Title: Death Positivity | overlaid on image of sunset over Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

Death Positivity

Adrian's Elephant

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Death Positivity is a recognition that death is real, and permanent, and natural. Death should be talked about, and never hidden or considered cause for shame.

Posts on this page deal with various aspects of this conversation about death.

 

Wide angle view of Miranda standing on a deserted beach in California at sunset. She is wearing a pink kimono fluttering in the breeze (Synch Media)

30 Jan 2018 – The Second Death

She was probably the most innocent person in the room. And that’s funny, I guess, because she was so incredibly book smart.

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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.

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Title: Grief is a Mother, Too | overlaid on an image of Miranda and Elephant on the coast at sunset (Synch Media)

2 Feb 2018 – Grief is a Mother, Too

Death has never been my friend. The necessity of her existence is no more comfort than my own. I don’t hate her, but I look at her the way she looks at Disease. We are all harbingers. We all bring Pain.

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Sunset over Arizona - Feature

12 Feb 2018 – Hard Things

Because I think love includes talking about hard things. Because I think love includes telling someone, “When you fall on hard times, I am here for you. When things go terribly wrong, I won’t run away.”

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Memories (Write Your Grief) | overlaid on image of Miranda on the California coast at sunset (Synch Media)

18 Feb 2018 – Memories

I remember every moment of my pregnancy. I remember every moment of my son’s short life. I remember conception and ultrasounds and morning sickness. I remember every tiny kick and movement. I treasure these things. I treasure these memories. 

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Keālia Beach 2 - Feature

20 Feb 2018 – Unspoken

I know what you want to talk about. I know how it pains you when others try to chase your words away. It isn’t a question of guilt. It’s fact — if you had chosen to listen, I would be alive.

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Miranda on the California coast (Synch Media)

21 Jun 2018 – The After

After he died, after that scream, I shattered. It wasn’t that time flowed differently. It was a completely different life.

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Sunset over Koloa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

Death and Taxes – Why the Federal Government Doesn’t Consider My Stillborn Son to be a Human Being

Money is a difficult subject in general. It doesn’t surprise me, then, that money matters associated with death are doubly hard. I never thought I would be reading about the financial “benefits” of losing a child. I never thought anything like that would be relevant to me.

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Ruins of Cannery Row 1, Monterey, California

Necessary Fear

There really never is an appropriate time to talk about tragedy. There really never is a time when the innocent are ready to listen. And that’s sad, and it’s also wrong. Because death isn’t the thing that only happens to other people. Tragedy isn’t the thing you can ignore and it won’t hurt you.

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Bench on the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail

Grieving My Child Without God

One day, someday, I will die. I don’t know what will happen then, and that’s okay with me. I don’t need confirmation or thoughts of reunification. I don’t want to be told my son waits for me in the afterlife.

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Fence on the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago

Perspective of a Non-Believer Following the Death of a Child (Quora)

I don’t know where my son is now. I don’t know if we’ll meet again, or if he’s at peace. I know that I miss him with a passion I can’t put into words. I know I would have given anything, including my own life, to guarantee him life on earth. I STILL don’t believe in God.

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Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

100 – Sat, May 5, 2018, 5:30 PM

Miscarriage is only what happened to my body. Stillbirth is only what happened to yours. Your death is what happened to my soul. Your death changed my whole world.

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Fenced walkway at Hatley Castle, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

Paperwork and Taxes

Child Care is expensive. Pretty much everything involved in raising a child is expensive. I’m not complaining, though. It’s all better than the alternative.

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"Pregnant woman with nurse"; close-up of pregnant woman's stomach and nurse with hand on pregnant woman's shoulder (Science Photo Library)

Requests of a Bereaved Mother for All Prenatal Providers

After my son died at the end of a term pregnancy in 2017, I created this list of things I would like to see done differently in prenatal care, both before & after loss. These are things that would have made a difference in my pregnancy. These things might have kept my son alive.

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View from a butterfly cut-out, Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

130 – Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 9:31 PM

This past year has been different. You’d think the biggest part would be your sister, and of course she’s part of it. There’s also me. I’ve been developing. I’ve been learning and hiding in equal measures.

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Adrian's necklace on bluebonnets, California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

138 – Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 11:39 AM

Most days I feel “fine.” I live life and I care for your sister, and when the subject comes up, I talk about you. I love talking about you. And sometimes I feel bad, even though I know better, that I hardly cry anymore.

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Close-up image of spiky pink flower. Flower ihas both dark pink and light pink petals, and a peach center. The background is blurred. Taken in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

Why I Choose to Share Photos of My Dead Child on Social Media

Our children are not shameful. They are beautiful, real people. In my opinion, the only shame comes from the perception that they should hidden away. I will never stop sharing photos of my deceased child, simply because he IS my child.

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Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast (Synch Media)

1 June 2020

June is an intense month for me, because each June, I remember what it’s like to go in for a routine examination and be told my child has no heartbeat. My greatest wish for the world today is to understand the power of GENUINELY informed consent.

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Screenshot of Scary Mommy Article "Sharing Pictures Of My Stillborn Son Is Not 'Gross'" with a photo of Adrian and Miranda in the background.

The First Real Byline—Published in Scary Mommy

Two big influencers lost children this year. In the wake of heavy criticism of their public grief, I wrote this piece in defense of sharing photos and talking about our beloved deceased children. Today, that story was published in Scary Mommy.

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Four-year-old girl sitting outside with her stuffed animal tiger. Image is close-up mainly of tiger in girl's arms (FamilyFotographer, Getty Images)

No, Daniel Tiger, Grown-Ups DON’T Always Come Back

For the most part, I love Daniel Tiger. It’s a cute show with some deeper elements, and some generally great life lessons. There are two areas, though, in which the show gets it wrong, and unfortunately these are big ones for me.

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How do you get past losing a baby? You don't.

How Do You Get Past Losing a Baby? (Quora)

The death of my child is an event that lives with me; his absence is palpable; his presence is missing. And this is when I truly began to understand this monster called grief. You ask how one gets past losing a baby, and my answer is still—no. You don’t.

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