Stil learning to live without you - Grief Quote by

Learning To Live Without You

January 6, 2016

Dear Child of Mine,

Exactly 5 years ago I conceived you and your sister. I remember it so clearly because I reread the journal entries from that time, describing every day in January. Given our journey to bring you into this world hadn’t happened through natural conception, we started assisted conception in the beginning of January and I decided to document our adventure. But this is a story to be told another time.

Our journey brought us both of you, one to raise on planet earth, and one to learn to live without here present in physical form. I’m still learning… every day.

I’m finding it hard to find the words to express my thoughts and feelings in regards to learning to live without you. It’s something I neither expected nor wanted to learn.

Some have said to me: “No one should have to learn this”.
Others believe: “You were meant to learn this”.
Still others reply: “That’s not even a ‘learning’”.

I should?
I have to?
I never wanted to.
I need to?
I must?
… live without you?

Stil learning to live without you - Grief Quote by Truthfully, I don’t exactly live without you. You are on my mind, every day. Some days more and some days less. We speak about you. Your sister speaks about you often. She misses you, more so lately, as she really understands the concept of impermanence. She wants a sibling to play with. She doesn’t understand and asks me repeatedly why you couldn’t stay.

I often wonder what the psychological imprint of an identical twin, with whom she spent the first 9 months of her life side by side, leaves behind.

I wonder whether there is consciousness that still connects you from your side with us on our side. We still think of you so often, what about you?

I wonder what you would be like, whether you’d be as energetic as your sister, as verbal and argumentative… I don’t need any help imagining what you would look like given you are identical twin sisters but I wonder how you would be different from your sister.

Would you have the same blond locks, the irresistible giggle when we’d play tickle games? Would you be as bossy as your sister and if so, who would be the one telling the other what to do?

I’m sure your kisses and hugs would be as sweet as your sister’s. Your enjoyment and excitement would match hers. You would probably listen to stories side by side and sing along with Frozen’s theme song together. I don’t doubt you’d enjoy art class, theatre and play group as much as she does.

I’m learning to live without you. I like this statements as it implies a process, something that is happening. It does not proclaim an end or a beginning. I live, without you living by my side. It doesn’t mean I forget you. How could I. Why would I? There is no need to forget. In fact, it is healthier to remember with reverence.

Recently I read on a friend’s post, celebrating his son’s (who had passed as a toddler) 19th birthday: ‘Still learning to live without you’.

Still? There are different meanings to this word. Most likely in this context it means: ‘up to and including the present or the time mentioned; even now (or then) as formerly’.

I have accepted the loss.
Still, I miss you. I miss your unique giggle.
Still, I love you. I love the memory of you and your sister in my womb.

Still, you are part of me.
Still, I am your mother and you are mine. My child.

As Lexi Behrndt from Scribbles & Crumbs so aptly said: “No passage of time will ever change this.” (Quote as I remember it…)

I love you. Full stop. 

¸.•´*¨`*•✿      ✿      ✿•*´¨*`•.¸

You also might like to read related articles by Nathalie:

Dear Child of Mine
It’s 3 Years Today…

¸.•´*¨`*•✿      ✿      ✿•*´¨*`•.¸

(Note: The English book Grieving Parents: Surviving Loss as a Couple’ has been released in its German translation (‘Trauernde Eltern: Wie ein Paar den Verlust eines Kindes überlebt’). This book has been writing in honour and memory of both of my daughters.)



  • Nathalie Himmelrich the author of a number of resource books for bereaved parents. As a relationship coach, grief recovery expert and bereaved mother herself she believes that relationships (intimate and to other support people) are the foundation for a healthy grieving experience. She is also the founder of the Grieving Parents Support (GPS) Network and the May We All Heal peer support group. Find Nathalie's books here: Nathalie Himmelrich or the Grieving Parents Support Network here: Grieving Parents


    • Phyllis Poole

      January 11, 2016 at 6:23 pm


      1. Nathalie Himmelrich

        January 13, 2016 at 9:03 am

        Thank you for your encouraging and positive comment, Phyllis 🙂

    • Nicole Haugh

      January 20, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Thank you for sharing this. On November 14, 2015, our nightmare happened. I lost my beautiful precious baby girl, Maia, who was one week away from turning 7 months. She passed in her sleep and we have been given the unforsakable horrible reason as SIDS. Gavin, her twin brother, and big sister Alina miss her everyday. I am so sad for Gavin and pray he leads a strong life and doesn’t feel the emptiness of loosing his twin sister. My older daughter Alina will be 3 next month. I pray everyday too for her and that she and Gavin have a wonderful bond and will also never feel the emptiness of loosing Maia. As for my husband and I…. well I have no words. I try to make it through each day for my children. Every second I miss my Maia. I see her through Gavin now. My husband and I are going to grief therapy and trying to do our best for each other and our children.

      1. Nathalie Himmelrich

        January 24, 2016 at 11:50 am

        I’m so sorry about the loss of Maia.
        I have a very close friend here where I live who has lost one of her twins through SIDS, more than 20 years ago… She was very helpful for me to have a perspective of a potential future with a twinless twin. My daughter is now 4 1/2 and has started expressing her grief very openly after she turned 4. Whatever the journey of the siblings is, it’s there. I do not have expectations either way and know that she will be able to process her part of the loss as much as I have.
        I’m glad to hear that you and your husband are going to grief therapy and I hope you have found a helpful and supportive therapist.
        You might want to check out my book Grieving Parents: Surviving Loss as a Couple if it feels right.
        All the best, Nathalie

        1. Nicole

          November 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm

          Thank you… it’s taken me a while to respond back as each day is just so awful. It will be one year on November 14th since I held and kissed my precious baby Maia. I just don’t know what to do. I miss my baby so much. My children are my only strength as I try to make each day special for them. My husband and I are doing our best for each other and our family. I will read your book… I hope it helps. Thank you again.

    • You Have Got To Be Strong Now | Still Standing Magazine

      February 3, 2016 at 10:12 am

      […] Learning to Live Without You Dear Child of Mine It’s 3 Years Today… […]

    • Zopiclone

      August 15, 2016 at 3:41 am

      Just remember when you re ignoring her, you re teaching her to live without you. – Thanks for that as I wouldn t be coping as well as I am now!

    Comments are closed.

    Prev Post Next Post