Thursday, 25 October 2012


I was waiting for the day, anticipating it.
I knew it was coming, but the when escaped me. But when it did come, I wasn't nearly as prepared for it as I once thought I would be.
It was well meant, a comment from my mother. I know she only cares about me, that she hates to see this grief destroy me. She doesn't understand this grief. She's watched her child sick, clinging to life, this is true. I was a sick child, nearly dying many times. But she never watched her child die.
She asked me when I was planning on going back into the world.
I haven't been around people since her death. I've gone grocery shopping, watched children for friends so they could re-connect with their spouses, gone to family dinners and Thanksgiving celebrations. I've done all of this without her.
I haven't gone back to the place where all my friends meet on Friday evenings to talk and laugh. I haven't done that without her yet. I don't know if I can.
But my mother asks me when I will return. She plans my schedule. "You'll go the beginning of November," She declares.
I try to argue my way out of it.
"I have friends," I say, making reference to the other people who work at my job, referencing my parents and my siblings and my extended family and my husband and his extended family.
"I go out," I say, making reference to the groceries I get and the job I must go to and even that one time I went to my friend's baby shower.
"I'm not a hermit," I say, justifying watching television for hours as an activity.
"I went out today. I went shopping, with you. We went out for lunch and I bought a new sweater," I tell my mother.
"You need to get out and see your friends, people your own age. You need to accept that this is the way your life is going to be," She says gently.
And I know she's right. No amount of seclusion will bring back my daughter.
I have been avoiding them, these friends of mine, the people I used to get together and laugh with and talk with. I can't laugh anymore. I can't talk about simple little things anymore.
Ever since the death of my little girl, they haven't said a word to me. I know they know. I think they just expect me to be ok, to be over it. After all, she was sick, so sick.
They didn't know her like I did.
Maybe they just don't know what to say, I wonder. Maybe my grief is scary for them, and they don't know how to handle it. Maybe, I think, I haven't given them the chance.
I'm not the same woman I was before the most precious thing I was ever given left. I don't know how to accept that the one thing I wanted more then anything else is gone. I didn't know I wanted her so badly until she was gone. Now it's all I can think about.
I wonder how long it will be before I can go and be with my friends, go out on a Friday night, listen to people talk and laugh even if I am still unable to join in the talking and the laughing.

Isolation, I am in isolation. I don't like being in isolation, it's awful lonely here. I don't know how to do anything else, though. I don't know who to be. I need to get out, I know I do. I need to get out of my house, change out of the yoga pants I've been wearing for 3 days straight, shower, go see people. I have people counting on me, people who need me, I don't have the privelege of dying along side my little girl.
I know I need to get out, need to rejoin the world of the living. But I feel like I don't belong there anymore. I feel torn between 2 worlds. While part of me wants to get out and be around people another part of me just wants to lock myself away. I don't know how to live without her.
How long will I be stuck between 2 worlds? How long will it be before I can go out and listen to people talk and laugh and not burn with anger? How long will I be stuck in isolation? How long until I accept that this is my reality, that she's never coming back?
How long? How long? How long?

Thursday, 18 October 2012


I don't have long to write so this won't be something eloquent and beautiful.
No, this is the short ramblings of a woman who thinks she just might be going crazy...

I was watching my friend's son tonight so she and her husband could have a date night. Why I get myself in to these things, I don't know. Her son is 2, and the cutest little thing ever.
His blonde puff of hair smelled like shampoo, and he crawled right into my lap.
As we read stories, I heard the words I was longing to hear cross his lips... "Mama"
They were words that didn't belong to me, they don't belong to me, not now.
I don't look anything like his mother. Where she is blonde, I have brown hair now. Where she is tall and willowy, I am short and can't seem to get rid of the few extra pounds I gained while pregnant.
As we had snack, as I tucked him in to bed, he kept whispering the words, "Mama, mama." When he wanted to get my attention he would tap my arm, "Mama!" he would exclaim.
He said them like the words belonged to me.
Not your mama, I thought, not anyone's mama anymore.
I tucked him in to bed, sang to him, watched him close his eyes and drift off to sleep.
It made me think of everything I will miss. I'll never get to tuck Mia in to bed, never get to sing her to sleep. She'll never call me mama.
It hurts to think of all of the things I'll miss, how I'll never get to do those things with her mothers are supposed to do.
I have a friend whose daughter is adopted. She got to be a mother without ever giving birth. I gave birth... and never got to be a mother.
Oh, what I would give just to hear my little girl call me mama.
just. once.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Oh Baby

Today was Infant Loss Rememberance Day. Today was also the day of my good friend's baby shower.
I was conflicted, these 2 important events crossing. I wanted to go to my friend's shower, but this would mean missing the 7 o'clock wave of light... and lighting a candle for my baby girl as well as the children of other wonderful ladies I've met through this blog, and places like Glow.
I decided to go to my friend's shower, hoping somebody else out there remembered to think of my Mia as they were lighting a candle tonight. I knew she would be in my mind, even if there was no candle lit in her memory.
My friend's baby daughter was born 2 days before I lost Mia. We were pregnant together, our girls were going to go to kindergarten together. Her daughter came home from the hospital wrapped in a little pink blanket... and mine came home in a box.
Even in the newness of her daughter, this friend has still been amazing to me after my loss. The very day I lost Mia, she sent me an email, letting me know how sorry she was and that she was thinking of me. She's listened to me cry as I talked about Mia, and life after her, and she's given me hugs that make me feel like - just for a minute - I'm breathing oxygen again. She understood why I wept as I held her baby for the first time.
A few weeks after losing Mia, I went to babysit for her and her husband while they went out. Their baby wasn't there, but their oldest daughter was. We laughed and played pretend, and after I had tucked her off to bed, I creapt through her baby room, running my fingers over the tiny hats my daughter would have been wearing, breathing in the baby scent that lingered in the room.
So tonight was her baby shower, and I went. I'm glad I did.
There were a few women there with newborns, besides my friend, and a couple more that were pregnant. I thought I would have a harder time, but I didn't really.
I laughed and talked. My friend asked if I wanted to hold her baby. I did, I held her sweet, darling girl. I thought of Mia, and how these two would have been friends. With Mia's locket around my neck and my friend's daughter in my arms, it didn't feel strange. I didn't wish my daughter was here instead of...
This friend hasn't been anything but kind to me over the last month, and if anyone, she is the one who understands me the most.
She, with her arms full of baby, waking up every couple hours during the night to nurse, a sleep deprived mama. Her friendship is something I couldn't do without.
So I held her daughter. My arms that normally ache over being empty were finally content, holding a little one.
I expected it to be a lot worse then it was, but it wasn't that bad. It was bitter sweet.

I remembered all of your babies tonight, the ones gone too soon. I was sending love to all the brave mama's out there tonight, the mama's who encourage me, pick me up when I fall and make me believe that I'm brave too.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Locket

Shortly after Mia died, I got this locket.
I had almost forgot about it until a few days ago, misplaced it under stacks of mail.
So this morning, I gently opened the locket.
Inside, I placed a few of Mia's ashes, and a little note, her name in neat little letters.
A M E L I A  M A E
Somehow that little locket reminds me of poetry. I like the poetry meaning behind it.

I carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
I am never without you (anywhere I go, you go, my dear, and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                     I fear
No fate (For you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
And it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called Life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
And this is the wonder that is keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

My Truth

I was planning on telling more of her story tonight - my sweet Mia - my Amelia Mae (Yes, her full name is Amelia Mae, but we call her Mia for short.)
Last night, on the one month anniversary, I wasn't planning on writing a letter, or lighting a candle. but I did. As I wrote in my journal, I began to write a letter to the one who will never be. I told her what I can remember about the day she was born. I started the letter out with the words, "I wish I had more stories to tell." Oh how I wish I had more stories to tell, that I had payed attention to every tiny detail when I was pregnant with her. Instead, I shrugged it off, assuring myself I would have plenty of time to enjoy this when she was born. I was sick during my pregnancy - some days unable to get up out of bed. I was miserable. I was going to enjoy it when she was born. Oh but how I wish I had taken more time to remember when she was alive, safe inside of me. oh how I wish...
But that wasn't why I was going to write here tonight. Tonight anyway, I am not going to share the story of my daughter's birth. Maybe one day...
The last few days, I've been thinking a lot about my truth. I've been reading many blogs, from other baby loss mama's, finding comfort in the words they wrote and in knowing they are steps ahead of me, that they made it through these dark days too.
Every time I try to whisper her name out loud, my brain jumps in, "Liar! She wasn't real!"
I can't silence this awful voice as it hisses at me.
Over and over, every time this voice speaks in my head, I am finding myself whispering these words, "She was real to me. I love her, I miss her. She was my truth."
And she was my truth.
My truth is this: I am young. I am not an experienced mama, I don't have any other children. And I don't know why i feel as if that is impotent, but tonight it is. I was a young mama, but I had no doubt in my mind what I wanted. I wanted her. From the moment I found out, I dreamt of the day of her birth. I imagined the joy I would feel as I held her for the first time, the rosy pink babe, the gleeful mama. I never imagined I would lose her, that instead of a crying baby, I would give birth to a dead one.
Maybe this isn't making any sense tonight. I just wanted to share a little bit of my truth, for you to know a little bit about who I am.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

One month

Today marks one month
One month, I am realizing, is a conflicting time. I am still in shock, and I know this. I am still believing maybe she'll come back, that I'll wake up this morning and it will all have been a dream. I know that won't happen... but a part of me hopes.
I hate month one. I believe I will hate every month, but this first month has been exhausting. It's been filled with getting her ashes, creating a little space for her on my bookshelf (Can you believe everything I have of her fits on one shelf?)
I am longing for the day when I won't feel quite so numb, when I will actually feel something recognisable instead of this vague, grey fog.

This morning was like every other morning- except that it wasn't. I knew in my mind that I had lost Mia a month ago today, that today should be a big day for me, but in all honesty it wasn't.
I took my younger sister to get her braces on. I went grocery shopping, and went to my class. I filled out papers and cooked dinner.
I dressed in all black today. Maybe I did it on purpose, or maybe it just happened. All that black didn't seem to be enough. Inside, I wanted to scream. I wanted to tell the receptionist at the orthodontist's office and the clerk at the grocery store, "It's been a month!" As if they would know what that meant.
While my sister was getting her braces on, I went to the nearest Walmart. I wandered the aisles, filling my cart with things I needed and things I didn't. Bananas, Cereal, Noodles, Milk. And then it caught my eye, that little box on the shelf.
In a split second, I decided to make a change, to lose my blond hair and trade it in for something different. This would be a transforming moment, I told myself. This would mean getting rid of the hair that had witnessed my little girl's life, and death. In doing this, maybe I subconsciously hoped I could lose the grief as well.
I came home and I longed to feel something besides this scratching beneath my skin.
I realized I can barely remember what it was like to hold her in my arms. I don't feel like that girl anymore - like her mother. I can't remember what it was like to be that girl. I don't know who I am.
This evening I dyed my hair. Where there once was blond there now is auburn. When I look in the mirror, it still surprises me.
About a week after losing Mia, I was planning on lighting a candle for her tonight, writing a letter, doing all that after grief crap. I couldn't do it. I wanted to, I wanted to do this for her, but I can't. I can't write her a letter and light a candle when all I want to do is close my eyes and go back to a time when she was alive.

One month in, and I expected it to be different. I expected to cry, when in truth, I have only cried a few times since her death. I don't feel like her mother. I can't remember what she felt like. I hate it that I can't remember. I want to feel something other then this scratching under the surface of my skin, the howling of my heart. Like a wolf howling in the moonlight, I am howling for something I have lost. But she's not coming back.
Who am I now?

Monday, 8 October 2012


Today was thanksgiving, my sweet.
Today, I woke up, not at all feeling grateful. What did I have to be grateful for? It's been exactly 4 weeks since I lost you, my heart was broken.
My heart was beating loudly in my ears, echoing the news that I was alive. I was still here, 4 weeks after you. Sometimes I dream of heaven, of a time when we'll be together again, when I will finally be complete, not walking around with this gaping hole in my chest, learning to adjust to this new life I have been thrust in to. It's not that I'm suicidal, or that I want to die... I just don't know how to live without you, my girl.
But I got up, and I help both prepare the Thanksgiving meal, and I rolled cutlery in napkins and I stacked paper plates. And then my mom asked me to set out your flower.
It was a lily your grandma had bought for you a few days ago. I smile to myself as I notice the lily becoming a bit of a tradition - I got a tiger lily when my grandmother died, because they were her favorite, and I got an easter lily when my friend, who was like a big brother to me, passed away, and now you have a lily too, Mia girl.
So I set it out on the table. Whenever I looked at it, I was filled with peace, that you were here, even if it wasn't the way I had expected. Instead of being in my arms and filling my heart with joy and relief over your arrival, you were here in the presence of a flower, my heart filled with longing and sorrow.
Today was thanksgiving, and I found something to be thankful for, because even though I didn't have you, I had much.
I have my family, gathered around me, laughing over card games gone wild
I have the memories of you. Oh how I wish I'd had more time, that I'd gotten to hold you just one time, to feel the weight of you in my arms before you were taken away. Instead I only know you from the inside out, and only I know the secrets, like the way you danced inside of me, the way you gave me hope, the way I loved you, those secrets are only mine to cherish
I have life, a beating heart, lungs that breathe in air.
I have the promise that one day I will be complete again
After the festivities had ended I snuck down to the basement and cried, because I lost you, my girl. Because I don't know who I am in a world without you, because life is going on without you.
Tonight the pain isn't overwhelming. The grief isn't so much a part of me i can't tell the difference between Emily and Grief anymore.
It is just there, the still dull ache that comes with the knowledge that you are gone. It is sweetened by gratitude, though.
Can I close my eyes and pray it will last? Pray that soon the grief will be over and I can learn how to live again. Some part of me knows it won't, that I'm only 4 weeks in, that soon it will come back and I will ache strongly once again. Maybe I can be foolish for just one night and believe it won't. Maybe for one night I can taste the sweetness and not the pain.
Maybe for just one night I can utter the words, "I love you," And not cry because you're gone.
I love you, Mia, I love you so so much.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Peeking Around

Today was family pictures.
In less then a week it will have been one month since I lost my Mia.
It didn't feel right smiling without her. It didn't feel right pasting on a paper smile and pretending everything is fine.
I feel like a paper sparrow, the one who was supposed to fly and ended up being made of paper - unable to lift herself off the ground.
This is my journey, the story of coming back to life after losing Mia, and maybe one day even learning to fly again.
September 10 I lost Mia, September 10 my baby died and my world came tumbling in around me.
I knew she was going to die before she did, so why does it hurt so bad? Why has the world only stopped for me? Why is everyone else talking and smiling and laughing when everything feels like it's made out of paper.
Feel free to follow me as I embrace this new journey, and try to figure out how to live my life after Mia.