Three of my babies died. I miss them. I love them. I remember them — not that I’ve ever forgotten. It’s just that today, I am allowed to be a bereaved mother, to mourn, and to speak of the babies I carry in my heart. No one can tell me I need to move on, because today, on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I need to remember.
Really, this is my everyday. But especially today, I am honoring my Calvin, my Rainbow, and my Gaelen. I am remembering all babies who have died too soon, including those of relatives and friends. I am abiding by these families who must endure a lifetime of mousing.
To those who say not to let my grief define me, I say, “Why not?” Our everyday experiences shape who we are. So why not the extraordinary ones that rip our hearts open? A heart that knows mourning is tender not only to its own aching but to that of others. I think that’s a good thing.
Today marks 4 years and 3 months since Calvin’s birthday. Yes, I’m still counting. Yes, I’m still grieving. And, yes, I’m still standing, but a better person by having carried him.
Happy 51 months in heaven, Calvin. Because of you and your sisters, my broken heart has more to give.
This month, the 5th is special for several reasons:
- this is Calvin’s 50th month in heaven (that actually makes me want to cry, knowing how long it’s been since I’ve held him),
- it is International Bereaved Mothers Day, and
- it is the 1 year anniversary of Still Standing Magazine and the heavenly birthday of Fran’s (the magazine’s founder) daughter Jenna Belle
So, inspired by my Calvin, Rainbow, and Gaelen in heaven, in sisterhood with all of my fellow bereaved and infertile mothers, and in honor of all of the babies we’re missing, I created this card to share a small piece of what being a babyloss momma has come to mean to me:
It was not my choice to survive without you… So I choose to live and to honor you. I am still standing. (Crystal Theresa Zapanta)
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Dear Calvin, I love you so much my heart could burst. Though it’s been 50 long months since I last held you, sweet boy, I need to remember that it just means I’m 50 months much closer to heaven. I chose life for you, my son, and I continue to choose life for our family by honoring you and your sisters and by fully embracing this time on earth with your daddy and your baby brother, even as I ache for you.
Every time someone came up to Charlie while she was holding him, Nanay would say, “He doesn’t like you” (hindi ka niya gusto). I wish they could have had more time together in this world. (Posted via Instagram)