It’s been awhile since I’ve felt inspired to share with this community. I must admit for the past year or so I’ve been a bit disconnected from my loss journey.
There’s a part of me that felt immense relief for finally being ‘on the other side’…5 years post loss has brought an internal calm and understanding of myself and my grief.
But along with that relief brings a lingering guilt that that maybe I don’t honor Bella enough anymore.
Then, on a beach in Costa Rica about 2 weeks ago I was asked at dinner of close friends about my almost 4 year old rainbow daughter and if I think Bella’s spirit somehow lives on inside her.
A resounding yes, yes, yes was my answer; followed by a complete re-exploration of my grief and gratitude for the next 6 days.
I was bombarded with reminders of my first daughter from all angles. Memories came flooding back…
…in the magic of gorgeous sunsets.
…in the band of butterflies that joined together floating and flying and circling my heart every morning.
…in the opportunity to share my loss story and the beautiful lessons I learned in healing.
…in the joy and gratitude for the twists and turns that have brought me a new story that’s even more beautiful.
During this week surrounded by friends, bright sun, soft sand, ocean waves, and more beautiful butterflies than I’ve ever seen together in one place I learned that I really haven’t lost sight of my loss journey.
A caterpillar who has unfurled her wings and changed into a butterfly doesn’t forget she’s a caterpillar. She’s simply transformed into something more beautiful.
The journey of a loss mom who is feeling healed and whole still honors her child in the words and actions of who she’s become. Like the butterfly, she’s also transformed into something more beautiful.
Here are some of the principles that now guide my everyday and help me reconnect with me all while honoring my daughter and my grief journey.
1) Look for Light
I was released from the hospital only 4 hours after giving birth. The light outside the hospital walls felt too harsh and happy and blinding for my broken body and soul. But then I began to notice the light everywhere, all around me and every time I noticed beautiful a sunrise or a sunburst peeking in through an open window I felt Bella with me and it opened path to healing. Now anytime I’m feeling down I look for light and it instantly helps me heal.
2) Change your Perspective
I spent weeks after coming home on the couch or in my bed. I couldn’t imagine interacting with the world so I curled up into a ball and did nothing so I could mimic how I felt inside. Then one day I decided enough was enough. I decided I would get out with my camera for a short walk. After some Google research for the perfect photo project I discover 100 steps. (you take 100 steps out your front door and then stop and take a photo no matter where it is you end up). I learned that I could indeed commit to taking 100 steps out into the world AND I could transform something boring into something beautiful through the lens of my camera.
3) Seek Gratitude
In a time fraught with grief, I forced myself into 30 days of intentionally choosing to find what I was still grateful for. This exercise helped me to see there were still little bits of joy left in my life, and allowed me to start appreciating the little things again. I learned that even though I had faced a horrible tragedy I was still lucky for the people who remained and supported me through the difficult process of healing.
4) Be Brave
Without Bella my life would be A LOT more boring. I wouldn’t have ever picked up a camera to explore the world around me. I wouldn’t have started a blog. I wouldn’t have even attempted running a business on my own. Bella opened up all these doors that required me to learn to face my fears, be brave, and trust that the universe had a different and even better journey waiting for me around the corner.
5) Have Hope
As much as I wanted my daughter Bella here on earth with us, after we lost her I had to come to terms with how that just wasn’t possible. Hope (and bravery) is what led our family to try for our rainbow baby. And now it’s crazy to think that without my angel Bella I wouldn’t have my sweet, sassy, curious daughter Brielle here with me.
I was brought to tears time and time again on the beach in Costa Rica because I realized I had lost sight of these lessons. I had fallen into a trap of not appreciating my life, where I’ve been, who I have by my side, and what I’ve become.
When was the last time you took time out to honor yourself, honor your child(ren), honor your family, honor your friends, and honor your life?
I may not be able to give you a beach in Costa Rica to reconnect with yourself and your loss journey, but I do have a completely FREE week long class that will allow you to do just that from the comfort of your own home. In the class we’ll do self-exploration and personal healing work through the lens of your camera (any camera).
The class is called ‘Shades of Me’ and although it’s not solely for baby loss moms, it WILL help you along your healing journey as you learn reconnect with yourself and transform into the beautiful butterfly waiting inside of you.
Want to join me when we begin July 21st for this special event?
Click HERE now to register.
It would be my absolute joy and honor to lead you through the next steps of your own personal healing journey. I do hope you’ll join me.