Peanut (Archives)

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Peanut

Heavy waves on a sunny day on the shores of North Lake Tahoe (Miranda Hernandez)

Scripts for Bereaved Parents

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.

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.

Miranda holding Peanut and Adrian's elephant. Peanut's hand is wrapped around Adrian's elephant.

Illness, Worry, & Reflections

I wonder, sometimes, where to draw the line between a “normal” amount of worry and the amount you feel for a child born after the death of your first. I don’t ever want to stifle her. My pain should never be her burden. And sometimes it just hits me—how much I’ve lost and also hold at the same time.

Orange wildflowers at Lake Tahoe (Miranda Hernandez)

It’s Always 29 June; Integration in Grief

Integration is waking up in the morning because Peanut is hungry and needs to be changed. Integration is wondering what life would be like with a living second child. Integration is making plans for the future with acknowledgment that things may change. Integration is love AND sadness; grief AND joy. And it’s okay to have ALL of these things, and all at the same time.

Peanut with Adrian's Elephant

Cranky

Parenting, even parenting after loss, isn’t just sunshine and roses. It’s reality too. And I love this little girl with every piece of my soul, AND I feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s okay to acknowledge the reality of life after loss. It’s okay to be cranky.

Heart in the sand, Esquimalt Lagoon, Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

Daydreams

I put Penny to bed tonight, and I had another image of a rambunctious toddler jumping up to join us. I can’t see his face at all, it is mostly just a feeling. A feeling like he’s just right there.

Bench on the shore of South Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Re-Evaluation & New Priorities after the Death of a Child

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.

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

137 – Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 10:01 PM

I caught a glimpse of my tattoo in the mirror the other day. The days move so quickly lately, sometimes I forget it’s there. Sometimes I miss the burning underneath my skin, how it felt when everything was new.

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

136 – Thu, Sep 12, 2019, 6:40 PM

Our old house is for sale. In the photos, it looks cluttered. They have a boy and a girl, fully lived-in rooms. We wouldn’t have had that, not there. It still feels weird to look at.

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

132 – Mon, Jul 1, 2019, 9:45 PM

I’m glad I got out of bed today. I like watching the water. There’s a guy beyond the ice plant, painting on the rocks. I remember sitting here last year, feeling overwhelmed and sad. It was hard.

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.

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

129 – Tue, Jun 25, 2019, 9:11 PM

The lead up is different this time. It’s quieter. I’m not sobbing. I sit here with your sister and most parts of the day I feel fine. It’s only in those random moments, those echoes of memory — and I still wish I could feel more of you.

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

128 – Thu, May 23, 2019, 9:11 PM

They I gave her to me and she was screaming and all I could think was yes, mama loves you so much. You are a new piece of my everything. And suddenly I’m just bigger and you are still gone and I’m straddling the world in two.

Found art on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

127 – Thu, May 2, 2019, 12:03 PM

I find myself living in the world again, at least in pieces. And I railed and I fought and I thought maybe it would be that way forever. And I’m realizing, even when I maybe don’t want to, that somehow I am living.

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

126 – Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 9:39 AM

And for the longest time, I couldn’t cry. And for the longest time I couldn’t cry about you. And then today, and it feels almost out of nowhere. Like it’s a full body memory, and I realized I still miss you. I’ve never stopped missing you.

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

125 – Fri, Oct 19, 2018, 1:08 PM

For the past year, I’ve told myself everyday I would do anything to have you here with me. If I could travel back in time I would do anything to convince myself we should have been induced…For the past year, I’ve told myself this, but now I realize that’s changed.

California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

Sea Lions

Walking along the pier with my daughter where I used to walk alone, I think about the drastic changes of the past two years. Despite the sweetness of her new life, I don’t feel thankful for the hardship that preceded her. Life doesn’t work that way.

Adrian's Elephant in his and Peanut's car seat

Baggage

This car seat and the matching stroller were both Adrian’s. They were two of the few things that felt “okay” to use for his sister; things that would have handed down anyway. And when the car seat was ruined, I felt a surprising tug of pain. These were HIS things! I have so few of them.

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant on the California coast

17 August 2019

A heavy, beautiful day today, and Peanut is officially laughing. Forever finding that balance in all of the feelings in life after loss.

Empty storage container (Miranda Hernandez)

Sleepless

Spent the past few days going through items in storage, and tonight I can’t shake this heavy feeling. And I realize, of course, that it’s him. These were his things, and some are now his sister’s, and many are now finding new homes.

Quarters on tile (Miranda Hernandez)

Charlie’s Accident

I saw his body laid out on the concrete and all I could do was scream. He was 11 weeks old, barely seven pounds. I was convinced he was dying. And it was my fault. I couldn’t lose him too, not after everything else I had lost in my world.

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. 

Peanut's feet with Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)

First

People sometimes ask me if my daughter is my first child. I needed a simple way to tell them I had a child before her, but he died. When people ask me now, I have a simple response.

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.

Miranda with Adrian's Elephant and Peanut's Mermaid (4th Trimester Bodies Project)

Third Mother’s Day

I started celebrating Mothers Day when I was pregnant with my first child. Although he was unexpectedly stillborn one month later, I was and am STILL a mother. Today, I am celebrating for the third year, pregnant and expecting my second child. Happy Mothers Day.

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