A few weeks ago I received the most lovely box from another Mama who lost her son Leo when he was just a few months old. And in the box were the sweetest little reminders, all yellow, as her boxes are lovingly called Leo’s Box of Sunshine. I actually put the bright yellow pinwheel that came in the box at my Kam’s resting place, with his temporary marker and teddy bears left for both his 2 month birthday and Valentines Day. There was also an amazing book inside of sweet Leo’s box, titled, You Are the Mother of all Mothers. I’m not sure why I put off reading it for so long, but I did. I guess there was just such a finality to the book, and reading it. Funny huh? How I can visit my baby’s grave without a second thought, but the idea of reading this 24 page book had the ability to bring me to my knees.
But I did read it. Finally. And the tears flowed freely. Every single word, every letter, every small punctuation hit me like the bitter smoothness of an ice cold glass of bourbon on the lips of a recovering alcoholic. I suppose I am in a sort of recovery as well. Even as I write this, knowing that today is the day that my son should be 3 months old. But instead he’s forever frozen in time. 16 days old, in a stupid white box. But in this book, this 24 page masterpiece, Angela Miller so eloquently sums up the ultimate mind fuck that it is to lose your child.
It takes invincible strength to mother a child you can no longer hold, see, touch or hear.
I see you walking this path of life you’ve been given, where every breath and step apart from your child is a physical, emotional, and spiritual battleground. A fight for your own survival. A fight to quiet the insidious lies.
Besides the ultimate anger that I feel for having my son’s life cut entirely too short, I’m also just down right livid when I think of my own innocence that’s been stolen. The innocence and the excitement that it is to bring a new life into this world. And what it means to take this amazing new soul home from the hospital. While most parents are high on love, and full of new hopes and dreams when this moment happens, all I can feel is impending doom. I cannot express the insane amount of love and excitement I felt to put my Kammy in his car seat for the very first time, and have his Daddy drive us home. After 9 days in the NICU we were finally free! We were finally going home to meet his big sister Lola, and start this new life, as our own new little family. What a perfect moment this was. And now as a living, breathing, albeit against my own wills, survivor of child loss, I know that this is a feeling that I will never get to experience again. And that just pisses me off to no end.
But I do allow myself to wonder how it must feel to never have lost a child. I bet that’s the most amazing feeling there is. And that’s a feeling that I’ll never know. That’s been forever stolen from me. Stolen from me with my first child. My first and only pregnancy. And I’m only 26. That leaves a whole helluva lot more years for me to have to suffer through what’s become this miserable existence. And oh how I long for the days of my own naïveté, and thinking that something this heavy could never touch me or my family. But touched us it has. HARD. There are days when it’s all I can do to drag my lifeless self out of bed in the morning. And days when simply making it to the Kuerig for another cup of coffee is a true and legitimate victory.
I suppose right now that’s what I have to look forward to. These small victories. Like knowing I’m so exhausted from an unusually eventful weekend, that I’ll pass out at soon as I press post.
2 thoughts on “You Didn’t Fail, Not Even a Little”
“It takes invincible strength to mother a child you can no longer hold, see, touch or hear. ”
Wow! This sums up the experience of losing a baby profoundly. It’s such an isolating pain that it’s hard to imagine anyone else understanding and, this author clearly does.
I am sorry for your loss. I just want to encourage you to remain open/honest with yourself and those who matter to you. The healing has began. The small victories will become bigger ones soon.
Thank you for the encouragement Elle! I really am just trying to focus on the small wins or the small things, like my coworker bringing me my favorite latte coincidentally on the morning I didn’t have time to stop for my own coffee.
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