Post by Still Standing Contributor Amelia Kowalisyn of Emma’s Footprints
Does my grief make you uncomfortable? Me too.
On a daily basis, without the option of unfollowing it, ignoring it, avoiding it without a second thought. It’s a part of my everyday life. Every minute, every hour, every moment.
My grief that is because of my love for my child is always there.
I don’t bring up my daughter to make you squirm. I don’t bring her up for your sympathy, or maybe some days I do because this is heavy. My heart is heavier than most.
I talk about her; I include her because she’s my child. It’s as simple as that. I carried her. I gave birth to her, I held her, I sang to her, I loved her, and I will always love her because she’s a part of my very being.
Related: Being Your Own Advocate
I don’t ignore that she existed. I can’t pretend that I didn’t once have another child here in my arms. I won’t stop talking about her or including her in our family’s life because she matters.
I’m sorry if that makes you sad. If it makes you uncomfortable. If the thought of it makes you cringe, is too much for you, is something you cannot deal with. Because, although it may be hard for you to hear about, this is my reality.
This is my life.
It’s who I am now.
So, sit with me. Talk to me. Ask me how I’m doing on birthdays and holidays.
Say her name. Emma. Emma Rose.
My grief, child loss, isn’t something you can catch. It’s not a virus, a disease. It’s not a dirty subject to avoid. It’s not a reason to stop being my friend; it’s a reason to dig your feet into the ground and be a better friend. To show you care, to love me even at my worst.
Because thankfully you don’t, and hopefully never will, understand what I’ve been through and why I can never go back to who I once was. Why I never want to. Why there will always be the before Emma and after Emma line in my life, why just hearing her sweet name is so precious to my grieving heart.
So, the next time I talk about her, please rather than offering advice just let me be. Tell me your sorry. Let me know you care, that you too wish she was here with us.
Be the friend I so desperately need on days when my heart is overwhelmed. Honor her by speaking her name, honor our friendship by not avoiding my grief but embracing me for who I am now.
A mother who has a little girl in heaven.
But still her mother just the same.
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