Title: People & Relationships | overlaid on image of bench in Winnipeg, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)
(Miranda Hernandez)

Loss and grief carry unfortunate side effects into other aspects of our lives, particularly with relationships. Some friends and loved ones come closer, while some become more distant or disappear entirely. Some relationships end up permanently changed. All of this is hard. These secondary losses are another heavy layer to our grief.

Posts here describe or discuss various aspects of changed relationships and my changed ability to work within relationships after loss. As a single mother by choice, some posts here also deal with dating. And while my first step in the dating world as a bereaved single mom ended pretty disastrously, it is still worth documenting.

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018 – Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 1:32 PM

I think your Aunt Alexis worries about me. I worry about me. I am going through the motions, but inside I feel helpless.¬†It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

027 – Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 12:15 PM

I look out the door of our cabin and think how easy it would be. I could just jump. It scares me.

Hiking the Sleeping Giant Trail, Kapaa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i

3 Feb 2018 – The Kindest Thing

I am probably one of those ghosting stories that people complain about on social media. I am probably that person who just disappeared, and people are wondering, “What happened? What did I do wrong?”

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Tree branch in California - Feature

5 Feb 2018 – Akhilandeshvari

I don’t claim to be an especially deep person. I don’t worship; I don’t find comfort or need in that setting. But beyond those feelings, gods and the mystic have always fascinated me.

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KeńĀlia¬†Beach 1 - Feature

8 Feb 2018 – Prickly

Sometimes I need comfort, and I lash out instead. I am not your typical victim. I am so very angry.

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Miranda on the Pacific Coast 2 - Feature

10 Feb 2018 – This is How I Feel About Life

You asked me to this party, but you don’t want my casserole. It’s too heavy; it’s filling. It doesn’t fit your theme.

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Lakeside in Incline Village 3

14 Feb 2018 – I love you. Please.

There was a time when I was broken. (I’m still broken). There was a time when I struggled to get out of bed. (I still struggle to get out of bed). There was a time when all of this was so much harder / more immediate. There was a time when I needed help with almost everything. But not all things. I still remembered how to eat and go to the bathroom. I still knew how to put on my own clothes.

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Title: A Letter to My Fellow Bereaved | overlaid on an image of the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

18 Feb 2018 – I Love You

I want to wish you happiness, but I don’t know if you want that. I didn’t want happiness after the death of my son. It felt disloyal.

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Sleeping Giant Trail 1 - Feature

25 Feb 2018 – That Day

I hate talking about these memories, because everyone is quick to tell me that it wasn’t my fault. Screw that! I don’t care about fault. I want to share my story. I want to remember the last week of my son’s life. I want to share these things that complicate how I feel about his death. I want to remember that this experience wasn’t entirely sunshine and roses. I want to remember what was real.

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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.

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Sunset over the Pacific 1 - Feature

26 Feb 2018 – Nuclear Bomb Part 2

I call it a nuclear bomb. It’s a conversation ender. You meet someone, you’re making good small talk, and then they ask about your family. I will¬†never¬†deny my son. He is a permanent part of me. And so it happens — I tell them, “Yes, I have a child. He died shortly before he was born.” And everything stops. It’s no longer a casual conversation.

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Pier in Paihia, New Zealand

A Letter to My Mental Health Coordinator

I don’t actually fault you for forgetting. I know you see a lot of people. I was a little impressed you remembered my name. But when you present yourself as a safe person, you need to actually be one.

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Why Getting Pregnant Easily Isn’t a Gift

Statistics are funny. I really wish someone would do a study on the chances for real, taking into account the multiple factors that contribute to fertility. I still don’t know if I’m an anomaly, or if I just got lucky. I don’t feel lucky.

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View of the beach in Monterey Bay, California

Pleasant Surprise

I didn’t start this website to be inspirational. I don’t think I have the market on stories of tragedy, or redemption. I wonder, sometimes, if my combative and rebellious nature is even useful. I still carry so much anger.

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Understanding

When a grieving person tells you a comment is unhelpful, absorb it. Learn and ask questions on what you could say differently. We aren’t trying to shame you; we are only trying to educate. We know you don’t intend to be hurtful, and we want to show you a better way.

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Trail in Pinnacles National Park, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Not Okay

The Miranda from a year ago is dead. She died with Adrian. And that needs to be okay. It needs to be okay that I am a different person, that the things that used to make me happy are now different. Permanently.

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Pier, Paihia, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

042 – Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 6:14 PM

Someone asked if I was “better” today. I don’t think she meant it to be hurtful, but I can’t fathom what she means.

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Stream, North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

046 – Sun, Oct 15, 2017, 8:09 PM

I am thankful for new connections. I am thankful to remember that all you ever knew was love. 

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Empty bench, California (Miranda Hernandez)

058 – Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 7:10 PM

I expect people to understand me, but–I am the one who is different. I am the stranger; I am the outsider; I am the one who doesn’t fit in.

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Sunset in California (Miranda Hernandez)

060 – Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:02 PM

I’m awake now, and I hate it. But what I hate almost as much are the expectations on me. I eat and I sleep and I put on my uniform and people assume that because I do these things, I must be okay.

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Iceplant on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

080 – Sat, Jan 20, 2018, 4:09 PM

I live in constant fear of the person I would become if I ever chose to live without you. I’m not capable of living without you.¬†

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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.

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Draft email (Miranda Hernandez)

Two Birthdays

Almost three years ago, we both were pregnant. I didn’t realize at the time how closely we aligned. I think I thought about saying something then, but I didn’t. No excuses this time. And then your son was born, and my son died.¬†

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Found art of the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

From one mother to another: A letter to the pregnant mother from one who is bereaved

The shock wears off, and we keep talking. You ask for details, or maybe you don’t. You start thinking. And now you are afraid for your child.

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

My experience as a pseudo-rainbow baby

My parents never talked to us about their losses, and I blame their generations. (Publicly) holding onto grief was something that wasn’t done. And so this grief was whispered, held tightly under cover, impacts erased before they could be explored. But these erasers only took away the surface.

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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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Bench in California (Miranda Hernandez)

Things I Didn’t Get to Say

Every person you meet is going through something. Maybe their spouse left them. Maybe they’re dying of cancer. Or maybe it’s “just” that they have a really bad cold and they’re out of sick leave and they had to come to work anyway and life really sucks today. It honestly doesn’t matter, because whatever it is, it’s real.

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

A letter to my roommate, who puts up with far more than she deserves

Sometimes, I am still a b****. I’m sorry. You don’t deserve it. You don’t deserve any of my anger. You’re just there, sitting closest to me. You shouldn’t have to make any changes.

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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur, California (Miranda Hernandez)

22 May 2018 – I only write to ghosts. You must be one of them.

You were more than pain. You swept into my life and your presence promised happiness. And I hated that, because happiness wasn’t something I wanted to know. And I hate it more now, standing here, awake and oh so lonely. And this pain isn’t comforting. And this new life feels broken.

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Seagulls on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

27 May 2018 – Fairytales

I should know better. Because life is not a fairytale. I should know better, because you’re a person, just like me. And I realize I put the weight of my expectations on something that was only fleeting. And now it’s too heavy. I’m sorry it got heavy.

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Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

2 Jun 2018 – Peace

This year has been hard for me, but it’s been a clean kind of hard. Most people understand grief is a thing. Most people understand pain surrounding death. I don’t think most people understand what happens afterwards.

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Miranda at dusk (Synch Media)

28 Jul 2018 – A Letter from the In-Between

I tell people I’m lonely. They tell me I should get a hobby. I wish it could be a hobby to be sad and also surrounded by your friends. I’m not actively suicidal.

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Matthiola flowers on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

26 Sep 2018 – Dear Grace

You are turning one next week, and I feel jealous. You are turning one, and my son won’t be here to send you a sloppy scribbled birthday card. You are turning one, and I am aching, and I realize that I miss your mother. I miss her, but I’m still not ready to be friends.

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Bench on the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago (Miranda Hernandez)

The bluntness I wish I could share where it’s needed

I’m rarely this blunt but it’s been a week and I’m feeling so raw. F*** you. You are my friends and family, and you act like he never existed. He’s my first born. I will always be heartbroken.

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Tree limbs over a pond (Miranda Hernandez)

Awareness Isn’t Enough

If you had asked me three years ago, I would have said suicide was cowardly. I didn’t understand, then, how quickly life can change, or how little we control. I don’t believe suicide is ever an answer, but I better understand the complexities behind the issue now.

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