A while ago, I was asked to write a guest post at Glow in the Woods. Kate of Sweet l Salty and a Glow in the Woods contributor asked me based (partially) on the fact that I’m more than six years out from the death (and birth) of my first baby.
I am constantly sobered and heart-broken over the fact that a site like Glow in the Woods needs to exist. There are new babylost parents out there every day. When I stumble across another mother or father who has lost a baby, I want to reach out to them. Kate asked me what I would tell a newly bereaved parent. What I will tell every newly bereaved parent.
Given the depth of talent and moving writing on tap at Glow in the Woods, I just want to add that I am terribly humbled by my inclusion. I have not examined my loss (except as a reader of other Glow in the Woods contributors) through Buddhism, for example. I find Chris’ contributions especially helpful; in his words I recognize what happened (is happening) behind my husband’s eyes from that day and forward. I don’t know that I’ve ever thanked him for that. (Thank you, Chris.)
And thank you, Kate. For even considering me worthy of writing at Glow in the Woods. That my writing attracted the attention of such an amazing writer as you is honor enough.
10 thoughts on “Over Here”
Beautiful words, RPM. Absolutely beautiful.
Thanks, Kim. I appreciate it.
Wow. You had alluded to some of this, but I didn’t know Gabriel’s story. I think (hope?) that with the sadness comes strength: a strength that doesn’t make it easier, but makes it possible to live, grow, love again, even knowing “you will never get over this.”
The whole story’s around this blog somewhere. Don’t read it until the Bun comes along, eh?
It is strength. I think any type of adversity — providing you survive it, mentally, physically, emotionally — results in strength. My husband, and eventually my girls, have helped. Immeasurably.
I was excited when I saw that you were the guest contributor. I love your perspective and it gives me much hope. It was a longer wait than normal for a new topic so I’ve been waiting. I like going to the message board, but sometimes I need a more down-the-line sort of perspective. A little less dim than those of us in the trenches, so to speak. We need real affirmation that things will be okay in the long run. We all have good and bad moments but knowing that eventually they will level out to a bittersweet sort of happiness is enough to keep me going. Thank you.
I’m glad I am able to help in whatever small little way. In those early days if someone had dared to tell me that I was going to be all right, I would have been so angry — not because I didn’t believe him or her, but because I didn’t want to be all right. I wanted to wail and cry and be angry and lost. That’s why it was so refreshing when my uncle said, “You won’t get over this.” And it’s all right. It’s all right to carry this for the rest of your life.
After he and his wife buried their son, he went on to dance at his other children’s weddings. He welcomed grandchildren into the world. He never turned away from life. Yes, he carries his grief. It doesn’t carry him.
You will be okay. The hurt will cease to be so terribly fresh and raw. You will be all right.
My thoughts are with you.
Something that stuck with me was when my dad looked at me at Olivia’s memorial service and said, “It will get better with time,” and then he looked down, shook his head and said, “but I don’t know.”
I was just so moved by how my dad must’ve felt when he realized he couldn’t help me this time. I don’t know, I just felt like it was okay for me to feel as shitty as I did. That’s when it dawned on me how big this was or something.
I felt terrible for my parents. Gabriel would have been their third grandson. I could see how happy my mom was FOR ME. That I had found a man who loved me, and now we were going to be a family of three, and then it all came crashing down. I could see how very badly it hurt them, not just the loss of Gabriel, but the devastation of their daughter.
They have since marveled at the fact that Dan and I have “moved forward”. Not on, but forward. And they still acknowledge Gabriel, sometimes on his day, sometimes at Christmas, or on Mother’s Day. It’s been another balm to my pain.
Without a doubt, the death of a child hurts that child’s parents most of all. But it also hurts others. Some are able to move on, to get over it. And some move forward, instead. For the parents.
It is a beautiful post. Thank you for writing it, RPM. xoxo
Thanks, Heather. Thanks for reading. xoxo, right back at you.