you, like the big wave that it is, and drags you backwards to a place you thought you left behind.  Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays.  Due dates.  Milestones.  They are always there.  There will always be reminders of the person who has left us.   But reminders can be good things too.  Because they remind us that we have loved, and we love, and we are loved by our child.  Love is always a risk.  But with great risk comes great reward.  And, sometimes, great pain.  But it is always worth it.

I send my deepest sympathies, love, peace and healing to the newest people joining us on our path.  You will never be alone on this road.   

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

four years

Four years ago yesterday, I got news that no parent to be wants. I found out that my precious baby had died. I got to do the walk of shame out the back door of the OB's office, then down the elevator with my husband to the street, where I got the task of calling my folks to come down and watch my older child, so I could get induced to deliver a child who was already gone. To do all that work, only to meet someone I'd been waiting for, only long enough to say goodbye. Today, 4 years later, I walk past that building almost daily. I walk down that street where I crumbled, and where I cried, and I still think of that day. And how much it sucked. And 4 years ago, after getting that horrible news, I went back to my office, to wait for the doctor to call with the hospital plans. During my wait, I reached out to a community of beautiful women who had suffered losses in the second and third trimesters. And they reached back for me and held me tight. How strong they were for me, how wise they were, how helpful they were in telling me what to expect. My friends are peppered generously with those beautiful women, and they continue to be there for me, and I for them, and we continue forward, through our rainbows, and our rain, and we share a bond that just helps. They are still there, 4 years later, strangers who knew that I needed them. Now friends. I've said thanks to them before, and to all of those who were my support system then, and now. And I thank all of you again today, from the bottom of my heart, for being there where I needed you. You are rockstars. Each and every one of you. Four years have brought a lot of changes. My rainbow is getting to be a big kid. My big kid is getting to be an even bigger kid. And I still wonder what that little girl is doing, and where she is, and if she can see the snow and the butterflies there. February 7 and 8 are, to me, the 2 worst days of the year. Every year. But good things came from losing Shannon, and even though there is a huge hurt on my heart from losing her, it's sometimes good to remember the good things (and people) that came from those days too. Shannon - mommy misses you and wishes you a happy birthday. I know that today should not have been your birthday - it should have been months from now - but it is the best we've got. Love you forever, love you for always, as long as I'm breathing, my baby you'll be.