Remembering: Infant Loss Awareness Month
Ever October we Remember because it’s Infant Loss Awareness Month…
Every October we Remember.
You don’t often realize how quickly time goes by until it’s…by.?
You think it will be next to impossible to make it through, over, or past something when you’re in the thick of it. But then one day it becomes apparent that you in fact have (for the most part) made it through.
12 years. 12 walks. 12 days. 12 times I’ve been faced to look out at other parents and see myself in various stages of grief.
?I told Brian 2 years ago driving home that I could tell which mom’s recently lost their baby. I could tell in their faces. The way they clung to their husbands. The look in their eyes.
That empty feeling. Looking at them was like a flashback to that same empty feeling. That same look. That same moment in time where it all seems too much. 12 years. This year I found myself yet again at a point of saddened happiness. Because there IS joy in my life.
❤️I have the most amazing husband. Three beautiful, healthy children, and growing life’s work that I love and has REAL purpose to me. ❤️
But there are still moments when I am reminded that she’s not here. It’s bitter sweet. Because she gifted me my own life which is both simple and complicated to explain. And without her short life, we wouldn’t have Harper, Meredith and Ivan.
Every Year We All Gather…
Year 12 and there were well over 120 people at the walk this year. Where 12 years ago there were maybe 50. And after we say a prayer and a song is sung. We speak out loud the names of our baby.
And every year my throat swells, and I feel hesitant to speak her name. With tears dripping into the corners of my mouth I waited for Brian to maybe say her name. But I know he knows to wait for me.
?“Faith Lynn”. ?
And in that quiet moment I’m reconnected to the first moment 12 years ago, like it was the first. I can’t explain it. But it was a relief. I feel relieved when I speak her name each year. I speak her name out loud to others.
You would think sharing my story countless times over the years would make it less emotional. But I am reminded of it doesn’t work that way. But this year. Year 12, I am also reminded of how I’ve grown. How my family has grown because of her.
The Never Ending Gifts from Faith…
My kids are now old enough to truly understand service to others. And they carried the quilt squares for others babies that weren’t there to be carried.
I know it might not seem like much. But to an 11,9 and 4 year old. Who wants to carry a blanket for a mile? But it opened up a conversation with them about support, respect, loss and being there for others. Another blessing yet again my tiny 2 pound daughter gave me and my family.
Whispering in my daughter’s ear to look out at all the families. And that one one thing we all have in common is a baby like Faith. That on any given day you wouldn’t know the loss and wounded heart we all carry and slowly are learning and have somewhat learned how to mend. But we are all connected.
I looked at her face as she looked out. And for the first time I could see it. Compassion. ❤️A true and real understanding of compassion. All thanks to her sister Faith.❤️
It’s one day. One day out of the entire year that my family remembers together. That we honor her life and the thousands of real blessings that she has given us.
And selfishly my greatest blessing is my own life.
Truthfully I don’t know where I would be today without her life as it was.
Words cannot and will never express the deep sadness I feel for her loss. But the deep undying gratitude and love I feel for what she gave me.
An opportunity to have a life worth living.
I keep sharing, every single day…I keep sharing.
Most of the stuff I write is usually for me. Maybe a form of therapy or expression I guess. And in hopes to help or inspire another…
If you have lost a baby. If you understand that deep sense of emptiness I’m talking about. If you wonder what good could ever come of something like this.
There can and will be blessings, good and healing.
❤️But do not be afraid to be in pain.
❤️Do not be afraid to cry your tears dry.
❤️And do not be afraid to feel that hole in your heart.
?Because that pain will lessen.
?The tears will soften.
?And the hole will one day sprout a new flower all because of what had once grown there.
Never replacing. But rather adding to the space that was once empty.
October is Infant Loss Awareness Month and I urge you to take even just a moment to connect with the notion that an innocent child’s life no matter how small is a life. I am grateful for the time I had with my daughter and now, 12 years later, am grateful for her sacrifice.
? #dailydoseofhope #infantlossawarenessmonth
Update: How to connect and support someone going through grief and loss is challenging. I want to invite you to read a recent blog I was featured in talking about how to communicate with others going through grief. HERE