To the one whose kindness was a beacon of hope in my despair,
You, my dear friend, my coworker, my family member, my online Facebook friend . . . even you, the stranger . . . you opened your eyes, and you saw the invisible me in the depths of pain from infertility and loss. And now I want to make sure your acts of love are not shrouded in the passage of time. I want your acts of support to be seen the way you made sure I was seen.
You spoke bravery to me when all I felt was weak. My life felt as though it were crumbling all around, with me crumbling on the inside, and yet you chose not to look away. Instead, you spoke to the many ways I still showed up to this life, and you called me brave. Thank you, dear friend.
You, my coworkers, who sent a teddy bear and flowers when you didn’t quite know what was happening but knew I needed a tangible offering of support right then and there. Thank you for showing up.
You who heard I was miscarrying yet again. You could have told me I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up after so many losses, but you didn’t. Instead, you brought joy in the form of flowers, food, and balloons — all dropped off on my front porch — honoring my need to hide from the world, but not so much that I felt alone. Thank you for your gifts.
You, in my mom’s group. When you heard I was going through an early loss, you brought me meals so I wouldn’t have to shop and cook. You let me cocoon in my little nest for a few days longer, and not have to brave the outside where there were grief triggers everywhere. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.
You, my online friend, when my post showed up in your newsfeed, you easily could have scrolled right by, but you stopped. Got uncomfortable. Recognized my hurt and pain, and you said something. Even if that something felt clumsy or not enough to you, you still stopped and acknowledged my loss. Thank you for choosing to see me.
You, nurses and doctors, who looked at me with compassion, not pity, when you heard how few births I had compared to how many times I’d fallen pregnant. Thank you for your care.
You who know me best: Thank you for taking me exactly as I am each and every day. For never demanding that I simply “get over it” or “move on.” But instead recognizing I’m a changed woman, a woman you love just the same. Thank you for graciously taking me however I come.
You, who say my babies’ names, who remember their dates, and who give me space to grieve as I need, or move forward as I need, I see you. And I thank you.
Going through my losses felt like hell sometimes. There were moments where hurt, anger and grief made me lose sight of the good and lovely in this world. Moments where I felt blinded by the sheer helplessness of it all. But as I look back, I clearly see when God parted the clouds of turmoil just enough to let some love and light through. You were that beam of light on the darkest days of my life. You reminded me there was — no, there IS — hope. Even still.
To you who whose kindness was a beacon of hope in my despair,
Thank you. I will never forget the support you showed me and my babies.
Has someone shown you kindness and support in the midst of your grief? Tell us about it in the comments below — or tag a friend and tell them how much their support has meant to you. And to all you support people out there — thank you on behalf of us all.
photo credit: Annie Spratt at Unsplash
Rachel Lewis is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. She lost her second baby she named Olivia to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, and had 4 miscarriages in the following 4 years. On the journey to becoming a family, she gave birth twice (once to a rainbow), adopted a precious daughter and fostered and released a darling son after a year and a half. When she’s not chauffeuring her kids around, you can find her shopping at Trader Joe’s, drinking coffee, or writing about her journey as a mom at www.TheLewisNote.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Thelewisnote. And join her online support group for bereaved and infertile mamas at Brave Mamas, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1657136001012257/