Capture Your Grief Day 30: My Grief – What I Want The World To Know

There are so many things I could say here, but one resounds stronger than any in my heart. Up until this year, I was very quiet, even apologetic about my grief. If someone asked a question that inevitably led to me mentioning Skye, I felt almost ashamed that I had to answer in a way that made them uncomfortable. In turn, that left me in pain, ashamed of my own feelings, saddened that I didn’t do my daughter’s memory the justice that it deserved. For most of 3 years I was a silent sufferer, afraid to shadow an oblivious world with the fact of my grief.

Then, as I began speaking about her, a beautiful thing happened. I began meeting moms I had never suspected that had suffered a similar loss. I met dads and grandmothers who I had known for several years, but I met the grieving side of them for the first time. Like me, they felt obligated by our society to be silent about the fact that their child had died.

We are “allowed” to speak about a friend who passes, a mother, father, grandparent, public official   – any well-known person that many people have met and remember. However, if the lost loved one happens to be an unborn baby or a baby that never took a breath at birth, or even a tiny baby that lived its entire life in the NICU, so many people squirm. They don’t know what to say, so for some reason they say things like, “At least you didn’t have time to get attached,” or “You can have more children, healthy children this time,” or worst of all, they say nothing. The more you speak about your child, the more withdrawn your circle of “friends” get, so you learn to be silent.

You don’t forget though. You never forget the tiny person who touched your life so deeply. No matter how small they were, they were your’s and you loved them with your entire heart. It is a shame that our modern society makes us feel bad for loving, caring, remembering our children.

If there is one thing I want the world to know about my grief it’s that my daughter was and is a person. I refuse to feel shame for speaking about her as often as I feel the need. I now know there are so many people just like me, moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters. You don’t realize it, but you know at least one, right now, who has been deeply affected by the loss of a young child. You know them personally. She is your friend at work, your child’s teacher, a lady in your church, the gas station clerk you chat with every morning. When you find her, don’t feel bad or uncomfortable. Just let her break the silence and offer her the same sympathy you would to someone who lost their parent or spouse. Don’t change the subject quickly and make her feel like she is a terrible person for mentioning what is probably the most precious thing she has ever had.

Capture Your Grief: Preparing For My Journey

I have recently been invited via my wonderful child loss support network to embark on a 31 day journey with a project called “Capture Your Grief”. (Here is the website with information: )

The basic idea is to take a photograph, one for every day in the month of October which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, using a list of subjects for guidelines, then post and share my photos with short captions, like a daily photo challenge. I thought that with something like this, making it into a daily blog challenge would be helpful so that I could adequately catalog my journey with the emotions and thoughts behind each photograph.

I’m not sure why it seems I’m so much more “into grief” 4 years after my daughter died than I was that first year. Maybe I have matured enough to know this is healthy, maybe it is the loss support system I finally found early in 2012 that has helped me really open up, maybe it is that the numbness is finally gone and I can do this, or maybe it is having lost my dad early this year that has reopened my grieving on a deeper level for my daughter, or my wish to share her with the world, or my current pregnancy has my emotions cattywompus, or the fact that it’s “that time of year” when all the hard anniversaries are happening (she actually spent most of her life in the month of October and this is the month she died in, one of her 2 funeral services was actually held on October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.) or a combination of all of these. At any rate, when I saw Carly Marie’s invitation to embark on this journey with other loss moms and dads, I knew I needed to do this.

I would be honored if you would join me in the month of October as I share this little mini journey through my grief. You may subscribe by email to this blog so you don’t miss a post, but I’ll also be posting on Facebook for my friends there. See you all on October 1st.