After I got pregnant with my rainbow I was presented with this new fear– the fear of forgetting. Now, this fear was two-fold. It was the fear that, with this new baby, people would begin to forget about Mary; they’d forget that we were still hurting. They’d forget that our family was still incomplete. However, I was not just afraid that others would forget. There was a part of me that was afraid I would forget.
I know it’s absurd because there’s really no way I could ever forget about that perfect beautiful girl that I gave birth to, but I was afraid of forgetting the details. I was afraid that her perfect teeny tiny feet would become a distant memory once I saw my newborn son’s feet and was able to watch them grow. There was a fear that after kissing my son every day, I would forget what those final kisses with my daughter felt like. Her dimpled chin and her itty bitty fingers wouldn’t be as vivid after I felt my son grab my fingers or after I wiped milk from his chin. I don’t want to forget those things. I don’t want to forget anything about her. I just wasn’t sure that the front of my mind could hold all of these memories and images.
The fear also came when thinking about friends and family forgetting about her. Would they remember to consider us a family of five now? Would everyone think that our hearts were magically healed now because we have a new baby? Would they forget to ask about her or say her name? It is difficult because I can’t control what other people do/say but what I can do is continue to remind them. I can continue to include her as part of our family. I can continue to talk about how we as a family are grieving now.
Now that my son has been here for a few months, I can say that the part about me forgetting is…complicated. Mary is not forgotten or far from my heart. She is always a part of my day and part of our lives. However, as painful as it is to say this, she isn’t in my every thought anymore. Instead of the pain of losing her overcoming everything I do, it is a bit further away now. It doesn’t consume me or haunt me, but it lives within me in a nice little pocket built just for her. The pain is always there, her memory is always there and her life is always there. I could never ever forget it but it has made its way deeper into my brain and my heart and not necessarily at the front of my mind daily. And I think I’m ok with that.