Partly through effort, partly through ability, I climbed my way out. I built a new world. And yet, I think I must have subconsciously felt I still had to earn it. Did the old Miranda understand that this too was a legacy?
Reflections on my life before and after loss
I am a growing and evolving creature. I am a grieving mother, and I am ALSO so many other things. And this is where I am today–exactly who and where I need to be. And I am both messy and complicated and also uniquely human. And I love being able to accept that and just be okay.
Many years ago in the Before, my then-boyfriend asked me not to say, “I love you, but–“. As he pointed out, the word “but” is minimizing; it negates the importance of everything that came before. I think of this today, and I realize how much more valid my experience feels when I remove any “buts”. It definitely helps.
Before Adrian died, I don’t know that I would have understood this, but it is absolutely possible to parent a child after their death. It looks a little different. It’s still very real. #SeaGlassParenting
I didn’t have much experience with death or grief prior to the death of my son, and so I’m embarrassed that I genuinely used to believe everything was “okay” right after the funeral. This is how it’s often portrayed on TV. This is wrong.
In the Before, I always thought of death as a sad experience, but one whose impact would eventually fade. I know now that you never really “get over” the death of someone you love; you can only integrate the loss and pain. And this is a process that is never-ending.
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.
Before Adrian died, I always thought of tragedy and loss as something that happened to OTHER people, but not to me. Of course I feel differently now.
After losing Adrian to undiagnosed preeclampsia, I was terrified to experience pregnancy for a second time. Terrified, but also holding hope. And my Peanut is finally here. This is her story.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m feeling a bit “better” now. I don’t really know what that word means. But I woke up this morning, and it didn’t hurt to get out of bed.
I haven’t written, lately, because words have felt hard. I haven’t written, lately, because my attention hasn’t been focused on you. And I want to apologize, because I remember those early days when I thought I would never stop thinking about you.
I miss those moments now, that time when I felt complete in my grief. Because now I yearn for community, and it’s missing.
I promised you I’d be okay. I’m really really trying. But sometimes I realize I didn’t know what I was promising.
I finally looked up the plot line of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Ironic that the story seems applicable to me. Ironic that I judged something that now feels maybe powerful.
I see her when I close my eyes. I see her as a child and all grown up, and I think about the ways that I didn’t see you. When I dreamt of you, you were always an adult looking out of a child’s body.
When you’re going through tough times, remember that life is about so much more than feel-good messages you read online
One author would have you believe tough times can be simplified into 8 feel-good steps. But when you’re going through tough times, life is about so much more than feel-good messages you read online.
It hits me sometimes — this time last year I was still pregnant. What happened to my life? What happened to yours?
It’s strange how we perceive change. Today, I can walk 20,000 steps with something like ease. It’s hard to remember the challenge. The change kind of snuck up on me.
I have often examined the symptoms of my grief. It still feels so weird to me. The simplest things now make me cry. I examine those tears under a microscope. I examine everything, all while I’m feeling it.
I wore a Claddagh ring facing inwards for a long time after the death of my son. I wanted to send the message that my heart was already taken, even if it was “taken” in a different way than those rings normally represent.
I think about “moving forward”. I think about “trying again”. These words are hurtful. These words feel like I’m trying to replace you. It isn’t possible to replace you.
These tools were available to me and I chose not to use them. I didn’t choose for you to die, but my choices did not save you. I wish that I had saved you.
This is such a bittersweet day. I loved this house. I was so excited to share it, to share my whole world with you. You would have been four months old tomorrow. You died four months ago today.
I thought I knew everything. I knew nothing at all.
I see her on the other side of the glass, and my heart breaks for what we both have that the other needs.
After he died, after that scream, I shattered. It wasn’t that time flowed differently. It was a completely different life.