Peruvian lilies in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)
Peruvian lilies in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

115 – Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 1:03 AM

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I think one of the strangest things I’ve learned about grief is that it’s expressed in the most unusual ways. Beyond the big moments, easily understood, I’m finding it lives in the details.

I went for a pedicure this afternoon. I’ve probably gotten one a month since you died. And I remember that first time, when I realized I needed one, and how much I didn’t want to go back to my neighborhood salon. They had seen me when I was pregnant. They had seen me as a different person.

I drove a bit further down the street. I went somewhere new. And when the technician went to use the scrub brush on my feet, I stopped her. It sounds silly. It’s such a silly problem to have. But I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t handle anything that forced me to laugh. Laughing felt disloyal to you.

And in every salon since then, I have continued to say no. It’s felt like so much freedom. It’s felt like a strange gift. It’s just a tiny detail, and it affects my world.

I went for a pedicure today. It’s been a strange week. I am wrapped up in thoughts of you. You died a year ago this morning. And when the technician put the brush to my foot, it was seconds before I even noticed, and suddenly, I was laughing. And it was okay.

I don’t know what any of this means. I don’t know if it’s normal, or if normal’s even real. It just felt right today. It felt like something I could do. This piece of life feels like something I can do.

~

Your website is ready. Your memorial is tomorrow. There are people who matter. All of us surround you.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

Letters to Adrian are real letters from a mother to her stillborn child. Letters are shared here in periodic batches.

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Park in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

099 – Wed, May 2, 2018, 7:46 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

104 – Sun, May 13, 2018, 3:04 PM

Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Luna Kai Photography)

038 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 9:36 AM

Flowers at St Katharines's Parmoor, Buckinghamshire, England (Miranda Hernandez)

125 – Fri, Oct 19, 2018, 1:08 PM

Tree in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

057 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:28 PM

Wooden structure in South Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

136 – Thu, Sep 12, 2019, 6:40 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Romeo

064 – Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 4:36 PM

Remnants of a building, California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

052 – Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 8:08 PM

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

081 – Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 8:29 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

082 – Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 3:46 PM

031 – Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 12:16 AM

Sunset over Victoria - Feature

023 – Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 5:18 PM

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

138 – Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 11:39 AM

Close up of metallic artwork in rustic red blending into blues and greens, found in California (Miranda Hernandez)

022 – Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 12:18 AM

Sunrise over the Pacific Ocean 2 - Feature

015 – Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 8:19 PM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

087 – Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 4:16 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Star Registry certificate

113 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:02 AM

Miranda Maternity 2 - Feature

011 – 39w6d(1) – What does Mama look like?

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast (photo used with permission)

075 – Tue, Jan 9, 2018, 10:04 PM

Adrian and his Elephant in a field of bluebonnets (Anna Borden)

139 – A Letter to My Son on His Third Birthday

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

084 – Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 8:44 PM

029 – Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:50 PM

Adrian and Elephant

131 – A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday

View from the venue for Adrian's memorial (Miranda Hernandez)

114 – Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 1:15 PM

Daisies (Miranda Hernandez)

091 – Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 1:10 PM

Wildflowers in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (Miranda Hernandez)

036 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 1:59 PM

001 – Hello

Walkway on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

120 – Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 12:47 PM

Dark and moody sunset over the ocean in Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

027 – Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 12:15 PM

Climbing vines on Hatley Castle, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

137 – Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 10:01 PM

Kaua'i coast (Miranda Hernandez)

105 – Mon, May 14, 2018, 9:33 PM

View through the plants on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

119 – Wed, Jul 18, 2018, 1:10 PM

Adrian's Elephant

065 – Sat, Dec 2, 2017, 8:06 PM

Pier in San Diego, California (Miranda Hernandez)

066 – Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 8:16 PM

Keālia Beach, Kaua’i, Hawai’i (Miranda Hernandez)

106 – Fri, May 18, 2018, 6:18 PM

Tree in snow, North Lake Tahoe, Nevada (Miranda Hernandez)

063 – Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 9:45 AM

Adrian's Elephant and his photo at St Katharines's Parmoor, Buckinghamshire, England (Miranda Hernandez)

126 – Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 9:39 AM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

135 – Wed, Aug 28, 2019, 8:04 AM

Adrian's Elephant and Miranda's birthday cake

061 – Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:01 PM

Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (Miranda Hernandez)

034 – Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 8:28 PM

Adrian's Elephant

072 – Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 10:51 AM

Dandelions over Te Ti Bay, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

121 – Mon, Jul 23, 2018, 9:04 PM

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

079 – Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 4:24 PM

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

068 – Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 9:55 PM

Pacific Ocean - Feature

014 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 6:53 PM

Bridge in California (Miranda Hernandez)

102 – Fri, May 11, 2018, 11:56 AM

California Coast, Big Sur (Miranda Hernandez)

045 – Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 6:25 PM

Adrian's Elephant at Adrian and Miranda's old house

050 – Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 1:00 PM

Lakeside in Incline Village, North Lake Tahoe, Nevada (Miranda Hernandez)

041 – Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 8:30 PM

Sanddollars on Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

043 – Wed, Oct 4, 2017, 7:43 PM

Stream, North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

046 – Sun, Oct 15, 2017, 8:09 PM

018 – Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 1:32 PM

019 – Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 12:17 PM

Pier, Paihia, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

042 – Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 6:14 PM

Iceplant on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

080 – Sat, Jan 20, 2018, 4:09 PM

Reflection in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

132 – Mon, Jul 1, 2019, 9:45 PM

Clouds, San Antonio (Skydive Lone Star) https://skydivelonestar.com/

048 – Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 8:37 PM

Hyacinth flowers, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

059 – Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 7:52 PM

Wild Sunflower in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

035 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 11:09 AM

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

092 – Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 2:26 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Peanut's feet (Sarah Perry Photography)

128 – Thu, May 23, 2019, 9:11 PM

Waves on Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

085 – Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 10:09 PM

Rocks on the California Coast (Miranda Hernandez)

049 – Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:26 PM

002 – 7w3d – Pickles and ice cream?

Nasturtium flowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

112 – Sat, Jun 16, 2018, 3:59 PM

Found art on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

127 – Thu, May 2, 2019, 12:03 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

053 – Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 1:07 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

077 – Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 2:38 PM

Empty bench, California (Miranda Hernandez)

058 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 7:10 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant with Bumblebee

051 – Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 5:32 PM

Sage flowers in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

134 – Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 1:34 PM

Wildflowers in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

090 – Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 5:12 AM

030 – Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 6:21 AM

Koloa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i - Feature

017 – Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 6:24 AM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

076 – Wed, Jan 10, 2018, 11:47 AM

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

073 – Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 5:10 PM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

097 – Wed, Apr 28, 2018, 11:08 PM

Riverwalk from the shadows, San Antonio, Texas (Miranda Hernandez)

108 – Sat, May 26, 2018, 11:02 AM

Periwinkle in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

103 – Sat, May 12, 2018, 5:32 PM

Miranda's feet in the sand, New Smyrna Beach, Florida (Miranda Hernandez)

124 – Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 9:00 PM

025 – Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 12:26 AM

Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

060 – Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:02 PM

View through the plants on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

118 – Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 7:43 PM

Shadows on a hike, California (Miranda Hernandez)

044 – Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 6:52 PM

Keālia Beach, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

040 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 5:43 PM

Hollyhock in California (Miranda Hernandez)

116 – Sat, Jun 30, 2018, some time in the morning

Miranda's maternity photo (Modern Lux Photography)

067 – Tue, Dec 12, 2017, 9:42 PM

Anini Beach, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

093 – Wed, Mar 21, 2018, 4:18 PM

008 – 31w6d – One Last Road Trip

Flowers on a fallen tree limb, California (Miranda Hernandez)

054 – Mon, Nov 7, 2017, 8:10 PM

033 – Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 6:35 PM

Painted rock found on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

123 – Wed, Aug 29, 2018, 3:16 PM

Miranda and Elephant on the California coast

117 – A Letter to My Son on His First Birthday

Desert in California (Miranda Hernandez)

107 – Sat, May 19, 2018, 2:02 PM

Shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago (Miranda Hernandez)

095 – Fri, Apr 13, 2018, 10:23 PM

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

074 – Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 7:59 PM

Snow in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

101 – Sun, May 6, 2018, 12:13 AM

Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (Miranda Hernandez)

037 – Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:02 PM

Winter in Chicago, Illinois (Miranda Hernandez)

096 – Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 11:09 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

100 – Sat, May 5, 2018, 5:30 PM

Flowers in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Miranda Hernandez)

133 – Wed, Jul 3, 2019, 11:32 AM

Adrian James 3 - Feaure

016 – Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 6:58 AM

Bike path in California (Miranda Hernandez)

098 – Thu, Apr 29, 2018, 8:58 PM

Bench on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

078 – Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 11:32 AM

024 – Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 6:13 PM

032 – Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 9:24 PM

Staircase in California (Miranda Hernandez)

111 – Sun, Jun 10, 2018, 9:31 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Pinecrest Lake

069 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 7:22 PM

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

130 – Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 9:31 PM

009 – 33w2d

028 – Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 6:07 PM

006 – 20w0d – Are you dancing?

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant at Northstar California Resort

089 – Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 3:55 PM

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

088 – Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 6:40 PM

026 – Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 6:17 AM

Boulder on the shore of North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

129 – Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 9:11 PM

004 – 12w1d – Your Tiny Feet

Adrian's Elephant at Thanksgiving

062 – Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 1:51 PM

003 – 10w2d – A Little Bit of a Belly

012 – 39w6d(2) – So close!

020 – Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 2:29 PM

Pinecrest Lake, Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

070 – Sat, Dec 23, 2017, 9:12 PM

007 – 29w6d – Cravings and a Nest

005 – 19w6d – Happy New Year

Close up of yellow rose in full bloom on a sunny day in California (Miranda Hernandez)

021 – Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 6:24 AM

Miranda holding a white onesie towards the camera

010 – 38w4d – Almost there…

Succulents in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

086 – Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 3:52 PM

Adrian's Elephant and Miranda's uniform top

056 – Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 8:29 PM

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast (photo used with permission)

055 – Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 6:48 PM

Vines, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Miranda Hernandez)

047 – Thu, Oct 19, 2017, 4:54 PM

California coast in Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

110 – Sun, Jun 3, 2018, 9:11 AM

Street art in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

094 – Fri, Apr 6, 2018, 11:46 PM

Tree and roots on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

122 – Tue, Jul 24, 2018, 9:28 PM

Keālia Beach, Kaua'i, Hawai'I (Miranda Hernandez)

039 – Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 4:16 PM

Garden art in San Juan Capistrano, California (Miranda Hernandez)

109 – Sun, May 27, 2018, 8:35 PM

Hiking in Pinecrest, California (Miranda Hernandez)

071 – Mon, Dec 25, 2017, 6:45 PM

013 – Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM

More Letters

Full moon in Texas (Miranda Hernandez)

083 – Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 5:09 AM

Explore more of Adrian's Elephant