I have never been good at telling others what I need.
Losing my daughter complicated my ability to ask for help rather than sharpening it.
If I could have given myself one thing to get me through, when I stopped answering the phone and hoped no one would stop by, it would have been a voice to tell those closest to me what I will need most to get me through the days and years ahead…
I need to say her name without bringing everyone to tears.
I need her life to be included in the count of children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
I need kindness on birthdays and understanding on holidays.
I need to stay in bed and a reason to get out of it.
I need to talk endlessly and to let the phone ring.
I need an extra hug and respect for my space.
I need someone to ask how I’m doing and want to know the real answer.
I need careful announcements of pregnancies, baby showers, and births, mine did not turn out as I hoped.
I need a “handle with care” sticker for my heart, my emotions have been fragile since the day I said goodbye.
I need patience and reminders for my mind, part of it will always be somewhere else.
I need forgiveness for not being the friend, sister, daughter, and wife I used to be…
a lifetime is an impossibly long time to wait to hold my child again.
Diana is owner and editor-in-chief of Still Standing Magazine and blogs her own life story at Diana Wrote. She and her military retired husband have two girls and three sons who passed away after birth; Preston and Julian, identical twin boys who were born at 20 weeks, and Kaden, who unexpectedly had cardiomyopathy due to a rare virus called ciHHV-6. He died in her arms at 3 weeks old.
In 2014 she traveled with World Vision to learn about maternal health and infant mortality in Zimbabwe, and is now working on her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling. You can also find her work on Babble, Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post.