3 years ago today, I was labouring to deliver my stillborn daughter. I was frightened, overwhelmed, traumatized, and heartbroken. It hurts to think about it.
Shortly after I gave birth to my stillborn daughter Mia, my husband and I were given the difficult task of picking a place to scatter her ashes. And though this task was both tragic and morbid, we somehow found ourselves embracing it for what it was. We knew that this would be one of the only things we get to do for our daughter as her parents. All our other parental responsibilities that we so longingly dreamed about, were stolen from us.
Cultivating and designing a worthy life is a balance of the goodness you infuse it with, along with the boundaries you place that protect your joy. I thought I would share with you some of the things I decided to stop doing, which I have found to be just as critical as the things I do do.
You’re a sky full of stars,
I’m gonna give you my heart,
you’re a sky, you’re a sky full of stars,
because you light up the path,
I don’t care, go on tear me apart,
I don’t care if you do,
Because in a sky full of stars,
I think I saw you.
(A sky full of stars – Coldplay)
When I was pregnant with Reya, I attended the high risk maternity clinic every 1-2 weeks. During one of these appointments, as I walked down the hallway, I saw that the door to one of the examination rooms was open. Inside, there was a couple; the woman was sobbing into her hands, her husband’s eyes were dark and wet, and he was holding her.
I felt that woman’s pain that day, and I will always feel her pain. Because I was her, not too long ago. And I am coming to realize that no matter how much time passes, I will never be too far from that pain. The pain of losing your child.
I seem to have come down with the flu. I’m disappointed because I had so much work I was supposed to do today and now the thought of reading a textbook and answering question banks seems a little out of my reach for now.
Instead, I thought, maybe I should curl back up in bed and write to you. It’s been a while, and I am sorry for that. This whole year has been such a big beautiful mess. I haven’t much felt like myself a lot of the time. More like – carving a new/old self out of whatever remained after my daughter died.
One thing I have been throughout this year, however – is present. Life forced me to be. I can’t be anywhere else but now. I can’t be any way else but this.
I am pregnant again. I had shared the news of this pregnancy a few weeks ago on instagram, so this may not be new to you.
But it has been 28 weeks of growing a little sister for Mia.
I’m finding it difficult to write these days. This month of June is a heavy one for me, because it is the month that would have been my daughter Mia’s due date, on the 22nd. My sadness disguises itself as many different things, and my grief twists its way around everything I touch. I sit down every morning to write to you, but no words come.
So instead, please join me as I revisit memories of a warm, cloudy afternoon in May.
Three sisters and our dog, playing by the small trickling stream, stepping on slippery rocks, wetting our feet in the cold water.
Holding hands and running through the hills made of long, long grass.
And walking bravely at the edge of it all – where the blue mountains meet the sky.
“Nature is a woman’s best friend. If you are having troubles, just swim in the water, stretch out in a field, or look up at the stars. That’s how a woman cures her fears.”
We are daughters of the woods.
We are daughters of the earth.
I consider myself a fortunate person with a blessed life.
But I have been both the giver and receiver of lemons.
And I guess losing our daughter was a lemon. I think we can all agree on that.
But no matter what happens to me in my life, no matter what experiences I am thrown into, I have the opportunity to ask myself these questions;
in your 6 months of life you changed everything
you made a girl into a mother
a man into a father,
you turned two into three,
you showed me life,
you showed me death,
you are as close to me as you are far
with only one infuriating inch of space that separates us
and even though I am a mother who has to understand
that your journey in this life was a short one,
I can’t help but wish that you were in my life
instead of all around it.