It’s been 2 weeks since we lost you. 2 weeks since you’ve been outside of my body and it still feels surreal. They say grief gets easier with time, and I don’t necessarily agree. I think it just gets further away, smaller, harder to see. But when you lose a baby, it’s almost like you don’t want that to happen…like you want them to stay as big as possible, to take up as much room as possible. Because that’s the closest you’ll ever get to having them here.
I’d be lying if I said it’s gotten easier. It hasn’t. Grief has a way of shape shifting as time passes. When we first lost you our grief was a hurricane, now it’s a broken tap dripping constantly. Both demand attention, but only the people living with the dripping tap understand it’s enormity- the attention it demands.
Through my healing, I’ve found a few things that have helped me feel either closer to Mars (our lost baby), or feel closer to myself. I’m going to outline those in hopes that they can help someone else.
- Therapy. Seriously- go to therapy if you can. I found a really wonderful therapist in Ottawa who specializes in everything relating to pregnancy, birth trauma, postpartum and loss. I’ve been seeing her once/week since we lost our baby and she’s been a lifeline for me. I usually sob through our sessions, but she ensures the space feels safe enough to do so. She has helped me connect with Mars, and myself and has given me hope to carry on. If anyone is looking for a phenomenal therapist here’s her contact @Empowered Counselling.
- Something to honor our baby. I knew I needed something tangible to hold when Mars left us. At first I debated sleeping with the single outfit we purchased when we found out we were pregnant, but that hurt way too much. Later I found this lovely jewelry shop called Rightly Royce (After their little one) run by a couple who lost their sweet boy when he was under 3 years old. They used his legacy to help other grieving parents with their beautiful jewelry. The jewelry is primarily initial or name necklaces, but they’re always coming out with new products as well. Here’s their online shop.
- Community Support. We have been so blessed with the outpouring of support from our friends, family and even strangers. Our friend started a Gofundme for us to help with costs so we can try again to start a family when we’re ready and it’s almost hit 4k! We can’t even express our gratitude, just know we’ve shed so many tears from the kindness we’ve been shown.
Through our mourning, I was also made aware of this amazing mama who suffered loss of her baby girl, Lily, and has spent her time helping other couples who have struggled as well. She delivers grief support boxes to couples grieving their babies. I was so amazed by the initiative and thoughtfulness of the box. It came complete with a personalized card and grief journals for myself and my partner, flower seeds, gardening gloves, a tiny wooden angel, a handmade candle and so much more. If you’d like to learn more about Lily’s Purpose and how you can help check her site here.
- Put away triggering items. Something that was hard about losing our baby was the fact that our home was fully prepared to learn how to welcome them into our world. Pregnancy and parenting books overflowed on my nightstand. Prenatal vitamins sat on our counter. The single outfit we bought laid perfectly on the bed in the room that would have been theirs. Ultrasound photos were propped proudly. This was the hardest thing that I did in order to heal- I put all the items away. I gathered the books, the vitamins, the outfit, the ultrasound photo’s in shaking arms. I put them in the room that would have been Mars’. I cried remembering how hopeful I felt when we found out we were expecting. I closed the door to the room not knowing when I’d feel that sense of hope again, if ever.
- Create a memory box. A week after placing all the items in the room that would have been Mars’, I retrieved a few of the most important items and took them to my office. I sat with them, held them, smelled them, cried over them. I took the outfit, the ultrasound photo’s and one of the many pregnancy tests and placed them in a suitcase box I purchased just for this. I wanted to have a spot where I could remember Mars. I wanted to have all of our most important memories in a single place so I could open it when I needed to feel closer to them. I strongly encourage anyone who’s experienced loss to consider trying this, too. It feels cathartic and comforting to know our memories are safe in the box and that I can open it whenever I need to.
I hope this post can help someone else navigating their way through the murky waters of grief.