Sculpture Image Via The Midnight Orange
This is a post I hesitate to write because it’s not about me. It’s about a beautiful friend of mine who lost her precious daughter this morning. She would have turned two in just a few weeks. It is not my place to write about her loss, but my heart is so broken for her, and this is where I come when my heart is breaking.
As the “resident expert” on babyloss I feel like I am expected to know what to do more than the average person on how to “be there” for her. I don’t feel like that, but in some ways, I suppose it’s true, if only because most people are so clueless. When I visited her this morning she asked me through tears “What am I supposed to do?” and I numbly said “Nothing. I didn’t do anything for weeks.”
That was a painfully stupid reply. It is I that can do nothing.
want plan to go back and tell her…
“You should think about your daughter. Talk about her. Remember every little thing about her as vividly as you can. Speak her name. A million times. Write every word she’d learned in her two short years. The way she spoke her brother’s name. The way she said Mamma and Daddy. The foods she loved, and those she hated. Write every memory, every story, every laugh and giggle and smile and hug, every time her eyelashes tickled your cheek. Feel her spirit and presence surrounding you and feel her arms around you. Cry as loud an you can, as hard as you need to. Write down every word her doctors spoke, though they will be etched on your heart like stone forever anyway. Love her. Grieve her. Celebrate her. Mourn her. Make everyone tell you what they remember about her, what they love about her, how she made them feel when she smiled at them or reached out her arms to be held by them. Soak in every fleeting thought and comment…. and breathe. Second to second, minute to minute. … and don’t think beyond that.”
And then I will ask her to tell me everything about her little girl. I will sit with her in her pain. I will sit in her memories and confusion, in her fear and isolation. I’ll sit as long as she wants, or I’ll leave as soon as she wants.
I went this afternoon and brought journals for them. One for my friend, one for her husband and one for their family and friends to write their memories of my friend’s daughter. One thing I do know is that after a baby is gone every single memory becomes the very fabric of that person’s existence. For moms whose babies died before they had a chance to live, it is the morning sickness, the stretch marks, the hospital visits, the words the doctors spoke. Those few memories equal a baby’s whole life. This child was almost 2 years old. My friend is entitled to every single memory created in those 700+ days. I hope her friends and family fill that journal cover to cover with all the beautiful things – big and small – they remember about this sweet little girl. Not to fill it with condolences, but to fill it with moments of blessings and sweetness and laughter and joy, because that is what this little girl brought to the world.