After we welcomed twin daughters in August, my husband and I realized that our home was becoming a bit crowded. One of my concerns about placing our house for sale was having to remove all of my photos and décor.
I didn’t want to depersonalize our house just to sell it, in case the home didn’t sell and we were stuck living in a house that no longer felt like our home.
Thankfully, our realtor advised that she thinks people enjoy seeing the photos of family throughout a home when they are looking to buy.
As you know when you list your home, you need to leave the house for showings. Luckily for me, I have “nanny” cameras in my home.
During the showings, I found myself watching and listening to the potential buyers as they toured my house, while I sat in a parking lot with my 5-month-old twins and a 10-pound dog in the car.
Listening to them “connect” the dots and make hypotheses about my family’s story warmed my heart.
In one of our first showings, I watched as a young, expectant couple toured our home.
The husband commented that he understood why we were selling (as he looked at the two jumpers in our living room), “They have three children and clearly the babies are only going to get bigger.”
They assumed our third bedroom was an older child’s room.
They didn’t even make the connection that we had lost a child.
To this couple, we weren’t parents mourning the loss of one child while raising two others; we were just a family who had three children, three LIVING children, that needed more space.
It made me so happy. I assumed that anyone walking through our home could tell we lost a child.
But not this couple.
To them, we were just a “normal” family with three kids.
It was nice to be that family for a little bit in the eyes of these strangers.
How I wish that was our reality.
I have a small chalkboard in our kitchen. On February 20, 2017, when we returned home from the hospital without our son, I wrote on that chalkboard “I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart.”.
It hasn’t been touched or erased in two years. (I can’t bring myself to change it.)
During one of the showings, while her client was outside, I heard the realtor say my son’s name as she read our chalkboard.
She said his name two more times as she toured the rest of the home. The connection had been made that we lost a child.
She read the name with a tone of sadness, but she still said his name.
To any loss mama, hearing their child’s name is music to their ears.
Each time she said his name, I smiled.
Throughout several of the showings, the potential buyers hypothesized about our loss.
Almost all of those that made the connection that we lost a child assumed that we had triplets and lost one of them.
I never expected that conjecture to be made, yet when I look at it as an outsider, it seems like a reasonable assumption.
Our family photo hangs above the television with us, our newborn daughters, and a picture of their older brother. The nursery has letters hanging with our daughter’s names and also one for our son.
The truth is I had made his letter before he was born to announce his name to the world. I had it hanging in his nursery before we came home from the hospital with empty arms.
I couldn’t pack it away when we changed his room around for his little sisters, so I made sure to incorporate it.
But strangers don’t know that backstory, they merely see these clues and try to piece together our story.
When I decided to be a stalker and watch real-life House Hunters with my own home, I assumed people would figure out that we had lost a child and recently had twins.
I never anticipated the different theories that would arise regarding our life.
Each one warmed my heart because my son was being discussed. He was being acknowledged, and his name was being said.
As a loss mother, that’s all I ever want. I want my missing child to be recognized and remembered.
Also, the “taboo” topic of infant loss was being brought to the attention of several people, who may not have realized how prevalent it is.
I like to think that they walked away from the showings with a bit more empathy for loss parents and with the name of a special little boy on their mind.