You would have been two today and I cannot believe it has really been that long already. Two years since I saw your beautiful face and got to hold you. I still remember the moment you were placed in my arms. I was surprised at the weight of you. I was afraid to touch your face because you just seemed so fragile. I remember the tiny hair that curled right above your ear. I feel like I remember every detail of you. The memories are all I have. I will forever be grateful to the nurses who helped us that day. I remember their faces and I remember their kindness.
I often think about how different my life would be if you were still here. I wonder what color your hair would be and how tall you would be. Would you be running around and talking up a storm? Would Nolan love spending time with you or would he be annoyed by his little sister constantly wanting to play with his stuff? Probably a bit of both. Would you enjoy having an older brother to look after you when you got older and a younger sister to play with?
Here is what I’ve learned about grief two years later.
Life has not been the same. Losing a child is obviously something you can never fully recover from. I have accepted the fact that my family will never fully feel complete without her here. Every time we take a family photo, I notice her absence. Every time someone asks how many children I have, I think of her and how I should respond to the question. Every time Nolan talks about his siblings, I think of how she isn’t here. Every time I see a family with three children, I think about how I have three children, yet don’t get to have one here with me. And every time I hear of another person who had a stillbirth, I get brought right back to that moment.
From this experience, I have learned that when we have a loss, it is so important to talk about it. I did well for the first year and talked about her often. Now I think about her all the time, but I am more silent in my grief. I often try to push the feelings aside because I just don’t want to cry or don’t want to be sad. But life seems to find ways to force me into talking about it or force me into thinking about it.
Nolan has recently started talking about Jasmine and asking questions, and I can’t help but notice that it started happening the week before her birthday.
He goes in phases where he will talk about her a lot for a time and then sometimes not as much. I don’t always like when he starts asking questions or mentioning her because the timing isn’t always right for me. Not that there is ever really a great time to go and be sad, but it usually catches me off guard. At the same time, I like that he asks about her because I want him to remember her and I think it is important to talk about her. It also forces me to deal with it when I have been trying to avoid it. I can tell that the loss affected him too, even though it didn’t manifest until later. He has cried about missing her and said he wants her to be here. I am so sad they never got to meet each other.
I have also learned that every year is going to be hard. Some will be harder than others. I thought the second birthday would be easier, but I find it just as hard, if not harder, than the first. And maybe that is because I spent the whole first year being more vocal about the loss and this second year, I think it has just built up as I have held it in. But I know as soon as I wake up on her birthday, it will just be hard. The whole day will be hard.
I learned that I don’t want other people to stop talking about her.
I don’t want people to avoid the subject because they think it will upset me. I don’t want people to forget that I have three children, not two. I don’t expect everyone to think about it all the time or bring it up every day. But hearing an occasional “I’m thinking of you” or something along those lines is nice to hear. I continue to say that I have a great support system. My family and friends do often reach out and I can’t express how much I appreciate that.
Happy 2nd Birthday my sweet Jasmine. We will have cake in your honor today. I will always miss you and love you. You will always be remembered.