Thirteen years, and I still have to defend missing you

*A different tone than my usual posts. I always try to write with humility. Today I’m just struggling to breathe while I miss my sweet Sadie Rose and I’m weary of having to defend/explain why. As ALWAYS, love to my grieving families with ANY age/reason/type of loss. And with special sympathy to a local family grieving their own unspeakable tragedy.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to attempt a ride this morning, with the humidity at 90 percent and the temp gauge reading 75 degrees, but the trails were calling and something was stirring. I left the house in the opposite direction of my usual route. I didn’t pedal like it was an exercise ride. I just allowed myself freedom to go where I wanted from each place I needed to make decisions.

I found myself at the river, one of the places I feel most at home. Without giving much thought, I paused the Write Now podcast I was listening to. I sat down on a large rock. And I cried.

I cried until I had no more tears. The kind of cry that comes up from the depths of your soul and leaves you feeling as though your gut has been turned inside out.

In ten days, we’ll celebrate your 13th birthday! Thirteen! How can it be. And we’ll grieve 13 years of missing you. Wondering what you would be. Your favorite colors? Your best-loved hobbies. How you would be like your siblings. How you would be different.

Sometimes white butterflies seem to “ride alongside me” on the trails and I like to think their brief presence represents you.

We’ve adjusted. Found a “new normal” long before the current definition of new normal regarding this pandemic. But the inevitability of comments that minimize your life because you “only” lived 17 hours outside of my womb, I will never get used to. I just can’t. You were created with love by the other half of my soul. You were and are fiercely loved with every breath, and will be until I breathe heaven’s air and hold you again.

You have three siblings and another we’re nurturing with hopes to be their forever family, yet none of them replace you. They wouldn’t. Couldn’t. Shouldn’t. They all have their own unique space in our hearts. But you lived. You loved. You mattered. Loving you forever changed the way I see the world and experience life.

I am ONE in FOUR women who have lived the excruciating pain of infant/pregnancy loss, yet we’re so often silent because our culture devalues the life of the unborn.

PLEASE, if you consider yourself “pro-life,” NEVER tell a mama who has buried an infant or tenderly laid her miscarried baby to rest in an unmarked grave that it would be harder to lose an older child!

I’m not here to compare! Parents who’ve already had one child die, whatever their age, live with the reality that it can happen again in a heartbeat. That knowledge permeates every aspect of our lives! Our family has also willingly opened our hearts and home to foster children, and know the vulnerability of loving with all our hearts without the promise of permanency. As your siblings grow, I vacillate between wanting them to be independent self-reliant citizens and helicopter mom, because I know, I KNOW, how precious the moment is that is NOW.

I’m still here. At the river. I need to check in with Dad to let him know I’m alright. And I am. I will be. Now that I’ve released this pain. Just know, sweet Sadie Rose, that Mama loves you with every cell in my body, every breath of my being, and I will honor your life and memory for as long as I live.

6 thoughts on “Thirteen years, and I still have to defend missing you

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  1. It doesn’t matter what age they are, losing a child is the most heart breaking tragedy imaginable and we just don’t get over it. Hugs and prayers to you.

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