Friday, October 21, 2011

Skipping out

October 15 was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. And to be honest, this year I just skipped it.

One thing I've learned through my own experience with the loss of my son is that there are vastly different forms of grieving - all valid, many helpful. But two women who experience nearly the same thing will deal with it in completely different ways. I know women who put it on like an armor, who spend hours at their children's graveside, who post Facebook photos of their angels, have birthday cakes for them, get heavily involved in loss support groups. And it's all fine. It's just not me.

I think about Graham every single day and I believe it will be that way the rest of my life. That is a good thing - a comfort, actually. But thinking about him doesn't send me spiraling down into bleak sadness like it once did. I  have sad moments rather than sad days. Little by little, it gets easier to talk about him without stammering or clamming up. JB and I remember him and visit his little spot in the cemetery, but we don't make a big production out of it and we don't do it super-often. My life now is about my living family.

I skipped the balloon release this year, too. We have a great group of people - mothers, mostly, with stories like mine - who organize a balloon release and memorial service every year. Our family went last year, but not this year. And I don't feel bad about it.

I don't need a special time set aside to remember Graham. It's impossible to forget him. There's a Graham-sized hole in my heart where he was, but I rejoice that I will get to see him again one day. As Will grows up, he'll know about his twin brother, and he can ask us anything about him. Graham will be a happy topic, a loved brother and son who is separated from us only for a little while.

So I skipped Remembrance Day this year. But in honor of Graham, and of families like ours, here is my story that I wrote for last year's NPILR:


c.a. Marks said...

Oh my goodness gracious. I just read your story. Precious. I have my own losses (although not with a loss of a child) and I feel as you do, I don't need a special day to remember.

Prayers and hugs.

Jennifer said...

Anna - Quakers have a saying that when someone is in their thoughts (and/or prayers) they hold them in the light. I believe that all those lost as children are forever held in the light. I appreciate your honesty in sharing this as I imagine it is quite personal.

My sister-in-law had a miscarriage almost 12 years ago and I grieve for her but mostly because she has let it define her life. I can't imagine how I would react or deal with such a loss. I can only hope I would be able to find the strength to carry on and deal in much the same way you seem to have.

heather k said...

I think about you and the boys often. I still remember when Cerrissa called to tell me the news, I was due a few weeks later. You put your thoughts and emotions into words so beautifully Anna Claire. I'm sure your story has been a help and comfort to others. Can't believe our boys will be TWO years old in no time at all!