Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's not a cage, it's an open gate.

This is going to be an odd blog to write, mostly because I don't quite know how to string the words together, but if I don't write it down, I won't be able to sleep at night.

I've had several well meaning wonderful people make comments to me about grieving and while they meant well, their words hurt. And, what with hormones and all, they hurt and they made me angry and made my fellow loss Mamas angry and it was an ugly situation.

So, I'm going to explain something.

I entered my first pregnancy totally innocent and ignorant. I smiled easily and never thought that anything bad could happen. I was in an awesome relationship and I thought we were invincible.

May 17, 2005 was frightening and horrific and terrible and awful and every bad thing you can think of. I won't go into detail, but if you've ever suffered a pregnancy loss, or a loss of any kind, you will know what I mean when I say it messes you up.

The aftermath of that day was probably worse. I never spoke about her. EVER. I stopped sleeping well. I picked fights with my (then) boyfriend (now my husband) over stupid things. I couldn't look at the kitchen floor for too long without having a panic attack. Pregnant women made me angry.

And then I got pregnant. Anyone who says that a subsequent child makes everything better is WRONG. so very very wrong. My pregnancy was frightening. I refused to buy baby clothes because I just knew I would lose this girl too. If not for my Dad and for Gabe, Ella would have come home in her hospital onesie.

And then Ella was born. My rainbow. I remember hyperventilating when she was born because she wouldn't cry, and thinking "I knew it. I knew this would happen." And then she cried. And it was amazing, and I wouldn't take a million dollars for that sound. And then I realized the date. May 17, 2006. And I had a moment where a cold wind blew through me and I thought, "My God, how unfair. My biggest loss and my greatest joy. On the same day."

And then I locked up my loss in a dark dark corner and never thought one bit about the girl I lost. Until one horrible night in late November, where I screamed some terrible things to my husband and slammed a door. And so we lived, with that unspoken shadow over our little family, until the following Christmas.

And then I was asked to decorate some ornaments with names. And I picked a name. A name for the sweet girl who never took a breath. Riley Grace. While my Mom didn't see it fit to hang that ornament on her tree, I hung it on mine.
And the story came out. I spoke her name. And it lifted the weight from my heart. Others came to me and asked me to make an ornament for their lost child.

Once I talked about her, I couldn't stop. I met people from all over the world, and even people in my town. I've cried with friends, I've cried with total strangers at the grocery. I've spoken the names of so many babies. So many little souls.

I hugged a stranger at the cemetery once. I heard the story of a stillborn boy named Miguel from his aunt. I met a girl on a bus once, who had lost her son at 6 months gestation. I held the hand of an 80 year old woman whose daughter would be 60. I opened my door at midnight for a friend going through her own terrible loss. I sat on the steps at 3 a.m. crying for the daughter of another friend.

I miss my daughter. Oh, my God. How I miss her. Yes, she is in heaven. No, she doesn't know pain. But, God made us with souls and the ability to feel. God made us with emotions.

Yes, I may go on sometimes about how much I miss her and how much it hurts. But it doesn't ALWAYS hurt.

Losing her broke my heart into a million pieces, but it brought me something so much bigger than me. It's put people in my life that have changed me for the better. It's made me into a better person. It's given me the courage to be there for people. To comfort.

Grief is not my cage. It's my open gate.


  1. Oh sis.... I love you... and Riley... and Ella... and heck even Gabe's goofy butt... I can not even begin to explain how much you and Riley and Ella have helped me to heal... How much you have brought to our lives... Earlier today me and the boys actually were able to have a conversation about their siblings and how they thought it would have been awesome to do a road trip with 23 people and 2 dogs lol (yes they are as crazy as we are sis!) but if not for your myspace page and you listening to me when I was about to lose my mind over Sora... It would have never been possible... I would probably be in a mental hospital from a complete and total psychotic break from my grief that I felt I was wrong to feel so I shoved it down as far as I could until it would just come bursting out randomly... When we began talking I still couldn't go to the baby or the kids section for clothes at walmart without running out crying... You have allowed me to let myself be okay with being sad and happy at the same time and for that I can not ever thank you enough... I'm so sorry for the book here but I just... I want to make sure you know just how much you guys mean to me and Steve and even though he pokes fun at you sometimes... You have helped him too... the way he dealt with the loss of Jessica Rose, Daniel Miguel and Christopher Matthew... Was night and day to with Michael Jonathon and Genivive Elizabeth and Sora Saline... I can't explain just how much your talks with him have softened his heart to my pain and how much more supportive he has become as a result... You and Riley were the best gift our family could have EVER welcomed into our lives and I am forever grateful that you are my sis <3

  2. Very well said....Love and prayers