People who haven’t dealt with tragedy are often made uncomfortable by any mention of the life that remains. It’s as if there is this irrevocable connection between my son’s death and his existence; as if these things are forever entwined instead of merely adjacent.
Going back to work after the death of my child
Sometimes I feel like kindness is confused with self-care—long walks and bubble baths. Time alone to watch TV. These things are part of kindness, sure. But such a small piece.
When I was new in my grief, there were a number of situations where people said or did something and I wanted to respond, but I just didn’t have the words. Now that I am further out, I have put together a set of potential scripts to use in these situations.
Hearing the news was definitely the worst part. “There is no heartbeat.” It broke me. I fell. And the “worst” pieces just kept building.
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.
A heavy, beautiful day today, and Peanut is officially laughing. Forever finding that balance in all of the feelings in life after loss.
I read a story a while back about a father who planned the cutest keepsake, having his daughter’s teachers sign a special book throughout her school career. I planned to do the same thing, & set myself this timed email as a reminder for the future. And even though my son died, the email still came.
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.
I am pregnant now, 24 weeks. She is healthy and active, and she brings me joy. And I find that I want to be here, and I want to be her mother. But if something were to happen, and that darkness were to fall again—if TWO of my children were to live beyond my world, I don’t know that I’d survive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the least-talked-about aspects of stillbirth and pregnancy loss is that postpartum bodies still carry weight & produce milk, whether you have a living child or not. This is my journey with my postpartum body after stillbirth.
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.
My name is Miranda Hernandez. I am a single mother by choice. My son Adrian passed away on 29 June 2017, and was stillborn the following day. I will love and honor him for the rest of my life.
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.
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.
Nobody tells you that stillbirth is a possibility. I still remember, even while screaming, that I was thinking about the three other women in that testing room, and how I must have been their shocking introduction to the fact that babies die.
In the black-and-white photos, he looks like he’s sleeping. Photos are difficult; they don’t tell the whole story.
When a Type A personality grieves, at some point grief becomes her job. She finds old focus and determination. She reads books and attacks her grief with her previous energy.
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.