Thursday, July 23, 2015

A big little life

Joy and meaning after stillbirth

After Quinn’s stillbirth, I have a renewed consciousness about life and living.  I strive to live a big LITTLE life and fill the little moments with joy and meaning.  I don’t force myself to do this; rather, I try to let it develop organically.  When the deep moments of sorrow do come, I feel them, honor them, and respect them.  I do something that connects me to Quinn and I make sure to only surround myself with people who understand.  However, most days I am able to hold Quinn in my heart and she is my inspiration to fill as many moments as possible with joy and meaning.

Our family is trying to take full advantage of the summer and live a big LITTLE life.  Here are some recent highlights.

I’ve been running – a lot.  Running has been incredibly healing for me both physically and mentally.  It has been my honor to dedicate several of my runs to other stillborn babies and their families.  Their memory and their families’ stories give me strength and inspiration to push forward.  I have my eye on a marathon mid-September to run in honor and memory of Quinn and all other stillborn babies.
Joy and meaning after stillbirth
This picture does not do justice – the dense forest trail opens up to the most breathtaking open fields.  I get emotional each time I have the pleasure of running this way.  It is so beautiful and reminds me how grandiose the universe is.

I try to scatter a few date-days with Riley throughout the spring and summer.  As Riley has been growing up right before my eyes, I decided that I was going to “date” her.  I don’t want a feeling like I am at work so much that I miss her growing up.  So, I take off special days to be with her, when we can do ordinary things and just be together enjoying each other’s company.  For our last date-day, we went to a music class, the pool with her cousin, and the library.  All wonderfully ordinary things that she LOVED.  

My heart melted when she arrived to the library and squealed sheer joy when she saw all the books to choose from.  After a delightful time looking at them, she did an activity and we went home with books about horses, cats, and dinosaurs (her requests).
I also love Riley’s fascination with the wonders of the world.  She, as children do, loves the funny looking praying mantis that sits in our garden, seeing deer and groundhogs on our run, and chasing after butterflies (and rabbits, and squirrels, and…)  I love that she has reminded me that world is quite magnificent.  When she stops to smell a flower, the old me would have rushed her inside to get on with the next to-do item.  The new me, however, stops to smell it with her and we spend time talking about that wonder of the universe.  

Oh how Quinn and Riley have brightened my life and brought our family to living a big LITTLE life. 
Joy and meaning after stillbirth

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