I’ve written my fair share of “What NOT to do” pieces on this blog. I’ve often wondered why it seems to be so hard to think before you speak, or to consider your audience. Pregnancy announcements are an uncomfortable subject to broach when you’re sharing the news with a loss mom. There are good odds that a loss mom will come away from the conversation thinking it was handled poorly. Remember, I wrote this gem about sucky pregnancy announcements.
I’ve been laid up and sick for the better part of two weeks, and haven’t done nearly as much writing as I’d like to. A couple of months ago, I shared a post about some of the writing I’d contributed to other blogs and I figured it’s a good time for me to share again.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, so it seems fitting that we’d get a very special memory of Brady this month. Brady John Bear (finally!) arrived! I placed an order with Molly Bears back in April, knowing that the wait would be 6-8 months. I found myself consistently checking their website, hoping I would see the status of our bear change from “ordered” to “in production”. That finally happened in September, and I couldn’t wait to see what our little bear would look like.
One recurring theme that I constantly come back to is time. There never seems to be enough of it, and that idea has never rang more true than when you’re talking about the loss of a child. We never know how much sand our hourglass holds until it runs out. Sometimes, after the hourglass runs out of sand, we can celebrate the time that we had with our loved ones. There’s no celebrating when a life as short as Brady John’s ends. We never imagined that Brady’s hourglass would have so little sand in it.
The first time I heard the term “secondary loss” was at a support group. I had no idea what it was, but quickly learned the term describes all the smaller losses we experience, beyond the actual death. It was hard for me to even think of secondary losses for a while, because it seemed awful to think of anything else beyond the horrible, insurmountable loss of our son. It was hard to think that other losses could even matter when compared to Brady’s death.
I’ve been really good about going to the gym and getting back into a good routine, and tonight I just don’t feel like going. To make myself feel less guilty about not going, I am going to do something productive and share something long overdue. Brady’s memorial stone arrived just after Brady’s half birthday, and since his 8 month just passed, it’s about time that I share a little more about it.
It’s hard to put into words why Faith’s Lodge is such a comforting and healing place. On the surface, it’s a beautiful, picturesque setting. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, making it incredibly peaceful. But there’s so much more to it than that. Their mission is to provide a peaceful escape for families to refresh their minds and spirits while spending time with others who understand what they are experiencing. Their slogan – Faith’s Lodge: A Place Where Hope Grows.
Since Brady passed away, I’ve thought a lot more about my feelings and the feelings of others. I’ve realized that I feel emotions with an intensity that I haven’t experienced before, both happiness and sadness. My ability to feel is amplified. When I think of my ability to experience feelings pre-Brady, I think of a spectrum from 1 to 10. Before, I could only experience happiness to a 7 and sadness to a 3. Now, I experience a full spectrum.
Recently, my husband and I went on a wonderful vacation. I took 7 days of PTO and had 11 days off in a row. It was the definition of glorious. Upon my return, I heard the typical “we’re glad you’re back” sentiments from my coworkers. Hearing those words brought me back to that first day back to work after Brady died.
The answer ended up being 28, and it wasn’t even close. Because Brady’s due date and my birthday were so close together, we wondered how old I would be when I became a mom. Continue reading “28 or 29?”