Category: Work and Professional Life After Loss

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Image of the Air Force memorial at sunset, with the Adrian's Elephant logo superimposed on top (photo from Canva)

For Supervisors: Supporting Military Members after the Loss of a Child 

As a supervisor, the most important thing you can do when supporting a military member after the loss of a child is to understand this loss is significant. Regardless of planning or length of gestation, your military member has lost much more than a pregnancy; they have lost an entire human being.

Bench on the shore of South Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Re-Evaluation

I look back on that time now, and it’s like I’m looking at a different person. That old Miranda lived in a different world, where everything felt like it was possible. And even though it has been almost 3 years since then, I think a lot of people don’t understand I’m not that person anymore.

Bike path in California (Miranda Hernandez)

098 – Thu, Apr 29, 2018, 8:58 PM

I started school this month. It’s been intense, learning to live again inside rules and structure. I can’t get up and walk away when I need to be alone with you.

Pier in San Diego, California (Miranda Hernandez)

066 – Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 8:16 PM

I’ve felt like such a horrible person because I’ve been so numb this week. Now I sit in my car and my eyes fill with tears, and I realize that what I dread more than being asked if I have children is not being asked anything at all.

Tree in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

057 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:28 PM

The Miranda from Before knew excitement. The Miranda from Before had plans. She mapped out her life and she felt you move and she lived in a world where passion equals reality. She loved you with the careless assumption that you would always be alive to treasure.

033 – Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 6:35 PM

I was supposed to start work next week. I was supposed to be home, snuggling a tiny child. I was supposed to have a life different than the one I float through now. 

029 – Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:50 PM

Life is coming back to me. I hate it, it makes me feel disloyal to you. I hate feeling my mind engage, hate losing my focus on everything about you.

Offerings placed at Whiteshell Provincial Park (Miranda Hernandez)

Coming Alive Again

Crawling out of the early days and fog of grief after the death of my child and rejoining the world is one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life.

Miranda and her Comfort Cub lying in bed in the dark. Miranda's arm is wrapped around the cub, and her clauddagh ring is visible on her right ring finger (Synch Media)

The First Days

After Adrian’s death, I came home from the hospital to a fully furnished nursery and without a living child. I wanted nothing more than to sleep for weeks, but I had to deal with milk, and funeral planning, and all the minutiae of being postpartum without a living child.

Adrian's first onesie: a blue Thumper onesie from Disneyland, and my first positive pregnancy test (Miranda Hernandez)

Planning, Conception, & Pregnancy

The story of how I planned for conception and pregnancy as a single mother by choice (SMC), the process of becoming pregnant, and the sheer joy in looking forward to my son Adrian’s birth.

Pinecrest Lake 1 - Feature

26 Feb 2018 – The Nuclear Bomb

I’ve often said that those of us who have experienced tragedy live in a new layer of existence. It’s the thing that defines us now, that marks this transition to this separate world. And I almost said “different” there instead of “separate,” but this is another defining characteristic; because the only thing that is different is each of us. Because we are a world inside of a world, and we are the only ones who know.

Sunset over the California desert, with highway signs in the distance (Miranda Hernandez)

1 Feb 2018 – Photos

In the black-and-white photos, he looks like he’s sleeping. Photos are difficult; they don’t tell the whole story.

Bench in California (Miranda Hernandez)

Things I Didn’t Get to Say

People said some (mostly unintentionally) hurtful and insensitive things after the death of my child. This is what I wish I’d said in response.

Cherry blossoms in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

Dear Pregnant Woman in My Office

Dear pregnant woman in my office – people are starting to get excited. They threw you a baby shower, and things are starting to feel very familiar. I wish I could explain why I’ve started to dislike you. I wish there were some logic beyond jealously and pain. 

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