Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Run Dedication

Stillborn run dedication

Mother’s Day marks the one-year anniversary of my Run to Heal project.  I have been so honored to accompany many loving parents on their journey toward healing after child loss by dedicating a run to their baby who is gone too soon.  It was this day one year ago when I called out for help as I approached my first Mother’s Day as a bereaved parent.  I asked people to dedicate a workout to Quinn and I received an overwhelming response that truly lifted my spirit.  I decided to carry forward this spirit of love and remembrance, and dedicate runs to other babies who have died.

As I wearily approached my second Mother’s Day as a bereaved parent, I was worried and stressed.  How could I face everyone’s happy families who got to see, touch, and hold all their children?  How would I manage my feelings of jealously for their wholeness that I face nearly every day? 

On this Mother’s Day, I dug deep to make it meaningful for me.  Instead of projecting my hurt on other people, I focused on being present with my family – which exists in life and death.  There was nothing more I wanted than to have a low key day with my living daughter and hang out by my deceased daughter’s memorial tree.  So that’s what we did.  It really warmed my heart to see Riley playing on the playground next to Quinn’s tree.  It is the one place I can go where both my daughters can (almost) be together.  Next, Josh installed the memorial plaque to Quinn’s tree, which made my heart sing.  There is something very healing about having public recognition of her name and life. 

In the afternoon I circled back to the milestone of this Mother’s Day and dedicated a run to not only my stillborn daughter Quinn, but to my living daughter Riley.  It was a day to remember and honor the fact that I am a mother to Quinn in death as much as I’m a mother to Riley in life.  

In the glorious sunshine, I took my full heart of love for Quinn and Riley onto the trail.  I made an early stop to take their picture together on Quinn’s tree in the park then continued on the trail that led me to the dense forest then open fields.  I delighted in the new blooms, which brought new scents on the trail.  To be able to revel in the wonder of nature while holding my daughters tightly in my heart is a true gift.

Although Mother’s Day will always be different than I had once dreamed, this year marked a little healing and a reminder to let love and light into my life.   

Stillborn memorial tree

About run to heal:
I run to heal.  It’s where I learn to hold my grief in my heart as love.  It’s where I practice putting one foot in front of another.  It’s where I honor Quinn and other babies who are gone too soon from stillbirth, miscarriage, or neonatal death.  In preparation for my first 
Mother’s Day as a parent to both a living and dead child, I asked my friends and community to dedicate a workout to Quinn.  This was a powerful, soulful, and healing experience.  I felt lifted up and loved by the community.  I was humbled that so many people carried Quinn’s spirit with them.  I hope to accompany others on their journey after child loss and hold them and their son or daughter in my heart.  It is an opportunity for me to honor their child and learn their story.  Together, we will learn how to put one foot in front of the other and run to heal.  Dedicate a run here

No comments:

Post a Comment