Still Standing

To My Sisters In Loss

Dear Friend,

I’m so sorry we met this way. I’m so sorry that you know this pain. That you too have experienced the heartbreak of having to say goodbye to your child. I would never want this for anyone. This “club” that we’re in is by far the last place any of us ever could have imagined being a part of and I wish more than anything that I didn’t have to share the title of bereaved mother with you. We may have met in person through a mutual friend, maybe at the playground when I hesitantly shared that I have three children here and one in heaven. Or maybe we’ve never actually been in the same room together, but we “met” online.

However this happened, there was an instant connection.

There’s a wall that comes down when you meet someone who can truly say “I know your pain”.

Someone who gets how hard those initial days are, the holidays, the anniversaries, the anxiety, the secondary losses, and the day to day struggles. You can commiserate and even find humor in the uncomfortable situations with me when I share what people have said or done. You understand when I say that today is just one of “those” days, the kind that make you want to stay in bed and forget that the rest of the world is still somehow functioning while you’re more broken than you ever imagined was possible and not knowing how you’ll survive this pain.

You remember my sweet girl. You honor her on birthdays, you notice right away how much her new little brother looks just like she did and you find such sweetness in that with me. It’s not uncomfortable for us to talk about, because you know just how precious that gift is to my heart.

You have prayed with me, over me, for me when I needed it most. Maybe you’ve been there from the beginning. Those days when we were so lost together and we shared our deepest and darkest concerns.

You’ve sat with me when I didn’t have the words to express just how much my heart was hurting.

You have watched and cheered me on as I found hope again, as I began to mend slowly and encouraged me along the way. You’ve been there through my journey to have more children and the additional losses we’ve encountered. I’ve been there through yours. We’ve commented, “liked”, held, snuggled, honored, and encouraged each other as we’ve welcomed new life into this world. Some we have been fortunate enough to bring home, others like their sibling before them will always be in our hearts.

We have rallied around our sisters in loss who have become family. We support each other, we find ways to lift each other up, we shed tears for each other’s pain, and we pray with all our might day and night when one of our own goes through tough times. And we love each other through it all.

You are more than just a friend to me. You are my sister in loss. You are someone who I can turn to through the highs and lows of this life I’ve been thrown into. Thank you. Thank you for listening, for sharing your heart with me and allowing me to share mine with you. Thank you for loving my child in a way that only someone who has experienced this can. Thank you for remembering her. Thank you for being someone I can openly talk to about my child and for talking to me about yours. Thank you for sharing pictures, videos, stories of your child with me.

Thank you for allowing me to love your child. Because dear friend, I do. I truly love your sweet child and am so honored to know him through you.

This is the absolute worst way I can imagine to meet someone and became friends. But I am so thankful for your friendship and your love. You and your child will always hold such a special place in my heart and I know the same goes for myself and my child. Thank you for loving us. I know that you sweet friend, understand just how much that that means to me.