I made the very conscious decision last night to post an incredibly raw and real moment to my Instagram account. It wasn’t for shock value, I’ve never been a big fan of that. And it wasn’t for likes, or comments, or even support. Though of course the support is always so so welcome. It was because I don’t think it’s fair for me to try and share my story, my son’s story, but only show you half of it. I tend to stay away from the messy, the overtly sad, and especially disheartening. There’s a reason for that, specifically on social media sites where I don’t know the majority of my ‘friends’ in real life, or at least real life since high school or early college days.
But, sometimes, and specifically lately, I just feel like my heart can’t be silent. About a lot of things. About everything. Even now, scrolling through my news feed I saw the story regarding a country singer and his wife who just lost their baby girl a week after birth. But most people won’t see this. Or they won’t read it or acknowledge it. And I was guilty of this before losing Kam. Because no one wants to acknowledge that babies die. It’s not natural. It’s not comfortable. It’s not anything that anyone wants to validate. But alas, babies do die. Every single day. More than one a day. More than 100 a day. So why are we so quiet about this? Why do we shout from the rooftops regarding breast cancer, which is survivable. And no, I’m not taking away from any horrible disease. But why are so comfortable talking about things like that, that do have a high survival rate, and we shy away from child loss?
And call me biased, I certainly am. But I will talk about this. I need to talk about this. For myself. And for all of the other mothers who haven’t been able to find their voice yet after they were forced to say goodbye to their child. Forever. Not goodbye for the day, for school, for summer camp. But for always.
So then I thought, this needs to change. To be changed. For me. For my son. For every other parent who has had to said goodbye to their future when they said goodbye to their baby.
That’s when I realized I wanna make a difference
Change other people’s lives, give hope, even for a moment
Use my name for good and change the game, I could.
So last night, I posted the messy. I posted the tears. The redness. The makeup-less. I posted everything that child loss is, summed up into one picture. The response was deafening, in a good way. I think a lot of people just assume you’re doing better because you can function like a ‘normal’ human being again when you’re out in public. Or because you can force a smile, or even sometimes let a real one spread across your lips. And don’t get me wrong, we live for those simple moments. The ones that remind us that there is still hope. But even that’s messy.
Life, love, moving forward, looking back, grieving with hope – it’s all so incredibly messy
“People tell me all the time that they can’t imagine what it’s like to loose a child, so I decided the capture the very raw moment. Of what it’s like. What it is. When your shower becomes your refuge and allows you to break down daily with no judgement given. Just the fresh smell of your body wash mixed with the salt from your tears. Coming together to drown your body in a bittersweet release in preparation for the next day’s coming war. When the tub becomes the safest place to fall to your knees and let go of those guttural cries that could cut steal. The place where the most honest conversations with God are had, and you allow yourself to let the anger and emptiness flow freely.
-For you it’s just a shower. A means to a clean body. For me it’s the only way left to cleanse my soul, and bleed my spirit.”