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 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.