Watching a friend experience the loss of their baby and the grief that remains can feel so helpless. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach to support a grieving friend through loss, but there are many ways to be supportive. When my daughter died at 33-days-old, it was the first loss of this type…
Three. You would be three.
How do three years fly by and simultaneously drag on? Three years ago, I was not the mother I am today; nor will I be same three years from now. This is true of all mothers, even those that have never lost a child. The hurt of saying goodbye, though, affects how often and in what capacity the change occurs.
Year one was a blur.
I cried when no one else did, and there was no obvious reason. I laughed when no one else did. It was awkward; I was awkward. It seemed the better option than running out of the room; therefore, causing a discussion among everyone that I would at some point have to address. 9 months of that first year, I was pregnant with your little brother. I was terrified; I was happy. Guilt consumed me for smiling and having joyous moments. How could I enjoy life without you? I felt guilty for not showing excitement about being pregnant. Your little brother didn’t deserve that. As the one year anniversary of your passing approached, I knew I had not even begun to truly deal with what my heart had experienced.
Year two was like a house of mirrors.
Finding my way back to who I was before you died and piecing it together with my new perspective on life wasn’t the easiest. I would catch a glimpse of the “old me,” and then in the next moment, my reflection was unrecognizable. Learning how to be a mother to a three-year old and a baby, while still grieving and yearning for you was beyond mentally and emotionally exhausting.
Which tears belonged to you?
Was that all normal, new, overwhelmed mom hormones? I found myself planning for two upcoming birthday parties, but you weren’t part of it. My heart broke all over again. At that moment, I knew I had to do more for you, for your memory. For Wyatt’s Day last year, we delivered supplies to two different hospitals so that the staff could provide precious mementos to families like us. Those tangible objects that I took home have brought me such peace during low times.
Year three was like growing a tree.
You have changed my purpose here on this earth. During this past year, my mission has been to become rooted in what you (and your brothers) are truly calling me to do. I am striving to not take moments, both good and bad, for granted. When I feel that little tug that I can’t explain, I pay closer attention to what you’re trying to help me see or hear. Like branches on a tree grow up and outward to reach the sky, I am doing what I can to reach out to others that need it. I still experience a “drought-like” feeling occasionally, which is usually followed by a flood of tears.
Three. You would be three. You would be beginning 3-4 preschool. Who knows what your interests would be?…probably dinosaurs, army stuff, and cars. You would be right under your dad’s feet in his shop and right under mine in the kitchen. You would dance to your own beat! (It’s in your blood.)