I Will: Reflections at One Year

February 7, 2018

February 19th, 2018 marks the one year anniversary of the day we said hello and goodbye to our son. I cannot believe it has been one year, how can that be? I find myself amazed how time has passed so quickly and yet so slowly. How am I still standing after seeing my doctor shake her head, confirming that Asher’s heart had stopped in utero? How did I leave that hospital without my child? How did I get up every day since that moment?

The answer is because I had to. I had no other choice when my heart kept beating and Asher’s stopped. My only option was to move forward (not on) to share my son and my love for him with the world.

I have transitioned from a grief-filled zombie who refused to take any pride in her appearance to a fairly functional human. I have clawed my way out of the all-consuming grief that follows the initial loss and have been able to go, sometimes, days without crying. A year after the shattering of my world my grief has evolved. It will always be there because the love I have for Asher will always be there, but it is not as consuming as it once was.

That being said, sometimes when I am alone the magnitude of our loss will suddenly hit me. Obviously, I am always aware that my son is missing, but there are certain moments where it knocks the wind out of me. All of it this actually happened. I carried a beautiful boy for 32 weeks 5 days, I faced my fear of childbirth to deliver that beautiful boy, and I left the hospital without him. The reality of it can just be too much.  It feels like an out of body experience at times like it happened to someone else, but it didn’t. It happened to me. I lost my son and I am now a mother with empty arms.

Over the course of my first year into this journey of life after loss I learned that life will be a delicate dance between happiness and sadness. I will have days where I can smile. I will have days where I will laugh, and I will have days of joy.  I will be able to enjoy life. However, I will also have sadness because one person will ALWAYS be missing. I will have moments where a song can trigger a sudden emotional breakdown. I will cry in public while watching a father and son play together. Triggers will pop up daily and my reaction to them will depend on my emotional state at that point in time.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and the people I surround myself with over this year. I’ve learned that we have some pretty amazing people in our lives. I’ve also met some wonderful people who, unfortunately, are familiar with the pain of losing a child. Those people have been life lines for me. I’ve learned that I am not alone and it’s okay to lean on others for help. It’s okay to be vulnerable and share your pain. However, the most important thing I learned is that Asher will always be with me. I may not have him in my arms but he is in my heart. I will always talk about him and he will always be included as a member of our family.

I will never let my son be forgotten, and I will strive to make my son proud of his momma every day.

Photo from Amy Lied.

2 Comments

  • Denise

    February 8, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I lost my Asher too, on December 18, 2016, he was 15 months old. I am also bewildered at how much time has passed, Asher’s life feels like ages ago and his death feels like just yesterday.

  • Esther Hummel

    February 8, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    I know the pain of losing an infant. My son was 8 weeks old, perfectly healthy. I woke up one morning and he was gone. My whole life changed, I changed, my husband changed. None of us will ever be the same. Find happiness where you can, don t feel guilty for having joy in your life again. He would be turning 9 this May… it’s so hard sometimes I look at my other sons (he was my first) and my heart is so EMPTY. I can’t explain it. I love them SO deeply but my arms ACHE wishing to hold him again. I read this article about grieving the loss of a child. It said the pain never leaves, it starts out in your skin, red angry, obvious to everyone, slowly over time it sinks into you until it’s deep in your bones, No one else sees it. But you feel it. Some days it’s a dull ache and you might even forget for a little while and other days something bumps you right where it hurts and it’s fresh and new. Your heart breaks for the thousandth time as if it was the first. My heart is broken for you. But know this, it WILL get better, you will get through. You will even forget for a little while every now and then. And that’s ok! Hang in there mama.

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