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)
Please feel free to tag yourself and your loved ones and to share this via the photo on Facebook. You may also use this image on your own site/blog using the code below (please do not alter the image):
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)
Please just say…
- I don’t know what to say: It’s honest. It shows you know the significance of what happened and that there really are no adequate words.
- I am sorry: Simple and sincere goes a long way.
- You’re in my thoughts/prayers: Knowing we are held in your thoughts and lifted up in your prayers means a lot.
- I love you: A reminder that you care makes grief less lonely.
- ((hug)): Loving touch is incredibly healing and can convey much more than platitudes.
- Tell me about your babies: Speaking of my babies is one of the few ways I can still connect with them. Just as other moms like to talk about their living children, so it is with my babies in heaven.
- I may not understand, but I’m here: You can’t know this pain unless you’ve gone through it, and even then each loss is different. Just knowing you will bear witness to this journey is enough.
- I love/miss them, too and I’ll remember: One of my fears is that my babies will be forgotten. Please let me know that you care for them. Please tell me when you think of them.
- You are a mother: One of the most comforting things is validation of the parent-child relationship. Death does not change the fact that I carried their little lives in my womb.
- *tears*: It’s okay to cry with me. I know how badly it hurts.
- CALVIN, RAINBOW, GAELEN: Please, please mention my children by name. Let me know they aren’t forgotten. Acknowledge them as my babies. This is the best way you can show me support and offer comfort.
- They’re in a better place: as a parent, it’s hard to accept that there is a better place for my child than with me, and even though I know being with God is the best place, it won’t stop my longing.
- Anything that begins with At least is probably more hurtful than helpful, undermines my loss, and doesn’t change how painful it is to lose a baby.
- You’re still young: What does age have to do with my grief? It doesn’t diminish my pain in any way. It does make my reunion with my dead babies seem that much further away.
- God needed another angel: Even if I believed my babies turned into angels (who I believe are separate creations from humans), if He needed another angel, there is no reason why God could not create one instead of taking three of my babies. All I feel is the loss of not having them with me.
- You’re baby wasn’t even a baby yet: This was said to me about Calvin by a counselor in the OB department after I said he was 18 weeks when we lost him. One of the worst things I’ve heard. She doesn’t work there anymore.
- Be strong: Allow me to be weak in my grief; my world was just shattered.
- Life goes on: And this is supposed to help me how? I watch the world and everyone else continue living, when all I want is for time to pause, for it to allow me to go back and linger (even for just one more moment) in the spaces when I still had Calvin, had Rainbow, had Gaelen.
- You’re lucky you have your own guardian angels: Please don’t apply “lucky” to the loss of my babies. Would you trade your living children so you could have guardians in heaven?
- Just try again: Each of my babies are individually loved and wanted. They are not inanimate objects that can just be replaced.
- It wasn’t meant to be: If my heaven babies weren’t meant to “be,” why did they come into “being” in my womb? Obviously they were “meant” to die because they are dead. Stating it does not bring me comfort. It doesn’t change the anguish of losing them.
- There are worse things: Maybe for you. Definitely not for me.