Archive: Refuge in Grief

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Refuge in Grief

Adrian's photo and candle in the Wave of Light, 2019

Wave of Light 2020

Celebrating the #internationalwaveoflight; 24 hours of burning flame honoring children lost too soon. Light a candle from 7-8pm every year on 15 October.

Why I Support Banning Home Fetal Dopplers (Miranda's Blog) | overlaid on image of pregnant woman holding a doppler (Canva)

Why I Support Banning Home Fetal Dopplers (Quora)

In recent years, home dopplers have become a popular way both of connecting with your baby and of providing “reassurance” that everything is okay. Unfortunately, any reassurance provided by home dopplers is false—a fetus may have a perfectly normal heart beat, and still be in danger of dying.

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

Mother's Day message from AdrianJamesHernandez.com

Happy Mother’s Day

To those with children in their arms, and those with children in their hearts: Happy Mothers Day. You are so loved.

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.

Adrian's Elephant and a flower arrangement from his birthday (Miranda Hernandez)

Adrian’s First Birthday

Although I had a funeral for Adrian, I also wanted to do something special to celebrate his life on what would have been his first birthday. I wanted something not so much focused on grief, but more on his impact; a type of celebration. I had already decided to build this website, and so it seemed natural to have a party and document both its launch and my son’s short but beautiful life.

The Problem with Positivity (Miranda's Blog) | overlaid on image of dark red flowers in front of a a bright window (Miranda Hernandez)

The Problem With Positivity

We are often told to focus on positive thinking when going into major life changes like having a baby. But I was literally the most positive person possible when I was pregnant with my son, and he still died. Positivity doesn’t prevent tragedy; it only keeps you from preparing for it.

Wildflowers in South Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

There But for Grace

Home birth can be dangerous. I think it’s important to acknowledge that. But the gist of this doctor’s post today was to criticize a celebrity who recently lost her child during a home birth; to call her an idiot.

Miranda and Adrian's Elephant

Perspective

We are all living in uncertainty. We are all scared. We are all doing the very best we can. And you have every right to your feelings, even if they seem silly.

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.

Adrian's elephant in San Francisco

Waiting

Every day I wake up and expect something new. I feel like there is fear buried deep, but mostly I’m just–waiting.

Still water on the Haruru Falls trail, Waitanga, New Zealand (Miranda Hernandez)

What is the Worst Sound in the World? (Quora)

You think, “Okay, this is normal; necessary. This is the process of millennia.” And you stop thinking, and then you moan; deep and low and primal. And your moaning is an outlet, and you surrender to it, deciding to become physical.

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

Re-Evaluation

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.

Survivor's Bias (Miranda's Blog) | overlaid on image of rock formation in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

Survivor’s Bias

Now imagine I took this example of reckless behavior and used it to justify drinking and driving? Imagine I said that because I did it and I was fine, then of course it must be okay for others to try. This is called survivor’s bias.

Waves on Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

I Fail at Grief Olympics

What I found most interesting in my interactions with all of them, was the amount of commonality in our experiences. In how much I could identify with experiences I had previously thought were just mine.

Safe pregnancy booth providing resources on safe and informed pregnancy and stillbirth prevention

Preventing Stillbirth Starts With Outreach

Since I first starting researching safe pregnancy practices following Adrian’s death, I have wanted to put together a road show to share this information with the world. Today I ran my first booth at the Monterey Birth and Baby Fair.

Wildflowers over Te Ti Bay (Miranda Hernandez)

“It’s Not Your Fault”

I think people are conditioned to tell bereaved parents it isn’t their fault because they are worried. If parents blame themselves, what might they then do?

Famous rock formation in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. The feature is called Piercy Island, and is known for the "Hole in the Rock," but it looks like an elephant to me (Miranda Hernandez)

Elephants and Well-Meaning Words – “It’s not your fault”

Let’s try thought experiment: Don’t think of an elephant. What are you thinking of right now? Of course, an elephant. Why? Because thoughts don’t work that way. Now think about this analogy as it applies to telling bereaved parents that their child’s death was not their fault.

Sunset over Lake Tahoe (Miranda Hernandez)

Stillbirth and Statistics: What Does it Mean to be “Rare”?

I think the problem with using words like “rare” in place of actual numbers is that it’s a description that renders those numbers abstract. Our brains are so unused to thinking about statistical concepts that we classify these things as either likely, e.g. I’m likely to have a flat tire at some point in my life; or practically impossible, e.g. I will never win the lottery. But we do a really poor job of thinking about all of the possibilities that lie in between.

Tree branches over the Kawai'i coast (Miranda Hernandez)

Imagination

Of course you can imagine. You look down at your living child and the possibilities rush over you. You imagine everything, and it terrifies you.

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 and Peanut's Mermaid

More Than One Spectrum

My daughter’s pediatrician tried to diagnose me with postpartum depression today. They use a generic screening form, one that doesn’t differentiate between the stress of being a new parent and other types of depression or grief.

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.

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