When My Daughter is Dead, and It’s Her Birthday

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photo by Beth Morey

Tomorrow is my daughter’s second (still)birthday.

I don’t know what to say.

If you reading this, you probably know what I mean.

How to describe the rippling ache whose circles widen but never disappear?

How to communicate how she is still an important part of my family, my life, even though she is dead?

How to answer those who tell me to move on, that it’s unhealthy and uncomfortable, and couldn’t I just shut up about this whole dead baby thing already?

How to celebrate her birthday when she is not here to enjoy it, when the decisions I must make of how to remember her are incapacitating?

And how do I describe just how exquisitely and excruciatingly she has changed my life, my self, the trajectory of my days and years and heart? How do I put words to the love and gratitude I have for this tiny little girl who never breathed?

Tomorrow is my daughter’s second birthday. She died. I birthed her. I held her body and said goodbye, but it was not goodbye. It was an end, and a beginning. I carry her with me still, her memory and my love for her.  It is impossible for me to do otherwise.  This is not a choice.  It simply is.

Some days it is beautiful to be a mother to a daughter who died, and some days it is an eternal, devouring aching.

Today is one of those days.

I don’t know what to say.

image by Beth Morey


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Beth About Beth

Beth Morey is the mixed media artist behind Epiphany Art Studio . Her soulful and whimsical creations are born out of the griefs, joys, and not-knowings of life. She is also the founder of Made , an online course exploring the intersection of faith and art, and the author of the creative healing workbook, Life After Eating Disorder. Beth loves meeting new friends through her blog , where she writes about faith, creativity, and life after stillbirth. She lives in Montana with the Best Husband Ever, their rainbow son, and their three naughty dogs. You can find Beth at Epiphany Art Studio — www.epiphanyartstudio.etsy.com or at her blog, www.bethmorey.com. You can also see her work at
Life After Eating Disorder -- http://www.amazon.com/Life-After-Eating-Disorder-Have/dp/1478105453/

Comments

  1. Eve. Beth, your daughter’s name seems so unexpectedly fitting. Eve, as in, just before. Isn’t this, this mess we call surviving loss, an eve, a, just before?

    Everything is flip-flopped. How can a new mother already have experienced the farewell of her child? And yet you are Eve’s mother. And yet you are waiting for the welcome with her.

    In this season I think of Christmas Eve – for squirmy, excited children, it’s the longest night of the year. They can hardly sleep, waiting with hopeful anticipation for what joys will welcome them at dawn.

    Eve. Life after loss can feel like the longest night of the year.

    On this, your daughter’s second stillbirthday, I am hoping and praying and sending you all kinds of love, of hope, of faith, of encouragement, of belief, that the dawn will, in fact, come.

    Thank you Beth for sharing yourself. Thank you for sharing your daughter. I am so very thankful to Eve, for giving me the gift of knowing her beautiful, courageous, warrior mama. You are a treasure, friend, a gently glowing nightlight in my longest night.

    • Oh Heidi. Your words are absolutely exquisite. I love thinking of the rest of this life as one big eve, waiting for Home. Thank you and thank you and thank you.

      Did you know — “Eve” means “life”? That, too, seems strangely, beautifully fitting. We didn’t find out what it mean until much later. I love that her name means this.

  2. As I read your comment above about how Eve means life, I instantly closed my eyes and the thought of how our lives are really spiritual and just wrapped up in our temporary human form. Maybe that is the lesson from Eve? Maybe that is what God wants us to remember? My heart aches for you today Beth as you remember your dear, sweet girl. She is God’s princess and is frolicking in the heavenly gardens laughing and squealing while she waits for her mumma to join her. Love you Beth, Paula xo

  3. Beautiful, dear mama. Love you dearly. Remembering sweet Eve with you.

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