When my sons died, one of the things I did to process their deaths was walk. A lot. I would leave the house just after my husband left for work and would often walk as much as six hours before coming home exhausted.

Walking to help heal after pregnancy loss

I walked…

  • because I hated my body and wanted to desperately no longer look pregnant.
  • because alone on the trails, no one would see or hear me crying.
  • to be alone with my thoughts.
  • to punish myself. In my twisted mind, I was a monster who had killed her children. I deserved every ounce of pain I was putting myself through.
  • because I thought by physically exhausting myself, I could sleep better at night, instead of the constant nightmares that kept me from sleeping deeply and gave me so much pain.

So the Waddle Walk had a symbolic meaning as a healing journey for me, not just a fundraiser for Pregnancy After Loss Support.

By walking the same trails I had used to heal myself, I was creating a new path for the mothers who would come after me. And this time, my rainbow daughter was by my side. Talking to her about her day, what she’s looking forward to this summer, I barely thought about my sons. But so much of who I am as a mother is shaped by them. I don’t think that I’m alone in loving my children, by any means! And I don’t think you need to lose a child to understand what you’ve lost, either. But in everything, I consider that this is not the life I had thought I would lead. And that all this can be taken away in a moment, for no reason at all.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Joy at the End of the Rainbow (@joyattheendoftherainbow) on

I still have miles to go before I’m healed, but I’m okay with that.

Share this story!