I lost much when I lost my children but gained so much too

The Snowball Effect of Loss

January 8, 2018

Becoming a bereaved mother results in many losses. I didn’t just lose my twins, I lost a lot more. I lost an entire future that changed the second they passed. There are many other losses that people don’t think about when they think about child loss. They number many, but here are a few I really notice.

I lost my job. Although I quit my job– the main reason I quit was the loss of my twins. I couldn’t take the drive over an hour each way. It gave me way too much time to think about what happened, and every day I arrived to work with tears streaming down my face and completely disheveled. It was impossible to concentrate for 8-10 minutes let alone 8-10 hours. I wasn’t performing my best and I knew it. I also knew that since I was pregnant at this particular job, just walking in the building alone gave me so much anxiety and was such a trigger that I knew I could never perform well there again. I needed a new beginning. I had no choice but to leave.

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I lost relationships. Some people became distant. When we walked in a room, it felt like people would walk out. I don’t blame them, our story is sad, and no one wants to be sad. I needed support, but didn’t find it in the places I thought I would. Every single relationship I had changed as a result of losing our boys.

I lost faith. I grew up Catholic and always believed that good would happen to good people. I started to question God and why he chose me for this to happen. Did I do something wrong? Did God hate me? Why couldn’t He fix it? Why did He let this happen? People say to pray–I did my whole pregnancy and it didn’t work. It seemed like a cruel joke and I began to question my faith. If God really existed, why would He do something so horrible? It has taken me a long time to realize that sometimes God’s plans don’t make sense to us, but one day they will.

I lost security. I was diagnosed with PTSD after the loss of my twins and it was horrific. I began to question whether my husband was breathing at night. I would lay in bed staring at the ceiling wondering if someone was breaking into my parents’ house and hurting them. I had horrible visions of bad things happening to people I loved. I was afraid to get in a car, on a plane, to even walk out the front door. The world became a scary place that was against me. With the help of therapy, I have managed to curb these thoughts a bit, but it is still an awful way to live.

I lost a sense of who I was. This I am still working on. I always wanted to be a Mom. If I am not a Mom, then who am I? If I am not a Mom, what is my real purpose? What am I supposed to do?

I lost the ability to get through any holiday without tears. Easter brings tears. 4th of July. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Every holiday seems to bring cute outfits and happy families.  Every darn holiday is another day to remember what I’m missing. Not like I need a reminder.

I lost any peace in future pregnancies. If I’m lucky enough to ever conceive again, I won’t ever be able to have the happy, stress-free, glowing pregnancy that I see so many others have. Any future pregnancy will be riddled with fear and obsession over if I’m eating the right foods, taking the right vitamins, using a toothpaste that doesn’t contain bad chemicals. Deep down I know that I couldn’t have done anything differently, but my mind will no doubt trick me into thinking I can control the outcome.

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I lost getting to see the joy on my parents’ faces as they grandparent twins. I was so excited to see my dad with two boys riding on his tractor and my Mom dressing them up in matching outfits. I have wonderful parents and I couldn’t wait to see them with my boys. That will never happen.

I lost SO many things when our boys passed away.

But I also GAINED. I GAINED faith that my husband was a loving caring man who would stand by me through the thick and thin. I GAINED the blessing of appreciating every moment with my loved ones- even the little things. I GAINED so many friends and acquaintances who have gone through a similar situation who hold me up when I’m down. I GAINED the ability to love immensely and indiscriminately. I GAINED extra special moments with my godchildren who I love with every ounce of my being. Most importantly, I GAINED two angels, who I know watch over us and hopefully are smiling down as we try to parent them the best we can from afar.

Photo: Insung Yoon/Unsplash

  • Elizabeth Lamie

    I am the Mama of identical twin boys William & Harrison, who reside in heaven with their great-grandparents. I live in Virginia with my husband Nicholas, and Golden Retriever puppy, Barley. You can follow me on my blog.

    6 Comments

    • Alison

      January 12, 2018 at 4:54 am

      Thank you for this. I can relate to every single word <3 from a bereaved mother of an angel daughter lost 6 weeks ago <3

    • Jennifer

      January 12, 2018 at 5:38 am

      Wow…grief work is so important…in reading your message it brings up my own stuffed pain from miscarriages and infertility struggles…thank you for sharing! It has been my experience that It is kind of an alternate universe you are living in with such loss…seems like shell shock…with sharing your story you are helping others and hopefully unraveling that pain❤️❤️❤️

    • Elana

      January 12, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      After I lost my son Thomas, I left the playgroups I had been attending wiith my 3 year old son Jack and I couldn’t go back to the school where I was relieving. The next year I went to a completely new school where no one new me as a mother who has lost a son. it helped me cope in many ways. I am so sorry for your loss xxx

    • Cari Logan’s Mother

      January 17, 2018 at 11:12 am

      unless you’ve lost a child can understand what WE really lose. Even today I can completely relate to everything that’s said in this article you didn’t just lose a child you lose pieces of everything that’s important to you including yourself your loved ones your faith your sanity your security everything. I’m still trying to rebuild two and a half years later. And I don’t think that I’ll ever achieve that goal of being whole without my son ever again.

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      February 5, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      […] Related: The Snowball Effect of Loss […]

    • Carly

      February 7, 2018 at 5:11 pm

      I lost my son in 2008 to Trisony 18. I haven’t been the same since. I don’t know if I ever will be.

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