Almost three and a half years ago I was thrown into the world of the grieving parent. At the time, I was in a highly alert state, taking words that were said to me and dissecting them one by one. Sometimes people said things that I found confusing, and maybe even hurtful. I started reading…
As the seasons change again, the cycle of life continues and I am reminded how fleeting life truly is. As the delicate leaves start to change color and fall from the trees, I realize how the two babies that I lost are remembered every second of my life. It happens so quickly. First, the leaves are green. Then fall comes around and their colors are revealed in brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows. Just as quickly, they fall to the ground in dull browns. Fall is a warning sign that things can change quite suddenly. The arrival of winter chills my bitter heart.
In everything I see and do, they are there, because they are still a part of me. There are so many things that trigger my grief and that can bring the losses to my mind as if they had happened yesterday. From the second I wake up and open my eyes, I can feel an empty hole in my heart. I climb out of bed and look out my bedroom window. I see the garden we created for Valerie not long after we lost her in 2010. It is going on seven and a half years now and the flowers that we had planted have changed to new flowers, roses throughout the summer and tulips in the spring. When fall and winter comes, I am saddened at the emptiness of that garden and long for the first signs of spring to arrive.
I climb out of bed and prepare my surviving children’s lunches for school. I should be preparing another lunch for Valerie and playing with our second angel, Daniel, who should have been born in October of last year but was miscarried in April of 2016. I look at the fireplace mantle and see my collections of angel figurines that I started after losing Valerie. I look at the lone teddy bear that reminds me of Daniel and how I have yet to find the perfect collection for him.
Anytime I drive somewhere I think of them. I see a billboard from a local hospital that shows a pregnant woman, it says “for the miracle makers”, and I think to myself, I was no miracle maker for my two babies. Where was my miracle when it came to losing them? My body was no miracle maker. I drive near the cemetery where my two babies lie. I feel guilty if I don’t stop there.
I can no longer step in our church without a panic attack setting in. I feel my stomach turn into knots and I am instantly thrown back to remember them as I mourned them in that very church. Any bible passage or church song is enough to have me heading for the door in tears. I had to look at not one but two tiny caskets and I still have no answers as to why this happened to us. My faith in God has been shaken to its foundation, no question.
When I see cardinals, deer, or butterflies I think of them. It seems as if I see cardinals just when I need them most a symbol of how my two angels are always present. A baby deer is often seen in our yard. It gets trapped by a fence and often struggles to get back to its mother. A symbol of how I wish my angels could come back to me. When I see butterflies I think about how fleeting they stay just like Valerie and Daniel stayed in my arms. There are so many songs that I listen to on the radio they often bring me to the brink of tears. Watching television or commercials featuring pregnant woman is enough to trigger the grief all over again. Shopping in the department store near the baby aisles is very difficult. I try to avert my eyes as I walk by so the pain in my heart won’t start. I will never buy any more baby clothes, toys, or accessories.
In the stillness of the night, the darkness fills my heart. Not a sound can be heard. In that silence, the movie in my mind replays all of the horrible times where I have lost not one baby but two. I hoped that one baby could be saved but she was not. Another baby was ripped from me in a way that is too cruel to describe. I try to shove the thoughts away but they are always there.
Even though so many years have passed since I lost my first baby, I still hurt. I still ache. That will never change. Yes, the time has passed. Maybe I should let go and move on. I have many things to make me happy. I will never stop thinking about them and wish what could have been had they survived. How can I move on when part of my heart has been ripped from me?
They were with me only a short time but all they knew was love. I will put one foot in front of the other and continue on the path that has been made for me. I will always wonder why this happened. I will never find the answers that I seek. I realize now that they will always be a part of me. A part of my heart. A part of my soul.