There are things that I have seen in this lifetime that I cannot un-see, things that I know that I cannot un-know, emotions that I feel that I cannot out run. I wonder who I would be if I was able to let go of these feelings and memories…
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month and this is the first year that I’ve seen this level of open support. Every pink and blue Facebook profile picture that I see makes me smile and I feel supported. There are walks, runs, balloon releases, candlelight vigils, and so much more, intended to honor our little ones. I’m participating in a project that I hope will bring some fresh energy to my grief. I want to watch it transform from a deep sadness into wisdom. This project goes right up until the last day of October which leads right up to a particularly special day for my family; November 1st, Dia de Los Muertos.
The project I’m participating in is an amazing event called “Capture Your Grief” hosted by Carliemarie. You can find more information at www.carliemarieprojectheal.com. Over the course of the month of October, participants take original photos and tell stories surrounding the pre-designated subject-matter in reflection of their grief, losses, and healing.
I’m actually very excited to see my grief work pave a path toward the altar that my husband and I will construct in Leo’s honor at the festive, colorful, and very spiritual Dia de los Muertos event at the cemetery.
When people ask what Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness means to me, I find it hard to describe. Admittedly, I don’t have personal experience with miscarriage, infertility, or still birth. I fall into the “infant loss” category as my son died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or as my medical record coldly states “history of neonatal demise”. Ouch. I would rather that statement be recorded, though, than be left blank and leave my loss, my son, unacknowledged.
Nevertheless, in this community, we are always reflecting on our losses, our hopes, dreams, fears, and how we can better support one another. I’m so blessed to be a part of this community.
I want to take you back to day 2 of the “Capture Your Grief” project, when I addressed the subject “Intention”. The prompt was to fill in the blanks “I intend to ____ in honor of ____”. I had put a lot of thought into my intention in Leo’s honor. What it meant, what it meant to me, and how I intend to continue to honor my son. Afterall, I feel like I already honor him daily.
I honor him by playing with his sisters.
I honor him by cleaning his grave and leaving fresh flowers.
I honor him by speaking his name.
I honor him by telling people I have four children.
I was scrolling through my photos, musing about intention, and came across a picture that I had made earlier this summer. As soon as I saw it my intention was set. All of my questions melted away into this clear vision of how I’ll honor Leo.
I intend to dream with my eyes wide open in Leo’s honor. I will dream for my daughter’s futures, I will dream for my husband’s future, and I will dream for my own future. I won’t just dream when I’m asleep, I’ll live…really live; for Leo, for me, and for our family.
I can’t wait to share Dia de los Muertos with you next month.