On my drive home I saw the most magnificent sunset. It made me think of the bright orange skies drawn for The Lion King. I almost stopped along the highway to take a photo, but forgetting about this post I chose to keep driving. I’ve been waiting for another sunset to photograph. It’s on the way.
Do you believe you have grown or are growing as a person since the loss of your precious baby? How? How do you see other people now? How do you see the world? Do you believe you have a higher purpose? Do you believe your baby had a higher purpose?
What has had the most healing impact on your life through this journey of grief?
This could be your baby’s place of rest. If they do not have a grave, maybe you have a special place that you associate with your baby. A place you go to, to remember them. Where is it? Why did you choose that particular place?
My beliefs don’t speak to a life after death, exactly. I do believe the energy that was my baby’s life is incorporated into the earth, but that energy no longer makes up my baby. The sign that comes to mind when reading today’s topic is a dream I had while I was still pregnant.
It needs a little context. Three years ago I got two kittens, Dexter and Sassy. They are my fur babies and I love them so so so much. Dexter died unexpectedly just over a year ago. Sassy remains my daily snuggle buddy and best friend.
In my dream, Dexter was a ghost who had come to take Sassy away. He kept trying to leave with her, and although she did not want to go, it was as though she had no choice and knew it was right for her to go. This seemed to go on for a while, with me resisting and begging for her to be allowed to stay. The whole dream was very emotionally charged. I woke up crying and feeling very stressed about the whole thing.
This did not seem terribly significant at the time, but it remained in the back of my mind. After I found out the baby had died, this dream kept pushing its way into my thoughts. I have a strong feeling that this dream occurred right around the time my baby died within me. Until I became pregnant, Sassy and Dexter had been the closest feeling I had to being a mother; they are my fur babies. Dexter’s death had, up until then, been my most personal experience with death. Knowing how significant these little animals have been in my life, I feel that my brain/heart/insides were trying to tell me baby had died, or perhaps preparing my self for the loss.
So, while I don’t believe in a life after death, I do believe we have an intuitive knowledge of what is happening with the energies in and around our selves. I knew on some level that my baby had died, but it wasn’t the right time to handle that fact. My body gave me five more weeks with him, and then it was time to face his death.
Today’s topic is community, but that’s not really what is on my mind. Today is my birthday. I am 25 years old today. I keep trying to evaluate the last year of my life, and all I can come up with is that it’s been the most horrible and most wonderful year. One year doesn’t feel like enough to quantify the growth that has occurred. The number 25 doesn’t mean much compared to the other things I have become in this year. Mother. Mother to a dead baby. Woman. Woman who lost a child. 25 just doesn’t capture it.
I love birthdays. I love celebrating others and I love taking the time to celebrate me. I have gotten lots of well wishes and some cards and tasty treats. I appreciate everyone’s love and kindness. It’s just different this year. I’m not really sad, I’m reflective of all that has been and as always, a little stuck on what could have been. I would have had a great big belly by now, and everyone would have been celebrating that little life along with my 25 years. Instead, I’ll likely be the only one to mention him, today. I suppose that’s where this ties into community.
This community is my outlet. This is the safe place where there will always be someone who understands, who has shared a similar experience. This is where I can wish my birthday were all about my baby this year, and not feel crazy for thinking that way. Thank you a million times to this wonderful community of women. Thank you for reaching out. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I cannot imagine this journey without your support, or without these projects that have helped so many to heal before me.
Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to be both thankful and resentful on this celebratory day.
Say It Out Loud is The STILL Project’s famous hashtag. STILL is a feature-length documentary film project aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. If you could say anything out loud about your journey with grief with the death or your baby, what would it be? What do you want the world to know? Is there a cause that touches your heart that you want to raise awareness for?