Friday, January 15, 2016

Bereaved reflections on a new year

For some, the new year may be an exciting time, fresh with hope and possibility.  For me, and other grieving moms, it is overwhelming and quite frankly, depressing.  2015 brought me a lot of darkness and grief, which began with the stillbirth of my daughter Quinn in February and ended with a miscarriage at 9 weeks in December.  Knowing that 2016 will be another year living without Quinn and will not bring the birth of a living child has made me reflect deeply on what the new year means to me.   

Above all, I decided that this year will be a year dedicated to living in the present.  In addition to a new layer of grief, my miscarriage reignited a lot of the fears and anxieties that I was beginning to manage after the stillbirth of my daughter.  For me, living in the present is a survival skill and the only option.  My mantra to survive the day – and the new year - is: “Live the moment.”

Live the moment

My other outlooks for the year include:

Living a year of gratitude.  Despite the darkness and grief, I have so many things and people to be grateful for.  I want this to be a year of focusing on what I’m grateful and thankful for instead of focusing on what I don’t have, all while grieving in a healthy way.  BrenĂ© Brown gives me much inspiration in this department. 

Remembering that people are gifts.  We are not eternal and the people in our lives are gifts that we get to keep for a while.  It's time to cherish them.  After my losses in 2015, I have a new perspective on this too.  I am truly grateful for the wonderful people in my life and I want to live with a greater sense of this appreciation.  

Building my bond with my living child.  I am more aware now than ever that my living child is a true miracle in my life.  I want to spend the year nurturing this, building our relationship, and creating memories.  She is the light that brightens my heart and soul. 

Focusing on my health and fitness (and my family’s).  Getting strong inside and out: getting fresh air, making exercise fun for the family, and eating more whole foods and less meat. 

I am positive 2016 can be a meaningful and fulfilling year, even if it won’t include expanding my family.  It will be time to cherish this moment, be grateful for what I have, strengthen my body inside and out, and build the relationships that are meaningful to me.
2016 bereaved

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Christmas Run for the Bereaved

Christmas run for the bereaved

As I run past the cozy houses full of holiday cheer, with perfectly lit lawns and houses, peeking through the windows and seeing signs of joy and laughter, I think of all the bereaved parents who do not have the family they hoped for…
…Who are holding their children in their hearts this holiday season instead of their arms
…Who are living a life of longing, wonder, and what-ifs
…Who are faking a pretty smile at the party and are just trying to get through this moment
…Whose hearts are melting and sinking simultaneously when seeing a living child revel in the holiday magic
…Who will retreat back to their beds and cry a million tears
…Whose hearts are broken not only this holiday season but forever
…Who are wishing the holiday season wouldn’t come, because it’s too painful a reminder of who is missing from their life
As I run under the winter starry sky this Christmas night, I hold all of the bereaved parents tightly in my heart.  Wishing them peace, comfort, and strength to just survive this day.