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?
Writing as a means of reflection and processing in grief
I came across this pregnancy test, and I looked at it again. And I realized, despite so many VIVID memories, the line on the test was PINK, and not blue. What else am I misremembering? What else is lost to the imperfection of the human mind?
Sometimes I think we can get caught up in the idea of a new year being a fresh start. We look forward to everything being different on 1 January. But will it be? Are we leaving this pandemic and the rest of our lives behind us? Or do we carry these things with us into each new day?
Do you ever find yourself in a “go go go!” pattern, and then suddenly realize you need a break? This is definitely true for me. It’s been a great month, and some days I have felt overwhelmed. I’ve also felt pretty darn thankful. You guys are an amazing community. I feel thankful for all of you.
It’s been commonly noted that the English language doesn’t currently have a word to describe a parent whose child is deceased. I choose the term, “Sea Glass Parent.” It acknowledges both the Broken and the Beauty in my life. It’s a metaphor, and also a piece of unique beauty on it’s own.
Reading other people’s experiences made me feel less alone after Adrian’s death. These are more than 70 blogs and Instagram accounts about child loss and grief, with descriptions.
I was scrolling through Instagram yesterday, and I came across a quote that really resonated. And then I realized—It was mine. Plagiarism is the one of the last things you think will happen in a mostly caring community like ours, but it happened to me.
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.
I remember the feel of those early days. I remember when tears were always on call. I remember when I didn’t have to close my eyes to think of you.
These past two years have been a whirlwind, and writing is part of what’s gotten me through. Memories are heavy, and also comforting. And we are making new ones everyday.
When I first started writing about you, I felt guilty to feel excitement. I felt guilty in that brief joy and how easily the words flew. The one bright spot in my life was in finding the right words to talk about how much I missed you.
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.
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.
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.
If grief were a gesture, it would be hands on my heart, one flat on the other like bad CPR. My heart is still beating, I don’t need this rescue. My soul needs it though. Every part of me needs you. Sometimes, when I’m very still, I still feel you kicking.
I remember those early days after loss, when I used to go to yoga just to cry. It was a safe, quiet space, and most people didn’t judge me. It was a release.
It feels funny to say that: I miss you. It feels like there should be another word, something that acknowledges that part of what is missing is this unrealized idea.
I think it would be so much easier if I believed as other people believed. It would be so much easier if I could close my eyes and know with certainty that you were listening when I said your name. It would be so nice. But it’s not real.
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.
My son, Adrian James Hernandez, was stillborn exactly one year ago today. And his loss was the first time in my life where there was nothing I could fight and nothing I could do or say. These are my reflections on the past year since his death.
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.
I remember every moment of my pregnancy. I remember every moment of my son’s short life. I remember conception and ultrasounds and morning sickness. I remember every tiny kick and movement. I treasure these things. I treasure these memories.
I write a lot about this concept of numbness. I think that before, I would have described it as a lack of feeling. “I am empty, I am numb.” I realize today it’s something quite different.
Because I think love includes talking about hard things. Because I think love includes telling someone, “When you fall on hard times, I am here for you. When things go terribly wrong, I won’t run away.”
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.
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.