I sat in the driver seat of my Prius, the hot Summer sun searing my left cheek as I drove home from work with two of my girls in the back seat. That guilty feeling welled up in the pit of my stomach as I intentionally drove past the exit to the cemetery where my son lay resting. I had too much to do to stop by and visit Leo. I had too much to focus on to let my grief out. I worried that, if I visited him, the volcano of sadness that rumbles in my heart every day, would erupt and envelop everything around me.

I started conceptualizing what I would write about this month, a productive distraction from my guilty stomach ache. Words and questions danced around the back of my mind while my 4 year old belted out the Frozen theme song “Let it Go”. Mixed up in the jumble of lyric and original thought, a phrase became crystal clear and wouldn’t leave me in the days to follow.

When I started contributing to Pregnancy After Loss Support – Parenting After Loss in August 2014, I wrote about the night my boy went to sleep and woke up in Heaven. I wrote not only about my dashed hopes and broken heart but about new hope and new dreams. In the months to come I would share fears, worries, stories of life, reminders of death, and somehow I’d always end up with hope.

I set out to answer the question of why I write about Leo so often on articles aimed at those parenting after loss. Shouldn’t I be focused on Zoe, Alyssa, and Lily? After all, they are my living children; they are the ones I parent. But that phrase, the one that had been scrolling through my mind every waking and sleeping moment arose again.

I share my loss, not so that you feel bad or sad or pity me. I share my loss so that you can rejoice with me. I share my most heartbreaking memory, my most precious stories, my most fragile moments, so that, when I tell you that my rainbow has started walking, or that my oldest started kindergarten, or that my 4 year old told me a hilariously bad homemade joke, your heart can swell with hope the way mine does.

Hope for peace.
Hope for happiness.
Hope for longevity.
Hope for moments enjoyed to their fullest.
Hope that my boy didn’t die for nothing.
Hope that my broken heart can break down walls built up in the hearts of others.
Hope that I can make the world a better place by sharing a sacred piece of myself.

I share my heart to create a safe space for others to open theirs. I share my loss, not so that you feel bad or sad or pity me. I share my loss so that you can rejoice with me.

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