It's Always 29 June; Integration in Grief (Miranda's Blog) | Overlaid on image of wildflowers in Lake Tahoe (Miranda Hernandez)
(Miranda Hernandez)

Integration…

When I first started thinking about this website, 2 years and 9 months ago, I had plans. First to share Adrian’s letters, and maybe to write a book about them. And then things grew. I realized there was more I wanted to explore; more to share. And I wondered, more than anything, if I would actually follow through. (I have a history of abandoning projects.)

When I launched this website, 1 year and 364 days ago, things had somewhat solidified. I had a general idea of the things I wanted to do; a road map. And that plan has only gotten bigger. But in the days after what should have been Adrian’s first birthday, life got hard(er).

When feelings are darkest, there are no words.
(Miranda Hernandez)

You hear people talk about the year of firsts, and my first year after the death of Adrian was full of them. And while painful, most of that first year was also beautiful. It was a year of what I like to call a “clean” kind of grief; unencumbered by mundane pieces of reality.

But I went into the second year without expectations. All I knew was that life was starting to happen again, and I didn’t feel ready. I wanted nothing more than to crawl back inside the time when things were simple. Painful, but simple. No expectations.

And so that second year became a time when I fell into a darker place. When I continually tried to get up and move forward and continually fell down again. When I realized that sympathy is fleeting. When I started to fear for the loss of not only sanity, but also more mundane things like my job. When I fought on a daily basis for reasons not to end my life. And in that time, of course, I couldn’t share. Because when feelings are darkest, there are no words.

I need to thank some people here. Because for a while, they were my everything. They cooked and cleaned for me. They took my calls at midnight. They took care of those aspects of life that escaped to me. They took care of me. They kept me alive.

And then came Peanut. It’s hard to describe sometimes, either the hope or the joy. It’s hard to describe that moment when I decided to try. And then Peanut became a reality. And I was still hurting and I was also so very much in love. And my pregnancy with her wasn’t easy, and it was also a piece of pure joy.

Integration.

Integration doesn’t mean I have forgotten about my child. Integration doesn’t mean I’m “healed” or perfectly okay.
(Miranda Hernandez)

Peanut was born at the end of that second year. She came screaming into the world, and some of you may understand when I tell you that scream was a surprise. And I held her, and the bond was instant, and I was hurting, and I was also in love. Life. This is life.

This is Integration.

But most importantly, integration doesn’t mean I have forgotten about my child. Integration doesn’t mean I’m “healed” or perfectly okay. There will be times I still need therapy. There will be moments I will cry. There will be times, nearly daily, when I talk about my son. Both of my children, and everything before, and in between, and after.

Integration.

I wake up in the mornings, and sometimes I am heartbroken. I wake up in the mornings, and sometimes there is hope. And I realize this is going to be forever, these two states that symbolize. In my life, it is always 29 June — Before, and also After. This is integration.

Related Posts:

Miranda’s Story: 29 June 2017
Letters to Adrian: A Letter to My Son on his Third Birthday

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💙🐘💙 Miranda’s Blog contains my thoughts on stillbirth, child loss, mental health after loss, pregnancy & parenting after loss, and thoughts on grief positivity & grief support. 💙🐘💙
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