Grief Is A Thief

Blog post

Written for Still Standing Magazine – March 21, 2018

Grief is a thief, stealing so much from the grieving and those close to them. The wake is messy with shrapnel flying and everyone in your life being hit by it to a degree. If you are close to the eye of the storm coming out unharmed is a miracle. Doing so probably means you either weren’t as close as you thought or you are one of the few that were able to swim through the mud being a fierce protector of the grieving Mom’s heart.

Grief, after your baby dies, isn’t only about grieving the baby you lost but also grieving the life you once lived. You grieve relationships you had with friends and family that once felt loving and easy and no longer are. You grieve all you had envisioned for your future that no longer can be. The ripple effect is so great that one day you wake up and reflect on the life you once lived and it feels like it belongs to someone else, with little resemblance to the life you now live.

People may give you grace and understand the profound sadness that comes when your baby dies. What is often misunderstood is the pain that is caused by the ripple effect of grief and all that was left in its wake. We feel the pain to our core when we see who ran and hid, who judged you, who justified their own behaviour, who talked to others about you and who was clearly lacking love.

Once the fog clears and you see the landscape you are now living in, it is impossible to un-see it. You see your heart was truly only safe with only a few people and feel intense pain from being abandoned or let down by those you thought were put in your world to support you and help protect your heart.

Relationships are easy when living is easy. The real litmus test of a relationship is when you have to ride the waves together. When the person you trust to have your back catches you without hesitation as you are falling, when your sadness isn’t frightening, or inconvenient, and they are more than willing to meet you just exactly where you are.

Relationships over time evolve, that is natural. When a life event like this happens you as a person is forever changed and with that, the relationship you once had is also forever changed. People either choose to love you through it and allow the quick evolution to flow and become more connected or choose you no longer fit into each other’s lives.

Grief is a thief. It steals so much from everyone involved. You are left with the gift of seeing who is still standing beside you and gently holding your heart. Grief steals so much but also gives the gift of deepened, stronger and more meaningful relationships once the aftermath is cleaned up. It is those relationships you know will last a lifetime because they stand on the foundation of unconditional love.

I am so sorry if you are a Mom who not only lost their baby but also had grief steal so much more from you. You didn’t deserve it.

Thank you to all who swim through the mud, those who stand in the fire, the ones who take the responsibility to safely hold the heart when it is broken, and those who can love stronger than the shrapnel of grief. You are the grieving Mom’s greatest gift.

Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels

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Time Keeps Rolling

My sweet little boy Teddy, time keeps ticking along and how my heart feels is forever changing. I miss you. I wish I could hold you. I wish I could talk to you, hear your little voice. I wish I could see who you would have been today. I wish I could love all the Teddy quirks, all of who you could have been. Instead so much will be left as a question mark. I wonder if missing someone’s laugh could be harder than missing a laugh you were never blessed to hear.

Two years, three and half months have passed since you were born. It feels so long ago. So much life has happened since yours ended. Your sister was born six months ago. She is incredible and is loved by your brothers intensely. When she was born I could only see you. But she wasn’t you, she was full of life. As that life has blossomed she has become this incredible light in our family. I always say she completes us. Saying this isn’t because you or the boys weren’t enough, or because she fills a physical space you left, but rather the opposite, without anyone of you we would be forever incomplete. She was always intended to be apart of our family just as you were.

Zooey didn’t take your place. Your place is filled by you, our third baby. You are our forever baby, and what a special role that is. Your life has impacted me in ways no one will ever truly know. You have given me a new lens to view the world through. You have given me a perspective of life that spoken words could never truly articulate, it is something that I know only you and I share.

I miss you. I want so much for you to share this life with us but I also know this was never your intended life. I know all of this wishing is for me, and I also know undoubtedly that you are exactly where you should be. I love you more than needing my wishes fulfilled so I accept our reality. My heart will forever be filled with love for you and my mind will always wonder what could have been but having this understanding about your intended life provides comfort and peace.

I will forever shed tears for you. I will forever miss you. I will forever feel grateful for all of you. I will forever feel joy for you. I will forever feel heavy because of you. I will forever feel light because of you. I will always choose love because of you. I will forever honour you. I will forever feel blessed because of you.

Feelings flow like the waves of the ocean. Some days are sunny with a beautiful light breeze at your back pushing you along. Some days are stormy and feelings are crashing all around you. Then we have days that are a combination. In the last two years, I learned to never fight emotions, just like the ocean they can be a force to reckon with so it is best to allow it all to pass through you. To feel it all, to own it, to see it and before you know it the tide has changed and you feel new again. Today my heart is all yours Teddy. I feel your physical absence, and long to be close. The only emotion that is forever unwavering is my love for you. You are loved. You are LOVE.

Your Momma Bear

Peace Changes with Time


Dear Teddy,

I am breathing in the most beautiful morning. Fresh Papineau Lake air, boys have gone fishing with Dad and Sweet Pea and I are having a quiet moment together. It felt like the perfect time to write you my dearest Teddy. Every since you entered our world this has been our most peaceful place to just be. It feels different from last year, and of course the year before that, as you were physically within me and alive. We have spent 8 night and have two more to go before we make our way home for a few days. Enough time to fully feel how everything has changed.

Feeling peace keeps changing. Last year I felt so much peace because there were signs every time I turned around. You were close. I felt you there, always. This year peace feels light. You aren’t as close, not that the love has changed maybe if anything it has grown stronger with space. You are the air I breath, the ripples in the water, you are the quiet moments, you are the spark within the fire, you are the colourful sky as the sun sets and rises, the song that comes on the radio, you are my everything yet you are light and subtle. Maybe the truth is I don’t need you as close, my grip has released and you are here but in the way you choose not in the way I once needed.

As much as I know you are always with us, I am so grateful to have a place where Ryan and I feel so connected to you and overwhelming sense of peace. I see you missing here too but it no longer swallows me up in grief. I see Ryan and the boys fishing, swimming, boating, learning about the different birds and other random father son activities and I see you missing. I watch my boys play together on the beach, going on walking adventures alone between the few cottages around us, the games they make up and play, the memories they have formed and I see you missing. I can’t help but wonder how different our lives would be had you lived. These moments often feel like a test, a test in staying present and grateful for all that we do have and not fall down the hole of what ifs. There are no amount of what ifs that could change our reality, there is only acceptance and love. I love you enough to feel grateful for our time we did have and love you enough to allow the space for you to be free. It isn’t always easy, but after the moments pass I see my family clearer, I see the gifts and just breath you in with all the fresh air, I hear you as the water ripples, I feel you move across my face with the gentle breeze and know all is how it truly is meant to be.

This is life, never easy, always worth it and forever changing and that is okay. We will always be okay, we have love and gratitude as our medicine. Love heals.

Your forever loving Mom

Forever in my heart.